New Year’s Eve may be most known as just a really great excuse to party — and, well, it kind of is. But that actually isn't totally fair to the holiday, because it's also our most self-reflective one, where inevitably we take a moment to look back on the past year, with its successes and failures, and hopefully find something to learn from as we move into the new year. So, is it any surprise after the year he's had, that Pete Davidson’s jokes about his breakup with Ariana Grande at his New Year’s Eve gig at Chevalier Theatre in Boston were just about as real and raw as it gets? Because, let’s be honest, 2018 was a real rollercoaster for the Saturday Night Live star, between his whirlwind romance with Grande and then the sudden split. No wonder he had to work some of it out on stage.
In his set, Davidson opened up about the aftermath of his headline-grabbing breakup. According to US Weekly, the comic confessed that, after his split with Grande in October, "he cried at the table with his mom." He also shared that the breakup taught him a lot. "It made me see how ugly people can get, and how cool people can be,” he said. Davidson followed this up by talking about what it was like to be featured in his ex's song "Thank U, Next" which came out just a month after the the couple had gone their separate ways. Davidson joked about how recording artists normally prefer to keep it vague, and don't just straight-up name-drop their exes in their songs. “Not this wonderful lady,” Davidson joked. “This diabolical genius named all of us.”
As if that weren't hard enough, Davidson also opened up about how he handled listening to the song for the first time when "Thank U, Next" dropped just a half hour before he was set to take stage on SNL on Nov. 3. Fortunately, he didn't have to go through the experience alone. He said he gathered his friends and told them, "We all have to listen to this song and you all have to look at me,” and “it’s gonna be rough.” The good news was that they all thought the song was at least “catchy.” As for all that "big d*ck energy" Grande alludes to in her music video, Davidson brushed it off, joking that he thinks she just has really small hands.
While it's definitely a positive thing that Davidson has an outlet and a way to work through his painful breakup, it's a little hard to just laugh it all off considering it was only a few weeks ago that he posted an alarming Instagram message that scared both his friends and his fans. On Dec. 15, Davidson wrote "i really don’t want to be on this earth anymore. i’m doing my best to stay here for you but i actually don’t know how much longer i can last. all i’ve ever tried to do was help people. just remember i told you so,” which led to friends, and even his ex, Grande, to try and rush to his side — as well as a wellness check from the NYPD.
Let's just hope that, in the spirit of the new year, the worst is behind Davidson, and that this set — and the jokes about his breakup — mark his first steps toward the better, brighter, and funnier 2019 we all want fo him. Happy New Year, Pete.