Pete Davidson Says Attention to His High-Profile Relationships Made Him Feel ‘Small,’ Like a ‘F—ing Loser’

The Bupkis star says dating celebrities including Ariana Grande and Kim Kardashian took attention away from his career — “and that’s a really s—ty feeling”

Pete Davidson

Pete Davidson’s relationships impacted his work life — and not in the way you may think.

The former Saturday Night Live star said his time on the NBC sketch show was tainted by the public’s interest in who he was dating. In a conversation with Jon Berthnal for The Walking Dead alum’s Real Ones podcast (which can only be accessed via Berthnal’s Patreon), Davidson, 29, expressed feeling like a “loser” because of the ongoing emphasis on who he was dating.

“I’m in my 20’s and I’ve dated people. And for some reason, that’s very crazy and interesting to people. I don’t think it’s interesting,” he said. “I’ve been in show business for, like, half my life almost — for 14 or 15 years and on a national TV show. In 12 years I’ve dated 10 people. I don’t think that’s that crazy, but to some people, that’s very interesting. That became all anyone would talk about.”

Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson
Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson at the Met Gala. GOTHAM/GETTY

During his time on SNL, Davidson was linked to Cazzie David, engaged to Ariana Grande and eventually, in a relationship with Kim Kardashian, among others.

“I’m not, like, flexing, you know what I mean? And these people that I’ve dated, I met them at work,” he added. “I wasn’t in anyone’s DMs, no one was in mine. I worked at one of the five Hollywood epicenters of where you meet people and that’s how it happened.”

Ariana Grande, Pete Davidson

“Suddenly you’re in this zeitgeist and that has nothing to do with the work,” he said. “And that’s a really s—ty feeling. I became more known before the work was there, but I was always working.”

He qualified, “I’m cool with the joke. I get the late-night jokes.”

But occasionally the laughter over his romantic track record hit too close to home.

“When your own show [pokes fun at you],” he explained, “I’d be sitting in the back watching the cold open and — the cold open [is] topical, political humor, whatever’s in the culture. And then, making fun of you. Then you’ve gotta walk out and do a sketch next and hit your mark and the show just made fun of you. So, why are they gonna laugh at you? Like, they just dogged you in front of everyone. … And you’re like, ‘I’m a f—ing loser, man.’”

He continued, “These are the people I’ve been with for almost a decade. I grew up in front of these people. They’ve watched me through the most difficult time in my life, and they’ve been there for me. And nobody ever showed more leeway and grace to me than Lorne Michaels, and I owe my life to that guy, but it was f—ing confusing cause the nature of entertainment is the nature of this business. At the end of the day, that’s what it is. This was a really difficult thing to do. You feel small. You feel super insecure.”

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