In his first Weekend Update appearance since December’s alarming Instagram post, Pete Davidson joked that he’d had “a crazy month.” But in a segment featuring former SNL writer John Mulaney, Davidson seemed ready to be back.
The segment is ostensibly to review Clint Eastwood’s The Mule, but it really serves to acknowledge what happened in December in a way that’s both silly and serious.
“I want to talk about something that matters a lot to me,” Davidson tells Weekend Update host Colin Jost at the beginning of the clip.“Mental health?” Jost replies. “No,” Davidson tells him, “the new Clint Eastwood movie, The Mule!”
What follows is a pretty strong segment where Davidson and Mulaney review what they deem “A superhero movie for old people about a guy whose superpower is that he can drive unsupervised.”
But the bit is also about the pair’s mentor/mentee relationship. In the segment, Mulaney says “I’ve been spending a lot of time with Pete to try to show him that you can have a life in comedy that is not insane, a sober, domestic life.”
“Yeah, and after observing John’s life, I publicly threatened suicide. I’m sorry, I know I shouldn’t make that joke, but it is funny,” Davidson replies. As Vanity Fair points out, Mulaney flinches at the joke before telling Davidson “You are loved by many, and we are glad you are okay. Now, back to The Mule.”
The moment when Mulaney tells Davidson that we’re glad he’s still with us seemed like a sweet, genuine, and perhaps necessary way to acknowledge what happened in December and move forward, even if Davidson’s joke “came close to derailing his comeback,” as Vanity Fair notes.
“I didn’t mention her once,” Davidson says at the end of the sketch, more to his castmates and Mulaney than the audience. “We did it!”