A lot has happened in the nearly six months since SNL has been off the air. But right now one the biggest issue on people’s minds is the conflict in the Middle East. Last Saturday Hamas hit Israel with a surprise attack. The latter quickly declared war and has vowed to respond in kind. Rather than ignore the elephant in the room, season premiere host — and returning alum — Pete Davidson decided to address it right from the start.
“I know what you’re thinking, Who better to comment on it than Pete Davidson?” a somber Davidson told the crowd. “Well, in a lot of ways, I am a good person to talk about it because when I was seven years old, my dad was killed in a terrorist attack. So I know something about what that’s like.”
Like many, Davidson said he “saw so many terrible pictures this week — children suffering, Israeli children and Palestinian children. And it took me back to a really horrible, horrible place. No one in this world deserves to suffer like that, especially not kids.”
He then recalled his own struggles with loss:
“After my dad died, my mom tried pretty much everything she can do to cheer me up. I remember one day when I was eight. She got me what she thought was a Disney movie. But it was actually the Eddie Murphy stand up special ‘Delirious.’ And we played it in the car on the way home. And when she heard the things Eddie Murphy was saying, she tried to take it away. But then she noticed something. For the first time in a long time, I was laughing again. I don’t understand that. I really don’t and I never will. But sometimes comedy is really the only way forward through tragedy.”
Davidson concluded, “You know, my heart is with everyone whose lives have been destroyed this week. But tonight, I’m gonna do what I’ve always done in the face of tragedy, and that’s try to be funny.”
You can watch Davidson’s SNL monologue in the video above.