Since his SNL tenure began, Pete Davidson has been a fixture of Weekend Update, but he’s mostly steered clear of the big desk in 2019, following his mental health issues at the end of last year. In fact, when the comic appeared on Idris Elba’s episode, it was only his second WU gig this year — and his first solo, after his bit with John Mulaney in January in which they discussed Clint Eastwood’s The Mule. And Davidson, absent for a while, had a lot to say.
His subject was the aftermath of the controversies plaguing R. Kelly and the late Michael Jackson, both accused of sexual misconduct. In the wake of the earth-shattering doc Finding Neverland, stations have been banning Jackson’s music and album sales have dropped. Davidson didn’t agree with that decision.
Davidson began his hot take by lobbing another grenade: “If you support the Catholic Church, isn’t that the same thing as being an R. Kelly fan?” he said. “I don’t see the difference. Only one’s music is significantly better.”
Davidson said he wasn’t necessarily jettisoning R. Kelly or Michael Jackson from his life. “You don’t know how good someone’s music is until you find out they’re a pedophile,” he jokes. He also pointed out that there’s a difference when the musician is as talented as Kelly or Jackson. “If I found out Macklemore did some stuff, I’d be happy to clear up space on my iPhone. It depends on who did it.
“When people ask me, ‘How do you listen to their music when you know what they did?’ I don’t know, headphones?” he added, to obvious audience discomfort.