Pete Davidson was born in Staten Island, New York. When he was seven, his father died in the September 11 attacks. Davidson's father was a New York City firefighter and was last seen running up the stairs of the Marriott World Trade Center just before it collapsed. This loss profoundly affected Pete, causing him to act out in school and have suicidal thoughts.
He turned to stand-up comedy when his friends dared him to take the stage at a Staten Island bowling alley. This wasn't his original plan for a career — he'd enrolled at the private Catholic academy St. Francis College after high school, but dropped out after one semester to pursue comedy full time.
Before his big break, Pete appeared on several MTV shows, including Failosophy, Guy Code, Nick Cannon Presents: Wild 'N Out, and even made his television stand-up debut on Gotham Comedy Live.
Pete joined the cast of Saturday Night Live during the show's 40th season premiere in September 2014. He was given the chance to audition after meeting former SNL star Bill Hader while filming a small role in the comedy Trainwreck (2015).
Pete's comedy is based on his own life. He talks about topics including marijuana, sex and relationships, unafraid to shy away from tough subjects. He even uses his father's death in some of his sets. His comedy has gotten him into trouble in the past, including when he compared the Catholic Church to singer R. Kelly and mocked Republican Dan Crenshaw's eye patch. Crenshaw lost his eye while serving as a Navy SEAL in Afghanistan.
Throughout his career, Pete has been open about his mental health struggles. He revealed he suffers from anxiety disorder and depression and was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder in 2017.
Pete's relationship with singer Ariana Grande is well known. The two began dating in May 2018 and were engaged less than a month later. They broke up October 2018. Their relationship is featured in Grande’s song "Thank U, Next."
He has made the turn from comedy to acting, appearing in several small roles on both television and in film, including Set It Up (Netflix) (2018), The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019), and The Suicide Squad (2021). He co-wrote and starred in the film The King of Staten Island (2020), which has been called a "semi-biographical" take on Pete’s life.
He currently lives in Staten Island with his mother. He purchased the home in 2019 and lives in the basement.