After a lengthy introduction, Pete Davidson, dressed in a gray hoodie, sweatshirt, slippers, and UR beanie walked onto the stage at Kodak Hall to thunderous applause. Over 2,000 UR students packed into the hall, some arriving over two hours early to ensure the best seats, for a night with Pete Davidson, the headliner event for Winterfest Weekend.
Shortly after arriving on stage, Davidson told the crowd, “I know it’s a smart school, because I was just at Syracuse.” When asked if this was the first time being in Rochester, Davidson responded “first and last, yes,” to more applause.
Davidson was on stage for just over an hour and answered questions from student moderators sophomore Nick Jiang and junior Falisha Hola. Davidson talked about his time on SNL, his dislike of “Euphoria,” Willem Dafoe’s large penis, Adam Sandler, showed some of his tattoos, and gave his advice on various topics, including recommending ketamine to the entire student body.
Pete mistakenly referred to UR as “Rochester College” at least three times, eliciting additional laughter from the crowd. At one point during dead air, Pete looked out into Kodak Hall and said that “it looked like ‘Titanic,’” referring to the hall and specifically the chandelier hanging in the center.
“How much did they pay me? You would leave the school, you would be outraged, it’s disgusting, do you think I’d come to fucking Rochester?” Pete told the crowd after a heckler asked how much he was getting paid to come to Rochester. “Are you out of your mind? Rochester College covered Valentine’s Day for the boy, that’s right!”
“Three kids’ tuition went to this man,” Jiang jokingly countered.
“Yup, you fucking nerds,” Davidson said to laughter and applause.
When asked to discuss an experience with fans, Pete told the story of Michelle Mootreddy breaking into his house and pretending to be his fiance last year. Although Pete did not mention this during the talk, Mootreddy graduated from UR with a degree in Political Science in 2017.
As the talk continued students began to shout questions and comments from the crowd to Davidson. After multiple shouts asking about Kim Kardashian, Davidson said to an applause “This is what I’m going to say because I’m not going to answer Kim K shout-out questions all day, okay, just because I want to be respectful of privacy, But it’s going great, and we are very happy.” The heckling continued throughout the talk with some students yelling about Kanye, AIDS, and various other questionable topics.
Davidson played ball answering questions both from the moderators and the audience, but when asked how he handles tough audiences he attacked the hecklers.
“If you want to ruin the show for yourselves, do it. I don’t give a fuck. And ruin it for everyone else, because I technically could leave right now,” Davidson told the audience. “I easily could have left 30 minutes ago when someone was being a dick, I could’ve cleared the check and it wouldn’t have mattered, but I know that there are a lot more people here not being assholes.”
Hecklers frequently shouted questions in brief moments of silence, of which there were many as moderators attempted to move the conversation forward.
“The moderators seemed very unprepared and asked really simple questions. Pete responded fine with a lot of funny things, just because I think he’s funny, but I would have liked to see more insightful questions and not just ‘what advice would you give,’” senior Julia Granato told CT after the show. “I was disappointed at the people in charge.”
Most students interviewed by CT were extremely happy at the show’s conclusion.
“I loved the dick jokes, I thought they were very funny,” junior Josef Soza-Foias told CT after the event. “The William Dafoe story, that got me laughing; the Lenny story, that got me laughing too. Overall it was great.”
“I liked how he interacted with the crowd too, and wasn’t very strict like, ‘I’m only going to answer the questions that these people ask,’” junior Adwoa Ampiah-Bonney told the CT. “The Syracuse jokes were funny too.”
Many students were surprised about the event’s format.
“I imagined it was going to be more like stand up comedy, whereas then we found out later it was going to be more like questions and answers. But honestly, it was a good mix of interacting with the show and the people there with his comedic abilities,” senior Bradley Martin told CT.
For many students, the show was their first opportunity to see a celebrity of the likes of Pete Davidson perform live, and many arrived hours early to ensure the best seats possible.
“I have never seen a celebrity face to face, so I’m super excited and I can’t wait,” first-year Sohum Patel told CT from the first row before the show. “We wanted the front row seats, we […] got on the second bus [to ensure] the front row seats.”
Some students, such as juniors and members of the Eastman Campus Activities Board Madelin Moralesand Noah Janowicz, were even able to meet Davidson first hand.
“He was really nice, he seemed very genuine and really happy to be there,” Janowicz told CT. “He is very tall,” Morales added.
“It was a really big hit, it was really cool seeing both campuses there and Kodak [hall] filled with students, it was really exciting,” Janowicz told CT. “Especially after this long pandemic, our audiences have been much smaller than in normal times, so it felt like ‘okay we are going back to normal,’’ Morales added.
Toward the end of the talk, Hola asked Davidson if he had any final words of advice to give to UR students.
“What advice? My advice? Just don’t listen to my advice and you will be fine. If you wanna have a pretty great life I wouldn’t really listen to anything I said. Unless you want to be a comic, but if you want to be a comic you probably wouldn’t be here. You would be at, Syracuse, you know, a dumb school.”