Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson said in a recent interview that he will no longer perform on college campuses because students are too sensitive about jokes. According to Davidson, “The second you open your mouth and have an opinion, you lose money today.”
In an interview with Paper Magazine, Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson has announced that he will no longer perform on college campuses. The reason for Davidson’s decision? The 26-year-old claims that comedians “can’t talk about anything” on campuses without offending someone.
Davidson claimed that comedians are afraid that performing for sensitive audiences on campuses will hurt their careers.
It makes doing college [shows] really hard. I refuse to do a college after this year ’cause it’s like, you’re just setting yourself up for trouble… Comedy is just, like, getting destroyed. Standup’s about to be about, like, sneakers. Like, “Hey, everyone like sneakers?” You can’t talk about anything. You can’t. The second you open your mouth and have an opinion, you lose money today. And I don’t think that’s a safe place to live in.
The Saturday Night Live star told Paper Magazine that sensitive audiences make it difficult for comedy to flourish because material often requires experimentation. Davidson says that “political correctness” takes away a comic’s freedom to explore new territory.
Yeah, look, when I’m doing standup and stuff, nothing I ever say is coming from a hateful place. And you can’t know what’s funny until you try it, you know? But anything I’ve ever said on stage or made a joke about, I don’t regret it. I mean, some jokes I’m like, “Welp, that joke sucked.” You know? But I’m never like, “Aw fuck!” ‘Cause there are times I try things that I think are ridiculous and they work. And that’s what sucks about political correctness in comedy, I think that you need freedom.
Davidson certainly isn’t the first comedian to complain about political correctness on campus. Breitbart News reported in 2018 on all of the comedians that have refused to perform on college campuses due to concerns that students would charge them with bigotry. Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock are two major figures in comedy that have refused to perform on campuses.