Pete Davidson's not-so-veiled rehab joke on 'SNL' sparks concern and support


A thinly-veiled joke about entering rehab has re-ignited support and concern for "Saturday Night Live" comic Pete Davidson.

The 26-year-old has been noticeably absent from several episodes of "SNL" this season, but he was present for Dec. 21's installment of Weekend Update, where he indicated to Colin Jost that he plans to enter treatment in the coming weeks.

After Jost asked what Davidson will be up to this holiday season, Davidson nonchalantly replied, "Oh, I'm going on a little 'vacation,'" putting the word in air quotes. "You know, the kind of vacation where insurance pays for some of it, and they take your phone and shoelaces and you have roommates, but it still costs like 100 grand."

Fans were quick to voice their concern and support for the comic after the unexpected moment unfolded. "If this was genuinely Pete sneakily telling the world he’s going in for mental health treatment or rehab, I really hope he gets the help he needs," reads the current top-voted comment on YouTube.

The apparent announcement comes one week after Davidson and his co-stars poked fun at his repeated absences during guest host Scarlett Johansson's monologue. "So uh, Pete, taking a few shows off, are ya?" Kenan Thompson asked.

"Yeah, when you've been here as long as I have, you can do that," Davidson said.

"Really!" Thompson, who is the show's longest-running cast member with more than 15 seasons under his belt, replied. "Well that's good to know!"

During another monologue moment, after Heidi Gardner voiced concern that Pete had been zapped away by "Avengers" villain Thanos, Cecily Strong replied, "Oh no, I just think it's one of those weeks where Pete doesn't show up."

Earlier this season, photos emerged of Davidson on a Miami vacation with rumored girlfriend Kaia Gerber while his co-workers were in New York on a normal "SNL" production schedule.

Davidson joined the show at 20 years old, making him one of the show's youngest cast members of all time. He admitted during Weekend Update that he feels guilty when people compare him to Eddie Murphy, who was 19 when he started on "SNL."

The comedian has had an infamously rocky few years: He became a household name in mid-2018 when he and Ariana Grande embarked on a whirlwind romance-turned-engagement that ultimately fell apart a few months later. After the relationship ended, he wrote an alarming social media post that appeared to threaten suicide.

He later appeared on that week's "SNL" and jokingly addressed the headlines on Weekend Update.

Davidson has been forthcoming about his mental health difficulties. He is diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and has battled suicidal thoughts throughout his life.