Young comedian Pete Davidson will join “Saturday Night Live” as a featured player, a spokeswoman for the program confirmed Monday, bringing into sharper focus the venerable late-night program’s lineup as it prepares to enter its landmark 40th season on the air.
Davidson, just 20, may well be one of “SNL’s” youngest Not Ready For Prime Time Players. He joins the program at an age even younger than that of Jimmy Fallon when he came on board the comedy at showcase at about 22, and just slightly older than that of Eddie Murphy, who was 19 when he debuted in 1980.
Davidson hails from New York’s Staten Island and has made appearances on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and Fox’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”
He is one of just two new players show creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels is adding to the ranks this season.
“SNL” has also added Michael Che, a former writer who had left to join the ranks of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” as a co-anchor on its “Weekend Update.” As a result, Cecily Strong will cede her spot on the segment and continue on as part of the cast. Meantime, featured players Noel Wells, John Milhiser and Brooks Whelan have left the program while cast member Nasim Pedrad has departed to join the new Fox comedy “Mulaney,” also produced by Lorne Michaels.
The “SNL” lineup for the 40th season will be: Vanessa Bayer, Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Colin Jost, Taran Killam, Kate McKinnon, Bobby Moynihan, Kyle Mooney, Jay Pharoah, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson and Sasheer Zamata.
News of Davidson’s hire was reported previously by Deadline and other outlets.