Ahead of his final episode (as a member of the cast, anyway—he’s already hinted that he’ll be back for guest spots as soon as next season), Pete clearly spent a lot of time reflecting on his time on SNL. Why is that so clear, you wonder? Because on Saturday, he shared a rare, emotional, and very long personal message about leaving the show on Instagram (via his friend, SNL writer and comedian Dave Sirus.
Along with the note, Pete also shared a special throwback video filmed after he finished performing in his first SNL sketch almost a decade ago. Check out both below (and maybe have a tissue handy):
“From Pete: This video was taken 8 years ago. Jerrod sent it to me last night and it made me super emotional in the best way. In the video I had just gotten back from doing my very first update and sketch. It’s crazy to think that today I’ll be doing my last one. When I got the show I was 20 years old and I had no idea what I was doing. I still don’t but especially back then. I wasn’t really a sketch performer I was just a stand up. I knew I could never keep up or go toe to toe with a Kenan Thompson or a Kate McKinnon so I was super scared at figuring out what I could possibly bring to or do for such a historic, respected show and platform. I figured since I’m a stand up I’ll just try my stand up and personal bits on Weekend Update as myself and I’m so glad I did. I got to share so much with this audience and literally grow up in front of your eyes. We were together through the good and the bad, the happiest and the darkest of times. I owe Lorne Michaels and everyone at SNL my life. Im so grateful and I wouldn’t be here without them. I appreciate you guys always having my back and sticking up for me even when that wasn’t the popular opinion. Thank you for always believing in me and sticking by my side even when it seemed comical. Thank you for teaching me life values, how to grow up and for giving me memories that will last a lifetime. SNL is my home. I’m so happy and sad about tonight’s show. For so many reasons I can’t explain. Can’t wait to be back next year in a Mulaney musical number.”
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During the episode itself, Pete stopped by the Weekend Update desk for a little lighter reflecting on his SNL tenure, in a bit that included self-deprecating gems like this:
“Look at me when I started here. Back then I was just like a skinny kid and no one knew what race I was. Like now, everyone knows I’m white because I became hugely successful while barely showing up to work.”
As well as punchlines about his dating history (including an Ariana Grande reference):
“I’ll never forget. I called [SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels] when I got engaged. I was like, ‘Lorne, I just got engaged to Ariana Grande after dating her for two weeks.’ He goes, ‘Oh, well, hold on for dear life.’ It’s a true story.”
And a sincere-but-still-funny anecdote about his SNL audition with Michaels:
“When I auditioned for SNL he said, ‘I don’t think you’re right for this show, so let’s screw this up together.’ And that’s exactly what we did! And that’s why people who don’t think I deserve the job shouldn’t really hate me since we have so much in common. Like, if anything, I should inspire hope that literally anyone can be on Saturday Night Live.“
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End. Of. An. Era.
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