Comedy Special Review: Pete Davidson’s drowsy charisma buoys an uneven stand-up special

Since joining the cast of Saturday Night Live at the age of 20 (the fourth-youngest player in the show’s history), Pete Davidson has cultivated an image as the stoner kid brother of the SNL cast. With his heavy-lidded eyes and Adam Sandler-esque drawl, he comes off as both brash and bashful at the Weekend Update desk, an endearing combination, even if his amiably scabrous confessional comedy is more adorable than outright hilarious.

In his first comedy special, Davidson plays up the brashness, slouching across the stage in front of a responsive Brooklyn audience looking for all the world like he’s just rolled out of bed. Hair disheveled and face unshaven, Davidson—freed from the late-night-but-still-sanitizing SNL cameras—is free to be cruder and less deliberately puppyish in his observations. Unfortunately, the comic replaces his endearing “I can’t believe I’m here” self-deprecation with a more contemptuous bafflement …

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