My introduction to Pete Davidson was a Comedy Central roast of Justin Bieber. I was a junior in high school at the time, and I had never seen or heard of him. He got to the mic, made a joke about his own dad dying during 9/11, and I immediately knew he was a different breed.
A couple years ago, I was on FaceTime with a girl who said she and her friend were with someone who wanted to meet me. She passed the phone, and suddenly I was looking at Pete Davidson. He told me we had to meet. I agreed.
After a few months of knowing each other (but never meeting), Pete successfully pushed to get me on SNL, which was a genuine dream come true for me and my family. I grew up watching the show with them and got to bring them on set. My mom was in tears. The night before the show, I went over to Pete’s apartment and he made my friend and me laugh until our stomachs hurt. I felt like I was experiencing elite comedy up close and personal.
Pete’s appeal to the world has everything to do with his authenticity. He doesn’t try to hide the person that he is. It’s a classic recipe for success and connection. I would consider myself truthful, but being around Pete makes me want to continue to reach even further for the realest version of myself.
We don’t have another one of him. He’s daring, thoughtful, and simply hilarious. And he’s only 28. An icon with so much more left to accomplish.
Harlow is a Grammy-nominated rapper