Why Did Pete Davidson Shred UCF Students?

Students at the University of Central Florida were looking forward to Pete Davidson’s brand of edgy comedy. But instead of breaking out in gut-busting laughter, they felt as though they were punched in the gut.

When Davidson realized a number of students were using their cell phones during his performance, he went on an abusive rant. The comedian didn’t simply call out audience members for being distracted or filming his set. But instead, he fully dug into the students using unnecessarily offensive rhetoric that ultimately got the college’s attention.

Pete Davidson and Moises Arias
Pete Davidson and Moises Arias | Bobby Bank/GC Images

Davidson is fresh off his tour with comedian John Mulaney. Mulaney seemed to take Davidson under his wing after Davidson suffered a breakdown. The two performed several dates in the Northeast to packed crowds, receiving rave reviews.

No cell phones allowed

The use of cell phones during his performance seemed to anger the comedian. He lashed out at the students, calling them childish for using their phone. “Just behave. I have to have my f**king boy patrol you guys, like you’re five years old?” he said, AV Club reports. “That’s f**king embarrassing. You should grow up. Where’s the next generation? Don’t you want adults to respect us? Don’t you want your parents to be proud of you? You know how f**king embarrassing it is to be our age and walk out and know everybody thinks you’re a f**king idiot? Grow up.”

Davidson continued for some time, relentlessly using cringy profanity. When he finally felt as though he drove his point home he said, “Now I’ll continue,” Buzzfeed reports. “I just wanted to scare you. Just grow up. Don’t do that s**t.”

Cell phones were strictly prohibited during Mulaney and Davidson’s tour. A blogger joked about how weird it was to attend the show without her device. “Heading into the theater my boyfriend and I were a little wary, there were parking attendants letting us all know that no cell phones were allowed inside the Ulster Performing Arts Center per performer request,” she wrote. “Weird, no? We joked around wondering how a theater full of Millenials was going to survive without their phones for two hours. If you had your phone on you, you had to put it in a Kubra pouch that locked them during the duration of the show, which explained the line of people wrapped all the way around the block.”

But cell phones were permitted during Davidson’s set

The problem is, Davidson did not indicate that students were prohibited from using their phones. TMZ reported that Davidson even stayed for a brief Q & A but joked that he only remained because he was waiting for his Uber. TMZ also noted, “at the venue tell us there weren’t any signs posted about cell phone use, and it was never addressed by the MC or the two performers who came on before Davidson.”

The college issued a statement in response to Davidson’s behavior. “Mr. Davidson’s abusive language, particularly his use of a derogatory slur, is contrary to the University of Central Florida’s values of inclusion and respect for all,” a university spokesperson told BuzzFeed News in an emailed statement. “It’s disappointing that his rant spoiled an event that was meant to welcome students back for the fall semester.” Since the rant, Davidson, once again, deleted his social media accounts too.