Pete Davidson Is The Forrest Gump Of Our Time

- Saturday Night Live -
Pete Davidson Is The Forrest Gump Of Our Time

When Pete Davidson, at age 20, became one of the youngest people to join the cast of Saturday Night Live in 2014, nobody could have imagined the impact he would eventually have on pop culture. His surprising relationships with women over the years (whom some say are “out of his league”) and his accidental faux pas that might have altered national politics, feels akin to a gangly guy from Greenbow, Alabama who happened to marry the most beautiful girl in school and unknowingly caused the resignation of President Nixon.

Rewatching Forrest Gump this weekend, it was hard to ignore the similarities the main character shares with one of Hollywood’s current A-listers. From childhood to adulthood, Gump and Davidson have been on similar journeys that have led them to occupy an icon status that no one saw coming.

Let's start at the beginning. Gump's father was absent his entire life and Davidson's father was tragically killed in 9/11, so both men were raised by mothers who supported them during their rough childhoods: Gump was often bullied by his classmates for his physical disabilities and seemingly low intelligence and Davidson was reeling from the trauma of losing his father and struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts.

As they grew up, Gump and Davidson became laser-focused on launching into their careers; Forrest in the army, and Pete in comedy. Their success in their careers aided in their self-confidence and almost overnight, they each rose through the ranks, with others soon taking notice. While those around Gump and Davidson considered them rising stars, they themselves were not completely aware of their influence until it was tested.

Take the sway they had over politics, for example. When Gump was invited to the White House for his success as a ping pong champion, he stayed at the Watergate Hotel, and when several flashlights kept shining into his room one night, he called the front desk, not realizing that he'd just exposed the Watergate scandal.

Similarly, during SNL’s "Weekend Update," Davidson made a joke about Republican congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw and the eyepatch he wears due to an injury sustained while serving in Afghanistan. Davidson later apologized for the remarks, but there was speculation that the attention surrounding the controversy is what helped Crenshaw to win his seat during the 2018 midterm elections.

When it comes to the romantic side of things, there’s no question that both Davidson and Gump are “Mama’s boys,” but that sweetness and protectiveness seems to translate well into their dating lives. Pete is clearly much more lucky in love than Forrest, but they're both highly sensitive and in-tune men who don’t go searching for the women in their lives – the women seem to just fall into their laps.

Jenny Curran came into Gump's life simply because she was the only one who would let him sit next to her on the school bus; Davidson's two most famous relationships, Ariana Grande and Kim Kardashian, heated up because they were both hosts on SNL. Pete and Forrest where in the right place at the right time and didn't let the opportunity slip through their fingers.

Davidson's also done what Gump did best: create a supportive and earnest fanbase by just... being himself. We've seen Pete's vulnerability and openness about his mental health issues, we've watched his chaotic relationships play out in the tabloids, and now with the one-sided war Kanye West has waged against him, Davidson and his charisma have created an even thicker atmosphere of #TeamPete. Like Gump, lots of people have been rooting for Pete since the beginning, and fans cheer any time Pete or Forrest win.

Now, as for what the future holds... Gump graduated college on a football scholarship, received the Medal of Honor from the military, became a ping-pong champion, met three Presidents, ran across the country multiple times, bought a boat and became a shrimp boat captain, created a multi-million dollar shrimp company and was an early investor in Apple that made him a billionaire, all by the time he was 37 years old.

Davidson is not yet 30, and while he likely won’t accomplish many of the things Gump did (though he did recently invest in a boat – a Staten Island Ferry to be exact), and even though Pete and Forrest have very different energies (a perennial optimist vs. an Emo king; a lovable, approachable golden retriever of a man vs. a guy with BDE and swagger for days), you can't deny that they have each touched every corner of their respective popular culture worlds, from celebrities to politics to finance. And in the process, they became some of the most famous people in the country.

You could look at Gump and Davidson and think their wins are just the product of “dumb luck,” but, luck is not an accident, it is when opportunity meets preparedness, and Pete Davidson, like Forrest Gump, is ready, waiting, and prepared.

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