Pete Davidson has a long road of laser tattoo removal ahead of him. During a recent interview with PeopleTV, the 27-year-old comedian revealed that he has roughly two or three more years of treatments until all 100 of his tattoos are gone. “It takes like a month for it to heal. But like it’s pretty much off this hand,” Davidson said, showing off his progress to the camera. “I get my next treatment [in] like a month or so. They said by the time I’m 30, they should all be gone. So they got like two more years left of this.”
Fortunately, the Saturday Night Live star is being a good sport about the long and painful process; he even jokes about it in a new commercial for SmartWater. “I’ve made a lot of questionable choices and a couple of them need removing,” Davidson says while getting his tattoos zapped in the advertisement. And even though he knows not all of his bad decisions were because he was dehydrated, he decided that it’s time to “make smarter choices [by] hydrating with SmartWater.”
Rumors that Davidson was getting his ink removed first surfaced in December when film critic Mike McGranaghan tweeted that Pete revealed the news during a Q&A for his movie, The King of Staten Island. “Here’s a scoop: Pete Davidson is in the process of getting all his tattoos removed!” he wrote. When a fan asked if Davidson was being serious or simply kidding, McGranaghan said that he provided proof. “No, it's real. He even showed his hand, which is already done. He said it takes 3-4 hours in the makeup chair to cover them, so he figured ‘it would be easier to get them burned off.’”
The SNL star reportedly has over 100 tattoos, including one of Hillary Clinton and another of late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. He also paid tribute to his late father, a firefighter who died on 9/11, with the number “11” behind his left ear. Following his 2018 split from Ariana Grande, he replaced one of their matching tattoos with the word “cursed” instead. With such an extensive collection, fans were shocked to find out that he would be removing them all. In fact, some fans were utterly devastated.
“Pete Davidson is getting his tattoos removed,” Twitter user @thealexelkins wrote at the time. “Don’t call or text I will be grieving for the next 4 months.” Another fan echoed that same sentiment, tweeting, “Pete Davidson is apparently getting his tattoos all removed so if you see me crying tonight... mind your own business but that is why.” Several other people also had surprisingly emotional reactions to the news, and seeing as the tattoo removal process is a long one, it’s likely they’re still grieving.
During a May interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Davidson revealed the real reason he’s getting his tattoos removed. According to the comedian, he feared that his head-to-toe ink would cost him acting roles. “I didn’t think that they would put me in stuff,” he admitted. “I thought after SNL it was a wrap.” Now that he knows he wants to do more acting, the comedian would rather not spend hours in the makeup chair. “It takes like three hours — you have to get there like three hours earlier — to cover all your tattoos,” he said.
Ultimately, Davidson knows that getting rid of his tattoos is the right decision, even though the process can be “embarrassing.” “Not only are they like burning off your skin, you’re wearing these big goggles so you can’t see anything,” he told the late-night host. “The doctor’s in there with you. So before he goes to laser each tattoo, you have to hear him announce what the tattoo is to make sure if you want to keep it or not ... All of a sudden, I’ll just hear, ‘Are you keeping the Stewie Griffin smoking a blunt?’”