Pete — who joined the show in 2014 as one of its youngest-ever recruits — said goodbye to the NBC sketch show on Saturday after a hugely successful eight-year run.
Of course, he wasn’t the only one of the show’s major players to mark their final appearance over the weekend. Beloved cast members Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant, who were both cast in 2012, and Kyle Mooney, who joined a year later in 2013, also said their final farewells.
And though SNL producers have previously been known to be a little stingy when it comes to letting cast members make a song and dance of their exit, it seems that some of the departing cast members were afforded a moment to subtly bid farewell to Studio 8H during Saturday’s season finale.
For his own curtain call, Pete — whose appearances on the show had been noticeably less frequent this season — returned to the “Weekend Update” desk for the ultimate send-off.
As has become increasingly necessary thanks to his rising stardom away from the show, the Staten Island native began by poking a little fun at his personal life — more specifically, his relationship with Kim Kardashian and subsequent feud with her ex-husband Kanye West.
“Hello, Colin and Che,” he began, before also greeting the “millions of people only watching to see if I bring up Kanye.”
Along with cracking a few jokes about his time on the show, Pete also took a moment to reflect on his personal growth, singling out the show’s creator and producer, Lorne Michaels.
“Thank you to Lorne for never giving up on me or judging me even when everyone else was," he said. “And for believing in me and allowing me to have a place I could call home with the memories that will last a lifetime.”
Pete echoed these thoughts in a heartfelt statement he shared ahead of Saturday’s live show, via the Instagram page of his friend Dave Sirus, in which he wrote that he owes his life to Lorne and the SNL team.
“I got to share so much with this audience and literally grow up in front of your eyes. We were together through the good and the bad, the happiest and the darkest of times,” Pete wrote alongside a never-before-seen clip, taken backstage of his first-ever “Weekend Update” appearance in 2014.
And given that the SNL stage was the very place that their unlikely romance flourished in October last year, it later came as no surprise that Kim Kardashian also took a moment to celebrate her boyfriend’s final outing.
Despite the fact that she’s currently living it up in Italy celebrating her sister Kourtney Kardashian’s marriage to Travis Barker, Kim found a moment on Sunday morning to support Pete’s career milestone with a collage of his best bits on SNL.
The collage — which Kim shared to her Instagram story — featured cuttings from a ton of Pete’s “Weekend Update” segments throughout his eight years on the show, spanning from his first in 2014 to his very last on Saturday.
However, eagle-eyed fans noticed an unusual edit had been made to the central photo, which is a screenshot from one of Pete’s most memorable bits on the popular segment.
You might recall that back in 2018 — long before his romantic ties to Kim — Pete talked about Ye's mental health during a “Weekend Update” segment, which aired the week after the rapper was a guest on the show and controversially made an impromptu speech about Donald Trump while wearing a MAGA hat.
Before we go on, it’s important we first highlight that Ye was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2016 and, around the time of this SNL appearance, was facing a ton of backlash for his outspoken support of Trump and extremely controversial comments about race and slavery.
And though Ye had previously treated his bipolar with medication, he informed fans shortly after this SNL appearance that he was no longer taking meds, tweeting at the time to say that they stifle his creativity as an artist.
So, during the memorable 2018 episode, Pete — who was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder in 2017 — made light of Ye's complicated approach to treating his condition and suggested that he should be taking medication.
“Kanye, I know you're like, ‘Yo, this is the real me, I'm off the meds.’ Take ‘em!” Pete said, before making reference to his own BPD. “There's no shame in the medicine game, I'm on ‘em! It’s great! Take them. There's nothing wrong with taking them.”
The comedian now famously ended the bit by stating that “being mentally ill is not an excuse to act like a jackass,” before putting on a red cap that read: “Make Kanye 2006 Again.”
“HI SKETE YOU GOT ANY MORE MENTAL HEALTH JOKES FOR ME,” Ye wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post, featuring a screenshot of Pete sporting the red “Make Kanye 2006 Again” hat.
And so, with all this context in mind, it makes sense that Kim would be eager to avoid reigniting any drama between herself, Pete, and Ye — which might explain why she made a subtle edit to the statement on Pete’s red hat.
Upon closer inspection of the collage, you can see that Kim has covered the writing on Pete’s red cap, which previously made reference to her former husband, and instead, replaced it with a subtle text box that reads: “Goodbye SNL.”
It goes without saying that, of course, we can’t be sure if Kim actually made this edit herself, with many positing the theory that the collage may have been created by a fan.
However, given that the red text box appears to have been added using the Instagram stories editing tool, with a tiny sliver of the original “Make Kanye 2006 Again” design peeking out from underneath, it’s not out of the question to assume that a seasoned Instagram pro like Kim might have carefully made the edit herself.
Nonetheless, we love seeing Kim being the supportive partner that she is, and we’re certainly looking forward to seeing what Pete has planned for life after SNL — a move to Kim’s native Los Angeles, perhaps? We’ll have to wait and see.