For comedy and Saturday Night Live fans, Pete Davidson needs no introduction.
For those out of the loop, you might now be hearing more of this young comedian who is currently engaged to pop superstar Arianna Grande and has been quietly making his name in the comedy world.
He stars on SNL and has found success in the stand up comedy circuit.
And what makes him endearingly likable is how open and honest he has been about the many struggles in his life, including losing his NYC firefighter dad on 9/11, his openness about his mental illness, and his honesty about his struggle with Crohn’s disease.
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation of your digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition. The inflammation caused by Crohn’s often spreads deep into the layers of affected bowel tissue – and can be both painful and debilitating, and sometimes may lead to life-threatening complications.
What makes Pete an unlikely advocate for this rare disease is that instead of being a model citizen or on-message spokesperson, he is painfully real – and funny – in a way that everyone can relate to.
Just listen to Pete’s musings about smoking medical marijuana as a way to treat his symptoms.
“I work really f@!#ing hard and I take care of my sh@# and I need weed in order to do that because I’m sick, I ave Crohn’s so it sucks, and smoking weed allows me to do that. I feel like that makes sense… I’m not that smart…[but] that was good!”
Is it polished? Professional? Measured? Nah – but is it real? Is it normal? Is it how you imagine a early 20-something Staten Island comedian would talk? Absolutely!
And that’s the point – sometimes just listening to a normal person’s normal reactions to normal everything things while living with an abnormal adversity can make a difference in normalizing and destigmatizing Crohn’s.
It’s not everyday you see an A-lister tweet the words “auto immune disease”!
Whether or not Pete’s comedy is your cup of tea, we should all celebrate the fact that his diagnosis hasn’t affected his career trajectory and that he has embraced all sides of himself to embody a seemingly normal person who just happens to have a condition that isn’t talked about often.