Pete Davidson was in San Francisco for a show near Civic Center on Thanksgiving Eve, and word has gone around that he's been making his audiences sign non-disclosure agreements and put away their cellphones with the penalty for infractions costing $1 million.
Ticket holders for Davidson's November 27 show at the Sydney Goldstein Theater were all asked to sign the NDAs before attending the show, in addition to putting away all recording devices and mobile phones at risk of having them confiscate and their contents deleted. Anyone who didn't want to sign the agreement was allowed to get a full refund, but the move marks a new stage in performers trying to navigate the world of social media and instant broadcasting.
Furthermore, Davidson's NDA forbids show attendees from publishing any opinion about it or even tweeting about it, with the penalty for doing so being $1 million. The language in the agreement, which show-goer Stacy Young posted to Facebook, suggests this is because of "works-in-progress creative content" that Davidson doesn't want leaked or discussed on the internet. It's a familiar issue for standups — they often work on and repeat material over months or years, and if everyone's already heard the joke on social media, it loses its freshness and value on stage. (Thus successful comics typically have to start from scratch writing new material every time they do a TV or Netflix special, because all of that material is now "burned.")
As the Hollywood Reporter suggests via other social media grumblings, Davidson has been asking other audiences on this tour to sign the same NDA and agree to the same terms.
Davidson joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 2014 at the age of 20, making him one of the youngest cast members in the show's history and the first to be born in the 1990s. At 26, he's already weathered the storm of national tabloid fame for briefly being engaged to singer Ariana Grande last year, and is even credited with spawning the entire national conversation about big dick energy.
And we can probably be prepared for more precautions like Davidson's NDA, and strict cellphone rules, especially at comedy shows. Now that we live in an age when people will post video of an entire concert to their Instagram story, that's probably a good thing! Madonna's making everyone lock their phones up in nearly impenetrable pouches for the duration of her latest shows, which succeeds in making them more intimate but also succeeds in creating more mystery and selling more tickets — you don't see full Instagram stories of Hamilton and Dear Evan Hanson for a reason.
Photo: Ticketmaster via Facebook