In a now-deleted Instagram post on Saturday, Saturday Night Live comedian Pete Davidson alluded to how he was thinking of committing suicide. The post drew concern and outreach from friends, family, and fans but it also drew the attention of former Navy SEAL and Texas Congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw, the same Republican Davidson had previously mocked for losing his eye to an IED blast in Afghanistan.
In an appearance on the local NBC affiliate in Houston, Texas on Sunday, Crenshaw shared how he had reached out to Davidson that weekend to give him support and encouragement to go on.
Responding to what appeared to be a call for help from comedian Pete Davidson, @DanCrenshawTX with me for #HouNewsmakers EXTRA talks about his response and phone call. https://t.co/BRiFwhBjD8 pic.twitter.com/GpqlUCPXpw— Khambrel Marshall (@KPRC2Khambrel) December 17, 2018
“It was pretty devastating. You don’t want to see somebody in that position to the point where they’re actually putting out a cry for help on social media, now that’s not a good place to be in,” he told KPRC anchor Khambrel Marshall. “Actually, I talked to him personally yesterday and I talked to him for a little about it. You know we don’t go back very far, we’re not good friends but I think he appreciated hearing from me.”
The Congressman’s heartwarming gesture was covered during NBC Nightly News on Tuesday. “Congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw revealing to NBC affiliate KPRC that he reached out personally to Davidson, after the comedian's now-deleted post,” reported correspondent Kristen Dahlgren. “Davidson writing in part, ‘I really don't want to be on this Earth anymore....I actually don't know how much longer I can last.’”
Dahlgren noted the two came to know each other after Davidson mocked the looks of several “gross” GOP congressmen, including Crenshaw for losing his eye. “You may be surprised to hear he's a congressional candidate from Texas and not a hitman in a porno movie,” Davidson said at the time. “I'm sorry, I know he lost his eye in war or whatever.”
The following week, Davidson apologized on-air and Crenshaw joined him on the set where he accepted the apology and took his own joking jabs at the SNL star. On top of that, Crenshaw had a Veterans Day message for America: “When you say ‘never forget’ to a veteran you are implying that as an American, you are in it with them, not separated by some imaginary barrier between civilians and veterans, but connected together as grateful fellow Americans.”
Also during his interview with KPRC, Crenshaw recalled how he told Davidson that God had a plan for him and that his life did have value:
And really, what I told him is this: everyone has a purpose in this world. God put you here for a reason, but it’s your job to find that purpose. And you should live that way. You should live that way always seeking out that purpose, not expecting it to be given to you by anybody else. And know that you have value in that maybe you do more good than you realize for people. Especially a guy like that. You know, he’s a guy that makes people laugh. Sometimes he makes people mad. But he makes people laugh and that’s what we talked about. It was a good conversation.
Perhaps Dahlgren stated it best as she wrapped up her report: “Sometimes help comes from where you least expect it.”
The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:
NBC Nightly News
December 18, 2018
7:14:04 p.m. Eastern [1 minute 31 seconds]
LESTER HOLT: Now to a remarkable friendship and a touching phone call revealed late today that has a lot of people talking. SNL star Pete Davidson, after making an alarming post on social media, is getting a boost from an unlikely place. The new Congressman he once mocked on the show. NBC's Kristen Dahlgren with that story.
[Cuts to video]
KRISTEN DAHLGREN: In all the concern over comedian Pete Davidson's personal struggles this week, few expected this helping hand.
REP. DAN CRENSHAW (TX): It was pretty devastating.
DAHLGREN: Congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw revealing to NBC affiliate KPRC that he reached out personally to Davidson, after the comedian's now-deleted post. Davidson writing in part, “I really don't want to be on this Earth anymore (…) I actually don't know how much longer I can last.”
CRENSHAW: You don't want to see somebody in that kind of position to the point where they're actually putting out a cry for help on social media.
DAHLGREN: Their relationship started with an angry uproar. Davidson under fire for making fun of the then candidate's eye patch.
PETE DAVIDSON: I know he lost his eye in war or whatever.
DAHLGREN: Davidson apologized and Crenshaw made a surprise appearance on SNL.
DAVIDSON: Thank you so much for coming.
CRENSHAW: Thanks for making a Republican look good.
DAHLGREN: Crenshaw admits he and Davidson aren’t close, but he still wanted to offer inspiring words to the star who’s admitted to struggling with mental illness.
CRENSHAW: Know that you have value. And that you may do more good than you realize for people.
DAHLGREN: Sometimes help comes from where you least expect it. Kristen Dahlgren, NBC News, New York.