Pete Davidson Starts 'Saturday Night Live' With Somber, Emotional Cold Open Addressing Terror Attacks

Pete Davidson

The comic addressed the ongoing conflict in Gaza with a heartbreaking and personal memory.

Saturday Night Live returned over the weekend for the show's season 49 premiere -- and the first show back since the WGA strike came to an end -- and the show decided to address the horrific tragedies and Hamas terror attacks in Israel.

In what would usually be the show's "Cold Open" sketch, host Pete Davidson delivered an impassioned message about the attacks, and his own memories and experiences dealing with tragedy.

"This week, we saw the horrible images and stories from Israel and Gaza, and I know what you're thinking, 'Who better to comment on it than Pete Davidson?' Well, in a lot of ways, I am a good person to talk about it because when I was 7 years old, my dad was killed in a terrorist attack," Davidson intoned. "So I know something about what that's like."

Davidson's father, Scott Davidson, was a New York City fire fighter who died on 9/11 in the attacks on the World Trade Center.

"I saw so many terrible pictures this week of children suffering, Israeli children and Palestinian children, and it took me back to a really horrible, horrible place, and no one in this world deserves to suffer like that, especially not kids," Davidson continued.

The 29-year-old comic recalled how, after his father died, his mom "tried pretty much everything she could do to cheer me up."

"I remember one day when I was 8, she got me what she thought was a Disney movie, but it was actually the Eddie Murphy standup special Delirious," he remembered. "We played it in the car on the way home, and when she heard the things Eddie Murphy was saying, she tried to take it away. But then she noticed something -- for the first time in a long time, I was laughing again. I don't understand it. I really don't, and I never will, but sometimes comedy is really the only way forward through tragedy."

"My heart is with everyone whose lives have been destroyed this week. But tonight, I'm going to do what I've always done in the face of tragedy, and that's try to be funny," Davidson concluded. "Remember, I said try. And live from New York, it's Saturday night!"

According to CBS News, the Israeli military says the attack killed more than 1,200 people, including at least 27 Americans. Nearly 3,000 people were also wounded. Immediately after the surprise attack, Hamas reportedly seized between 100 and 150 hostages across southern Israel. France, the U.K., Germany and Italy are among the nations joining the United States in condemning the attack.

Saturday Night Live airs live, coast-to-coast, at 11:30 p.m. ET, 8:30 p.m. PT, on NBC.