News and Commentary

Pete Davidson Now Requires Fans To Sign NDAs Before Attending His Comedy Shows
Pete Davidson seen on the set for the untitled Judd Apatow/Pete Davidson project aka "Staten Island" on June 5, 2019 in New York City.
Bobby Bank/GC Images

Comedian and “Saturday Night Life” star Pete Davidson has a couple extra requirements for fans who attend is comedy performances.

For starters, attendees are asked to secure their phones and smart watches in “secure pouches” during the show, Deadline reported. This, the outlet reported, is becoming more common for comedians these days. As The San Francisco Chronicle reported, comedian Dave Chapelle and singer Madonna also require fans to lock up their phones before performances.

But in addition to securing electronic devices, Davidson now requires fans to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that carries with it a hefty $1 million fine for those who break it.

As Deadline reported, some fans attending Davidson’s November 27 performance at the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco, CA, were angered at the requirement to sign the NDA after they had bought tickets. One attendee, Stacy Young, wrote on Facebook the day of the performance that she received an email telling her to sign the NDA and provided photos of the agreement.

“All patrons attending tonight’s event with Pete Davidson will be required to sign a Confidentiality and Nondisclosure Agreement before entering the venue,” the email said. “Any patron who is unable or unwilling to sign the agreement will not be allowed to enter and will be giving [sic] a full refund.”

The agreement itself stated attendees “shall not give any interviews, offer any opinions or critiques, or otherwise participate in any form whatsoever (including but not limited to blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any other social networking)… in the disclosure of any confidential information.”

The agreement stated that any individuals who break the NDA would be sued for $1 million “as well as any attorney fees.” The agreement also required attendees to list their cell phone number and email address as well as their Twitter and Instagram handles.

“I understood and was willing to consent to the initial request of locking up any phones or cameras brought to the event, but I think this a bit ridiculous and over the top,” Young wrote. “I get that comedians are protective of their jokes and don’t want their routines rebroadcast, but it’s rather Orwellian to not allow anyone to share an opinion on it. Don’t perform for the public if you don’t want people to have an opinion about it!”

An employee at the Sydney Goldstein Theater told the Chronicle that the venue only learned about the NDA the day before Davidson’s performance.

Deadline also reported that some of Davidson’s fans have said they had to sign an NDA to attend his November 7 and 8 performances at Minneapolis’ Varsity Theater.

Davidson may be at the forefront of a coming trend. Just last week, Davidson called out college campuses for ruining comedy, saying, “I refuse to do a college after this year ’cause it’s like, you’re just setting yourself up for trouble.”

Davidson had previously received negative media attention for cursing at students who broke his no-cellphone policy. At that time, he called students “little privileged a**sholes” who don’t enjoy the show because they’re too busy filming.