Pete Davidson’s scarily accurate impression of Dog The Bounty Hunter during the season premiere of Saturday Night Live has been praised – and criticized – on social media.
The comedian assumed the identity of Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman during the opening sketch of the episode set at a school board meeting where he appeared, in character, looking for Brian Laundrie.
Laundrie is wanted as a person of interest in the homicide of his girlfriend Gabby Petito, whose body was found near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming last month.
The 23-year-old remains at large with his parents telling the authorities they last saw Laundrie on September 17 when he told them he was heading off on a camping trip at Carlton save.
Dog the Bounty Hunter joined the hunt for Laundrie last week, vowing to “bring justice” to Petito’s family. On Friday, he additional $10,000 to the $180,000 reward being offered for any information leading to Laundrie’s arrest.
Davidson’s topical take, which came as part of a sketch poking fun at the recent spate of bizarre school board meetings, drew praise from many on Twitter, with some calling for the character to become a regular on the new season.
“Can this be a recurring sketch?” asked madison_shell3 alongside a laughing emoji.
KeithWozniak agreed, writing: “Pete Davidson as Dog the Bounty Hunter needs to be a recurring thing” while ManicMapGirl suggested creating a appeal to make it happen.
“Pete Davidson as Dog the bounty hunter was hilarious,” LiviRichelle wrote. “I adore Pete.”
GloriaNelson tweeted SNL directly asking for “more of this” while SpunkyByName declared it the “best part” of the new episode.
Mike_Giacola described the skit as “perfect” with ahluxis tweeting that the impression had her “in tears” of laughter.
Despite earning extensive praise on social media, there were nevertheless a large number of dissenting voices on Twitter who felt the sketch was in poor taste.
AlexManes2867 wrote: “typically I roll my eyes at controversy on SNL. However, I WILL say them poking fun at the Petito case was in VERY poor taste. I don’t care how ‘different’ Dog the bounty hunter looks. It’s good to have him on our side.”
Queenbathsheba7 tweeted SNL directly, calling the joke “bad form.”
“How dare you make a joke regarding Brian Laundry while the parents of Gabby haven’t already got her body back,” they wrote.
CrossCreekTom said SNL was “reaching new lows” with the skit while sassy_mel said the impression was “really disgusting” and in “poor taste.”
“The Petito family is nevertheless in mourning,” the latter additional. “You’re all sick making this a joke… you POS. Shame on you. Do Better.”
Angeldaemon20, who also called the impression “disgusting”, also asked why SNL failed to include a public service announcement at the end of the gag telling people “where to go if a viewer is experiencing domestic violence” or to “report a tip.”
Newsweek has contacted NBC and SNL for comment.
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