Oops, Pete Davidson Was High on Ketamine at Aretha Franklin's Funeral

"It's embarrassing when you're not on ketamine anymore, though… I'm embarrassed"

Photo courtesy of Live Nation

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Jan 10, 2024

With the several lifetimes that have passed since then, it can be difficult to remember that, in 2018, Pete Davidson attended Aretha Franklin's funeral. At the time, the comedian was engaged to Ariana Grande, who performed at the service while wearing a dress some people on the internet didn't like. (The bishop also had to apologize afterward for groping Grande and making fun of her name.)

It kind of feels like a fever dream, but it's all true and easily Google-able. Davidson was on another type of altered mind-state — and while scientific studies allege that it doesn't regularly produce frank hallucinations, ketamine certainly distorts your perception (and gets you high). The comedian made a brief nod to attending Franklin's funeral while under the influence in his new Netflix special, Turbo Fonzarelli, as per The Independent.

The stand-up set sees Davidson reflect on being on ketamine for three years. "It's embarrassing when you're not on ketamine anymore, though… I'm embarrassed," he admitted. "I was out and about like that. That's not cool, you know? I was at funerals like that. That's fucked up, right? I was at Aretha Franklin's funeral like that."

Davidson added, "Yeah, I have to live with that. You know what I mean? She'll never know, but still, that's not the point." He also apparently tried making a joke to Franklin's grieving family at the event, recalling, "I'm so high, I thought it would be a good idea to go up to her family and go, 'Hey, I'm just here to pay my R-E-S-P-E-C-T…S." Yeah, crickets.

It's worth saying that, while ketamine is used and abused in many contexts (including veterinary clinics), it is utilized as a treatment for depression. Davidson has been open about his struggles with mental health, having been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He was in treatment as recently as last year.

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