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Pete Davidson Shares ‘Embarrassing’ Joke He Told at Aretha Franklin’s Funeral While High on Ketamine

Pete Davidson had quite the message for the late Aretha Franklin’s family at her funeral while he was high on ketamine.

“It’s embarrassing when you’re not on ketamine anymore, though,” Davidson, 30, said during his Netflix special Pete Davidson: Turbo Fonzarelli, which premiered on Tuesday, January 9. “I was out and about like that. That’s not cool, you know? I was at funerals like that. That’s f–ked up, right? I was at Aretha Franklin’s funeral like that.”

While joking that Franklin will “never know” he was on the drug, Davidson said she likely would’ve asked him, “‘Hey, who are you? And what the f–k are you doing at my funeral?’” (Davidson attended the funeral as then-fiancée Ariana Grande’s plus one.)

“It’s embarrassing. 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,’” he recalled.

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During the 2018 funeral at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit, Michigan, Grande, 30, performed her rendition of Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” Grande had previously sung the tune during her appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon the day of Franklin’s death in August 2018. (Us Weekly confirmed at the time that Franklin died at age 76 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.)

This isn’t the first time that the Saturday Night Live alum has gotten candid about using ketamine. While taking the stage alongside John Mulaney and Jon Stewart during their “Jon, John & Pete” tour in September 2023, Davidson revealed that he had been taking the drug for four years.

Earlier that year, multiple outlets reported that Davidson entered rehab after struggling with PTSD and borderline personality disorder. Weeks before Davidson’s alleged admission into the facility, Us confirmed he was charged with reckless driving after crashing his car into a home in Beverly Hills, California. (TMZ was the first to report that Davidson had lost control of the vehicle while driving in March 2023 with then-girlfriend Chase Sui Wonders. He was not arrested at the time and authorities didn’t believe drugs or alcohol played a role in the accident.)

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In July 2023, Davidson was placed under a diversion program, which allows for eligible defendants to skip jail time if they complete treatment and education classes. Davidson was ordered to complete 50 hours of community service and attend 12 hours of traffic school, as well as finish a course at a morgue regarding victims of reckless drivers, per the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.

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