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Pete Davidson plays Dog the Bounty Hunter in search of Gabby Petito's fiancé Brian Laundrie on 'Saturday Night Live's' premiere - drawing mixed reactions from viewers

·2 min read
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  • "SNL" included a reference to the Gabby Petito case in the season 47 premiere. 

  • In the sketch, Pete Davidson played Dog the Bounty Hunter, who was searching for Brian Laundrie.

  • His performance delighted some viewers, while others deemed the mention of Laundrie inappropriate.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

The "Saturday Night Live" writers included a reference to the Gabby Petito case in the season 47 premiere on Saturday, evoking mixed reactions from fans online. 

In a sketch set in a middle school board meeting, cast member Pete Davidson took the podium dressed up as Dog the Bounty Hunter. The reality TV star, whose real name is Duane Chapman, recently joined the search for Petito's fiancé Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in the open case surrounding the 22-year-old's death.

Laundrie, 23, was reported missing on September 17, days before authorities discovered Petito's body in the Bridger-Teton National Forest and ruled her death a homicide.

"I've joined the hunt for Brian Laundrie. So my question to you is: Do you know where he is? I can't find this dude anywhere," Davidson, in character, says.

He continues: "I got no leads on this guy. Either he's good, or I'm bad. One of the two."

Petito's case has been widely covered by media outlets since her mother reported her missing in early September. 

NBC's long-running comedy sketch series builds its shows around the week's most prominent headlines, but making a joke related to Laundrie, whose location remains unknown, soon after Petito's death did not sit will with some "SNL" viewers. 

-Natasha 👽🌵 🤠🌈 "Alexander Manes, I'm home" (@AlexManes2687) October 3, 2021

-pinklemoncream (@pinklemoncream) October 3, 2021

-🇧🇧therealDawn 🇧🇧 (@Dmoniq) October 3, 2021

-B EA$Y (@beebo9) October 3, 2021

-𝓐𝓷𝓰𝓮𝓵𝓭𝓪𝓮𝓶𝓸𝓷 💋 (@Angeldaemon20) October 3, 2021


Other viewers seemed to approve of the school board meeting sketch, heralding Davidson's performance and requesting a regular reprisal of the character on season 47.

-Tracie (@ManicMapGirl) October 3, 2021

-Kat (@KathNicole43) October 3, 2021

-imeach jefe (@ThatElJefe) October 3, 2021

-Reggie Wade (@ReggieWade) October 3, 2021

-Robert from Wisconsin (@Rob_In_WI) October 3, 2021

Though several veteran "SNL" cast members - such as Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, and Davidson - were speculated to depart after last season wrapped, the majority of last season's cast signed on for season 47, with the exception of repertory player Beck Bennett and featured player Lauren Holt. 

Actor Owen Wilson kicked off the season as the premiere's host, and the comedy sketch series has already announced the upcoming hosting lineup: Kim Kardashian West, Rami Malek, and Jason Sudeikis.

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