Stress Factory owner reveals reason behind Pete Davidson walkout
Pete Davidson says he refused to go on stage at the Stress Factory Comedy Club in Bridgeport, Connecticut, because owner Vinnie Brand disrespected him. The comedian reportedly felt Brand was overly sarcastic when he told the crowd to not mention his ex-girlfriends Kate Beckinsale or Ariana Grande.
Well, Brand came on my show to explain to me what happened:
"All I did was go up on stage and lay down the rules for the night: no jokes. I was on and off stage in 4 minutes 57 seconds and during that time I made the announcements exactly the way I was told to make them."
Brand feels the disconnect was in dealing with a member of Davidson's team who wasn't the usual contact:
"Right before going stage I said, 'OK, I'm going to go up and tell them no cell phones, I'm going to go up and tell them no calling out, and I'm going to tell them specifically if you yell out about Ariana Grande or Kate Beckinsale, you'll be removed from the room. It's a one-and-done situation no exceptions,' and the guy said, 'yes that's perfect say it that exactly.'"
Vinnie says he wasn't sarcastic and because he instructed the crowd to turn off their cell phones when he first went up, a common comedy club practice, there is no video:
"Pete's a great guy. He thought that I was told don't mention those names. The disconnect here is that the guy that normally travels with Pete was not there. It was his second in command, or whatever you want to call it, who was there and he made a mistake."
Brand sticks by his claim that he did exactly what he was told to do: "I don't diss on people, that's not what I do."
He also says his opening was necessary.
"There was no joke, no anything and the chance of someone yelling out 'Ariana Grande' during the show would have been greatly enhanced if I didn't make that announcement."
Brand and Davidson have a long relationship.
"The guy started essentially in my club in New Brunswick," he said.
"I don't want to classify what he did and call it anything other than an unfortunate event."
As for the driver, Brand said: "We all make mistakes in life. I wish the driver had said, 'Hey Pete, it's on me.'
"That would have averted all this trouble, but that didn't happen. The guy denied it and he denied it because he wants to keep his job and that's an unfortunate thing."
So where do Davidson and Brand go from here?
"I love Pete and if Pete called me tomorrow and said let's put it behind us, I'd put it behind us."
Brand says he wouldn't have gone public except for once Davidson posted on his Instagram account, which has almost 2.5 million followers.
"They hear it and if I don't respond, I look like I did something wrong," he said.
"I don't have any animosity toward anybody in the situation. I feel bad for my customers, I feel bad for Pete's fans, I feel bad for Pete."
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