According to Bupkis showrunner Judah Miller (American Dad!, Crashing), the challenge of adapting Pete Davidson’s life for the semi-autobiographical Peacock comedy was matched by Davidson’s ambition. “He’s a dreamer and he thinks big,” the writer/producer tells Consequence. “And I think that that’s part of what’s so incredible about partnering with him on this, is that he aims for the sky and then somehow we end up hitting these targets, even when we’re told it’s impossible.”
Thus, while the series might have originally been billed as a Curb Your Enthusiasm-esque look at the SNL alum’s existence, Larry David never devoted an entire episode to an increasingly obvious homage to the Fast & Furious saga — just one of the blockbuster-scale ideas incorporated into the show’s first season.
“So many of the things that we did on this show were so ambitious, and I think we just lucked out in so many instances, where we were able to do things that people would say would be impossible,” Miller says. “Like, given the production of our show, for us to pull off that car chase sequence and have it look and feel as much like Fast and Furious as it ended up being was incredibly ambitious. And then, to get music and to get some of the actors that we were able to get, I feel like it’s part of Pete’s, you know…”
Miller trails off there, but “Pete’s, you know…” feels like a pretty eloquent way of describing the way Davidson moves through the world, the surreality of which is a major part of the Bupkis viewing experience. Below, Miller explains how he got involved with Bupkis, how many of the show’s epic cameos came together, and whether Davidson had any rules about what the show could or couldn’t explore.
I’d like to start off by asking how you first got involved with Pete’s world.
I first met Pete on the movie The King of Staten Island — I’d worked with Judd Apatow for a long time and was fortunate enough to be able to work on that movie, and Pete and I and Dave Sirus [the film’s other co-writer] all just gravitated towards each other; we kind of instantly became very close friends, because we have very similar comic sensibilities.
During the pandemic, that very surreal time in the world, I was in my house, like everyone else, and I got a text from Pete saying, “Hey, do you want to write a show with me?” And we just started writing episodes of this show, you know, not knowing where it was gonna go… Which I think contributed to some of the kind of boundless nature of what the series ended up being, because we were just writing it in this vacuum, which was nice.