Pete Holmes is a comedian, writer, producer, actor, and podcaster. Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Pete Holmes was married at 22, around the same age he began performing stand-up comedy. He lived in Sleepy Hollow, New York with his then-wife but they divorced six years later, after he discovered she was having an affair. He comes from an evangelical background but now identifies as an atheist.
Pete Holmes is also a cartoonist and has had his cartoons appear in The New Yorker. In 2010, Holmes performed stand-up comedy on John Oliver’s New York Stand Up Show and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. That same year, he performed his first television special on Comedy Central Presents. The following year, he made an appearance on Conan, the talk show. He also did voice-over work on the show Ugly Americans, on Comedy Central. In addition to that, he was the voice of the E-Trade baby on multiple television commercials and also wrote many of those commercials. Holmes also wrote on the NBC sitcom Outsourced and the Fox sitcom I Hate My Teenage Daughter.
Pete Holmes came out with his first comedy album in 2011, called Impregnated With Wonder. In 2013, he came out with his second comedy album, Nice Try, The Devil. He is also known for playing the role of Batman in the popular CollegeHumor’s internet show called Badman. Holmes also hosts a wonderful podcast called You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes, where he interviews guests on their opinions of comedy, sexuality, and religion. He has had guests like Bo Burnham, John Mulaney, Judd Apatow, and many more.
In 2013, Pete Holmes filmed a couple of episodes for a talk show for TBS called The Midnight Show with Pete Holmes, produced by Conan O’Brien. When TBS picked up the show and started airing it, they changed the name to The Pete Holmes Show. It featured guests like Jenny Slate, T.J. Miller, and Bo Burnham. However, in 2014, TBS canceled the show due to bad ratings.
In 2016, Pete Holmes released a stand-up special on HBO called Faces and Sounds. That same year, his semi-autobiographical television show called Crashing started airing on HBO. The show revolves around Holmes’ character named Pete who tries to become a successful stand-up comedian after his wife cheats on him. Judd Apatow directed, although it was canceled after season three in 2019, even though it had excellent reviews. In 2019, Pete Holmes came out with a book called Comedy Sex God.
Pete Holmes is very spiritual, intelligent, and funny. Get ready to get inspired by his hilarious and insightful jokes and some of the best Pete Holmes quotes on record.
1. Respect your life.
“The way to respect your life is to explore every corner of it.” — Pete Holmes
2. Pete tries to manufacture a sleepover feel.
“I’m trying to manufacture a sleepover feel; like a treehouse or a clubhouse. I want people to be silly and play and feel safe and some people, you have to coax them into that space and some people bring me further into that space, even past the point that I wanted to go.” — Pete Holmes
3. Pete on getting married young.
“It just didn’t work out. I was 22 when I got married. 22. The same age I was when someone asked me to draw a map of the world and I just straight up forgot South America.” — Pete Holmes
4. Be persistent.
“Be persistent and just keep going to open mics no matter what, even if just to watch and not perform. You’ll find that even at your worst keep your head up because you’ll still be better than other people’s best.” — Pete Holmes
5. Pete is trying to spread happiness.
“I’m trying to, with my stand-up and with the podcast, give people these little stupid things to give them happiness. I know that sounds lofty or like I’m starting a cult, but I kind of feel that way.” — Pete Holmes
6. Find someone who likes you the way you are.
“Every girl I’ve ever met with curly hair wants straight hair, every girl with straight hair is always curling it. How about this . . . spend the time you would’ve spent curling or straightening f–king someone who likes you the way you are.” — Pete Holmes
7. Find ways to stop being bored.
“When we find ways to stop being bored with such a fascinating world and this fascinating life, that’s real bliss. That’s what love feels like.” — Pete Holmes
8. Make people happier with compliments.
“One of my obsessions in life is that we have the tools to manufacture moments and real things, but it’s overwhelming and there’s a lot of fear and you think maybe you’ll be rejected or embarrassed or somehow hurt emotionally. So we don’t do the things we know we can do, but we can make people feel better and make people happier with compliments or just being positive and that sort of thing and sending it their way.” — Pete Holmes
9. Pete on losing faith.
“I grew up thinking that losing your faith was the worst thing you could do. But now there’s like a vibrant, electric, almost aquatic, flowing, exciting, alive understanding of the divine that sometimes goes away and comes back to this shape and that shape. So I don’t know about absolute truth. I don’t know. I don’t think you ever land on it and go ‘Got it.‘” — Pete Holmes
10. Wrestle with the paradox.
“The working out of the question is the answer. The wrestling with the paradox is the answer. It’s a relationship.” — Pete Holmes
11. We aren’t going to figure anything out.
“Relax, we are not going to figure anything out. Let’s just talk about it today. In talking about the seasons of how we feel, and all that, how do you feel about what is, what’s going on. You can talk about how you were raised, religiously or not. How you view the world now. Often a way in is what you think happens when you die. Or, is there something? Is there an organizing principle? Is there a consciousness behind this? Or, is it just kind of a swirl of atoms that also miraculously came into a supremely and fundamentally materialist universe?” — Pete Holmes
12. Pete doesn’t go to a lot of music concerts.
“I don’t go to a lot of music concerts, further evidenced by the fact that I refer to them as ‘music concerts’ like a narc in the parking lot.” — Pete Holmes
13. Not everyone will like you.
“It’s manipulative for me to try and make everyone like me . . . You have to be, like, no, they’re a person with free will and maybe if I’m being my authentic self, not just being a shapeshifting, ‘I’ll be whatever you need me to be,’ then maybe they won’t like me . . . Some people hate what you love, that’s just how it is.” — Pete Holmes
14. You can like someone and still know it needs to end.
“It took me $10,000 of therapy to realize you don’t have to hate someone to break up with them.” — Pete Holmes
15. Make space for it.
“There’s something beautiful waiting for you as soon as you make space for it.” — Pete Holmes
16. Don’t be scared.
“Fear f–ks us out of so many wonderful things.” — Pete Holmes
17. You still learn from your past relationships.
“Just because a relationship ended doesn’t mean it was bad.” — Pete Holmes
18. Breakups are hard.
“I feel bad about every girl I’ve ever broken up with.” — Pete Holmes
19. Pete isn’t into the coffee.
“I’m not a caffeine person, I run on anxiety.” — Pete Holmes
20. On Robin William’s death and the stigma of the sad comedian.
“We’re not sad or happy, we’re everything. You’re not depressed or level, everybody’s everything. And what you’re saying about the group… Of course, we’re gonna have people with abuse problems, we’re going to have people that die every once and a while, it keeps happening. But that doesn’t mean that those people weren’t more than that, more than the thing that caused their end.” — Pete Holmes
21. Drinking is fun.
“The reason adults drink is because we’re trying to have fun like kids have naturally.” — Pete Holmes
22. We are soaking in it.
“Now, God isn’t something I believe in—it’s something I feel all of us soaking in.” — Pete Holmes, Comedy Sex God
23. Trumpets are a mystery.
“It’s one of the great mysteries of my life: how do they get all those notes from three buttons?” — Pete Holmes
24. Merge with them.
“It took me over three decades to realize you’re not supposed to think about paintings, flowers, or God, you’re supposed to merge with them.” — Pete Holmes, Comedy Sex God
25. Love should be powerful.
“When you find love, it should be so powerful that a preposterous idea, such as monogamy, makes sense.” — Pete Holmes
26. Your beliefs shouldn’t cause you pain.
“My literal belief in the Bible wasn’t saving me, showing me the light, or setting me free. It was causing me pain.” — Pete Holmes, Comedy Sex God
27. Pete on becoming an atheist.
“The strangest thing about becoming an atheist was how little things changed. With no divine rules or threat of eternal punishment hanging over my head, I still somehow managed to not lie, cheat, steal, or kill anybody.” — Pete Holmes, Comedy Sex God
28. The most iconic podcast sign-off.
“Keep it crispy.” — Pete Holmes
Jaycee Levin is a writer who covers pop culture, astrology, and relationship topics.