INTERVIEW

Crashing Season 3 Is When ‘Pete Gets Funny’

By Ariana Bacle

Pete Holmes and Judd Apatow on what’s to come for Pete when it comes to comedy and romance.

In the first two seasons of Crashing, Pete (series creator Pete Holmes) doesn’t always hit it out of the park when it comes to stand-up. That’s about to change in Season 3 when Pete might actually become… a good comedian?

“Season 3 is about Pete coming to terms with his ambition and filling up the suit a little bit more,” Holmes says. Executive producer Judd Apatow puts it a bit more bluntly: “Pete gets funny.”

While Pete will be trying out his bits on a heavily-censored Christian tour this season, he’ll also continue exploring the considerably grittier downtown New York comedy scene — and a new love interest will help him discover where he really fits.

Last season ended with Pete breaking up with Ali (Jamie Lee) after they roasted each other onstage. Although she remains a prominent figure in his life, he’ll be dating someone outside the comedy world this time around. That someone is Kat (Madeline Wise), who he first meets when she tells him he looks good in his jacket. This could be a throwaway compliment for some people; for Pete, it’s nearly life-changing.

“I remember, in my real life, the first person who told me I was handsome,” Holmes recalls. “It shifts your brain. Somebody says something like, ‘That’s a great shirt on you,’ and no one’s ever talked to you that way before. Pete didn’t know he was starving for it up until this point, because he had gone through his life just not having that person.”

And Kat’s not just supportive of his looks: “This is the first girlfriend who believes in Pete,” says Holmes. “And she’s a little bit like show business herself: She’s flashy and she’s honest and she’s bold.”

Kat helps Pete realize that it’s OK to be all of those things, and that’s it’s OK to want success — a sore topic with Ali when he catered his set to the college students at NACA in Season 2. “Kat’s saying, ‘I see a drive in you and it’s not gross or impolite to follow that.’ Sometimes you need someone like that.”

It might sound like Pete is finally adulting — after all, he gets his very own apartment this season — but Holmes stresses he’s not quite there yet.

“He still has a lot of growing to do,” Holmes, says laughing. “He’s got milestones coming and going.”

Seasons 1 and 2 of Crashing are now available on HBO. Season 3 premieres Jan. 20.