Stand-up comedian Pete Holmes is at a crossroads — or, at least the divorced, struggling, semi-autobiographical version of himself he plays on HBO’s “Crashing” is. In last week’s episode, Pete got fired from a Christian performers tour for using vulgar language onstage, dumped his girlfriend Kat (Madeline Wise) and even got dissed by Amy Schumer. But as Season 3 of Pete’s journey comes to a close Sunday, he is on the verge of a big break when he’s chosen to open at New York’s Town Hall for comedian and former “Saturday Night Live” writer John Mulaney. (Of course, as usual, don’t plan on everything going as Pete expects.) While “Crashing” has yet to be renewed for a fourth season, the real Holmes, who will turn 40 on March 30, has a new wife, Valerie Chaney, a 5-month-old daughter and an autobiography, “Comedy Sex God,” due out in May.
He recently spoke by phone with The Post from LA.
With the show’s context, do you feel successful? One of the keys to happiness for anybody is to define their own narrative for success. When you sort of go, “I’ll be happy when this, this and this happens,” you know that there’s always another “when” kind of keeping you on the other side of the door from fulfillment. It’s not really success that I’m after; I’m looking for fulfillment, and I feel deeply fulfilled.
In one episode, Pete is passed over to perform in favor of up-and-coming comic Jaboukie Young-White. Is it triggering to revisit that? Yes. But any comedian can relate to the feeling of grinding at it, feeling like you deserve something and then a young person swoops in and gets what you’re working for instantly. You just have to make peace with that. One of the points of the show — and I joke it’s called “Crashing,” not “Flourishing” — is to tell other comedians pursuing other dreams that if it stinks or it’s difficult, that’s how you know you’re doing it right. I wanted to make a message of solidarity.