How Pete Holmes’ Divorce from His Wife Influenced Him to Create the Comedy Show
Throughout his career, comedian Pete Holmes has worked on dozens of movies and TV series. Among all of his works, he is best known for starring in Crashing (2017-2019), which he also wrote and produced.
Crashing is a semi-autobiographical show that revolves around a fictional version of Holmes—the first season aired on the HBO network from February 19, 2017, to April 9, 2017.
The second and third seasons aired in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
'Crashing' Is based on Pete Holmes' Divorce from His Wife
During its three-year run, Crashing enjoyed great success and received much love from viewers. Some of it had partly to do with Holmes sharing his personal story through the show.
The series is loosely based on Holmes' real divorce from his wife while he was trying to make himself known in the comedic space.
Holmes, who grew up religious, married the first girl that he dated after he graduated. But, unfortunately, their marriage did not work out, and she left him when he was 28.
Pete Holmes and his on-screen wife in 'Crashing' (Source: YouTube)
Holmes has since described the process of making the show as being therapeutic, especially since it helped him come to terms with his divorce from his wife.
When talking to Inverse, the comedian also noted that the show was really about two affairs and three breakups.
"[My character] is having an affair with comedy while she [his wife] is having an affair with another person," he said. "And then he breaks up with his wife and then his parents."
"And then he starts to break up, not with God, but with what his original understanding of God is. So it's really like, he's getting kind of confronted on three very big levels."
Much of what the show portrays is grounded on his real-life experiences following his split from his spouse.
Holmes also shared that watching his character was interesting because it allowed him to narrow down his own experience and see how his authenticity and actual life experiences were infused into his comedy.
Pete Holmes & Wife
Though his ex-partner is a huge part of Crashing, Holmes has revealed very little about her.
He told Business Insider that while his fictional character's ex is based on his own, he changed many things about them. While the gist of the situation remains the same, Holmes revealed he had reframed and reworded many conversations and incidents.
Holmes revealed he hadn't notified his ex that he was making a show about their split.
"My ex and I haven't spoken since we split, which was almost 10 years ago. She's off and happy and I'm off and happy. The reaching out, there wasn't really one," he said.
In a separate conversation with USA Today, Holmes noted his friends had told him to make a show based on his divorce way earlier. However, he had declined because he didn't do personal comedy at the time.
In hindsight, it turned out to be an excellent decision because it allowed him to "digest what happened and gain perspective" on matters regarding his and his ex's split.
Holmes shared it was important to him as it allowed him to represent both sides of a break up.
He also acknowledged that had he made Crashing a few years earlier, it would have been bitter and he would have most likely portrayed his ex-spouse as some sort of villain.