TV

Michael Che Has Explained The Funny But Depressing Reason That He Likes To Write Race Jokes

Saturday Night Live‘s “Weekend Update” anchor Colin Jost has been all over the late-night and podcast circuit this summer, promoting his new book A Very Punchable Face, wherein he reveals that he may be leaving SNL after the election (and also discussed the Cecily Strong’s exit from “Update”). We have not heard as much, however, from Jost’s co-anchor, Michael Che, who paid rent for 160 apartments back in April in honor of his grandmother, who passed away from Covid in the spring.

Che, however, was on Conan Needs a Friend this week, as he and the cast presumably prepare for another season of SNL. It’s a solid episode, as Che talked more about his upbringing, and brilliantly riffed with Conan for the full hour. Che — who is the first Black “Weekend Update” anchor — also talked about his experiences on “Update” and why he often makes jokes about race on both “Update” and in his stand-up material.

“It’s interesting to me,” Conan said to Che, having just watched a stand-up bit that Che had done on Black Lives Matter. “There’s no way anybody could watch that and not think, ‘Oh, Michael wrote this at the beginning of the pandemic, right after George Floyd, and it’s the perfect statement about this,’ and then you realize, this was written and performed in 2016. How the f**k did he do that? That’s insane!”

“That’s the reason I like to write about race stuff,” Che said. “It always holds, you know? If I write a joke about racism, I know it’s going to be there next year. I write those race jokes for the same reason that Mariah Carey wrote ‘All I Want for Christmas.’ It’s always gonna play. It’s always gonna be there. There’s Christmas every year.”

“This is a case in point, of you saying something that is indelibly sad, which is race jokes are always going to be relevant,” Conan said, “and then immediately had us howling… suddenly, I’m laughing at one of the saddest things anyone has said to me in a while.”

Michael Che will return to Saturday Night Live this fall, where there will be no shortage of material with which to work.

Source: Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend

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