Saturday Night Live comic Michael Che got fans talking when he said during a standup set that he’s leaving the “Weekend Update.” But after his comments went viral, Che (sort of) said he was joking.
The comedian became the first Black “Weekend Update” co-host in 2014, and shares the anchor desk with Colin Jost. Che is also the first Black co-head writer in SNL history.
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But over the weekend, he told fans at a comedy show in a Minneapolis beauty salon he’s ready to move on.
“This is my last year,” Che said, the Star Tribune reported Saturday. “You know my tie is a clip-on, right? What man wears a clip-on tie to work for eight years — that’s embarrassing.”
Che then said he was done doing the news. “Did you guys think I was gonna talk about the news?” he asked. “I don’t really do jokes. If I had jokes, I would’ve like, booked a theater. I’m in a beauty shop.”
The story immediately got picked up by the media, prompting the comedian to post a picture of a news article on Instagram along with the caption: “To comedy fans; please stop telling reporters everything you hear at a comedy show. You’re spoiling the trick.”
Che is not without controversy. In July 2021, he faced backlash for posting jokes about Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, who withdrew from the women’s individual all-around gymnastics final at the Tokyo Olympics to focus on her mental health.
As anger started to build, he scrubbed his Instagram page.