‘SNL’: Michael Che Honors His Grandmother Who Died From Coronavirus

Michael Che paid tribute to his late grandmother Martha during Saturday Night Live‘s special at home edition.

The NBC sketch comedy series returned this weekend with an episode featuring the cast practicing social distancing at home and Tom Hanks as host, in his first TV appearance since contracting COVID-19.

During the “Weekend Update” segment, Che reminded co-host Colin Jost that his grandmother had just passed away from complications of  coronavirus.

“As you know Colin, I lost my grandmother this week, and coming back to work really made me feel better, especially with you,” he said.

Che then told Jost that his grandmother’s favorite part of the show was when they did “Joke Swap,” where they write jokes for each other and read them on air without seeing them beforehand.

Jost opened his email to find a racially-charged joke that Che had Pete Davidson send to him.

“Oh shit,” Jost said before reading the joke.

“Two professors at the University of Oklahoma have been cited for using the N-word in class. In their defense, the students were being pretty lazy,” he read.

In a gotcha moment, Che then admitted his grandmother had never actually seen the show.

“She woke up at like 4 am to pray,” he said. “You think she’s watching Saturday Night Live? Never,” he said before ending the segment with the line, “For ‘Weekend Update,’ I’m Martha’s grandbaby.”

On April 6, Che revealed in a since-deleted Instagram post that his grandmother had succumbed to COVID-19.

“Hi. I’m Michael Che, from TV. Last night my grandmother passed away from the coronavirus,” he wrote. “I’m doing OK, considering. I’m obviously very hurt and angry that she had to go through all that pain alone.”

He added, “But I’m also happy that she’s not in pain anymore. And I also feel guilty for feeling happy. Basically the whole gamut of complex feelings everybody else has losing someone very close and special. I’m not unique. But it’s still scary. I don’t know if I’ll lose someone else to this virus. I don’t know if I’ll be lost to this virus. Who f–king knows?”

The comedian later referenced the conspiracy theory floating around social media that COVID-19 was started by 5G technology, and he mentioned the scientific belief that the virus emerged from a human-ingested bat. Although he admitted he was skeptical.

“I just refuse to believe I lost my sweet, beautiful grandma because some ni–a ate a bat one time,” he said.