There are high expectations for Michael Che. In the past year, the New York standup has worked on Best Week Ever and SNL, and been hailed as one to watch by the New York Times, Rolling Stone, the bookers of New York City, and many of his fellow comics. And he's not resting anytime soon, bringing his show "Cartoon Violence" to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August. Recently, over coffee at Columbus Circle in Manhattan, I got to talk to him about his rapid rise, his brief time in the world of high-end fashion, and the good advice he got from Tracy Morgan.
You just got back [...]
Saturday Night Live is bringing in two guest writers for its next two episodes: Fast-rising stand-up Michael Che and The Groundlings' Edi Patterson. The two comedians have signed short deals to join the show for the March 2nd and March 9th episodes, hosted by Kevin Hart and Justin Timberlake, respectively. Michael Che only began performing stand-up in 2010, but in the past year alone, he won New York's Funniest Stand-Up Competition, made his Letterman debut, was profiled by The New York Times, became a regular on VH1's Best Week Ever, and ranked first amongst New York comedians in a survey we at Splitsider conducted with stand-up [...]
In 2010, former troupe-mates Donald Glover and DC Pierson returned from Los Angeles to perform at The Creek and The Cave, in New York City. Glover was tossed a question from an audience member: What's it like working with Chevy Chase? In response, he described how Chase had delivered a 40-minute lecture to Saturday Night Live cast member Bobby Moynihan laying out the case for why Glover has to be homosexual, which he is not. "That's the only way a guy like Chevy Chase has of processing a black guy who looks like me, talks like me, dresses like me," said Glover on stage that night. "That's how alien [...]
This roundtable discussion with up-and-coming comics W. Kamau Bell, Desiree Burch, Michael Che, Calise Hawkins, Phoebe Robinson, and Baron Vaughn is absolutely stuffed with thought-provoking questions and answers. The comics discuss the history of black standup, their goals onstage, and what it means to be seen as a "black comedian" rather than a comedian who happens to be black. Here's W. Kamau Bell on one of the most recent changes to the business of standup:
I think that's a part of being a comedian now, is recognizing that the world is such a smaller place than it was, even in the day of ten, fifteen years ago. I [...]