Michael Che Admits He Reads Everything That's Written About Him — Including Probably This
When it comes to reviews, social media comments, or anything tagged #che, Michael Che is likely going to give it a look. “I don’t ignore anything,” the Saturday Night Live star told Tony Dokoupil on CBS’s Here Comes the Sun, an offshoot of CBS Sunday Morning. “It’s my job to consume stuff and put it back out. There’s some stuff I don’t see but I definitely take it all in.”
That’s not exactly a surprise. Che has been known in the past to not only check out bad reviews but to fire back at the critics themselves. When Uproxx columnist Steven Hyden wrote a column critical of Che’s Weekend Update partner Colin Jost in 2019, Che took shots at Hyden on social media. He even rewrote Hyden’s Wikipedia page to accuse him of bestiality but couldn’t understand why the backlash was so heavy.
Hyden wasn’t alone. Che has gone after other journalists in the past, even urging his followers to pile on. But maybe there’s a reason his skin is so thin?
“I think artists are a lot more sensitive (these days) because they hear a lot more criticism,” Che told Dokoupil. “Criticism is more vocal. I think businesses are using social media numbers and social media outrage as a way to curate what they spend money on. And that’s silly to me because it feels like they don’t believe in anything.” … We’re not exactly sure how Che believes businesses are leveraging outrage, but sure, comedians today can hear a lot of criticism, especially if they make a point of looking for it.
To Che’s credit, he doesn’t believe today’s comics have it rougher than their comedy ancestors, despite all the online fuss. “They used to take Lenny Bruce off stage in handcuffs for saying dirty words ... dirty words that I use all the time. Dick Gregory, they used to throw stuff at him and give him death threats. (Do you know) how hard it was to be a comedian and stand flat-footed and say what you believed in the fifties and sixties, sometimes in the seventies?” he asks. “I’m fine. It’s not harder.”
But he understands how tenuous social media makes his comedy career. In 2021, he took it to Simone Biles on his Instagram after the gymnast withdrew from the Olympics for mental health reasons. He deleted the posts after getting pummeled for his insensitivity. Maybe that’s why he is so resistant to Dokoupil’s assurances that Che has “made it.” How could that be possible, Che asks, if he could suddenly lose it all?
“Dude, I’m one tweet away from it all going away.”