Michael Che Insists He Was Just Joking About Leaving ‘Weekend Update’

Michael Che speaks onstage at the American Museum of Natural History Gala
Theo Wargo/Getty Images for American Museum of Natural History

Saturday Night Live star and co-head writer Michael Che has confirmed he was just joking about leaving “Weekend Update,” which he has co-anchored with Colin Jost since 2014.

According to the Star Tribune, Che said he was leaving the long-running show during a pop-up comedy gig at a Minneapolis hair salon on Friday. “This is my last year,” he told the audience. “You know my tie is a clip-on, right? What man wears a clip-on tie to work for eight years — that’s embarrassing.”

It was initially taken by some reporters at face value, despite being part of a comedy show. Che would take to social media on Sunday to clear up any confusion, posting on Instagram, “I’m not leaving SNL. I said it at a comedy show and some dork transcribed it and wrote an article.”


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“To comedy fans; please stop telling reporters everything you hear at a comedy show. youre spoiling the trick,” he captioned his post, adding, “Also, I don’t prefer jerking off to sex. And I’m not actually buying a urinal for my house. Those were just jokes as well.”

Che first joined Saturday Night Live as a writer in 2013 before taking over Cecily Strong‘s position as “Update” co-anchor for the 40th season. He became the first African-American host of “Update” and was promoted to a main cast member during his third season. In December 2017, he was named co-head writer of SNL, making him the first Black co-head writer in the show’s history.

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Outside of his work on SNL, Che appeared in the movie Top Five, starring as one of Chris Rock‘s character’s friends, and recorded a Netflix comedy special called Michael Che: Shame the Devil. He currently writes, produces, and stars in the HBO Max sketch comedy series That Damn Michael Che, which was renewed for a second season last July.

Saturday Night Live, Season 47, Saturdays, 11:30/10:30c, NBC