Netflix and LOLz: Michael Che’s Bringing the Laughs With Several Other Black Comics

The streaming service is leading the charge ahead of networks like Comedy Central by hosting up-and-coming comedians along with seasoned veterans, including Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle and Cedric the Entertainer.

Michael Che in his Netflix comedy special, Michael Che Matters, which drops Nov. 25, 2016
Michael Che in his Netflix comedy special, Michael Che Matters, which drops Nov. 25, 2016 K.C. Bailey/Netflix

If you’ve seen Michael Che’s subtle and deadpan comedy as the co-host of Saturday Night Live‘s “Weekend Update,” you’ll be surprised by his hilarious, take-no-prisoners style on controversial topics in his Netflix special, Michael Che Matters, which will premiere Friday on the streaming service.

Netflix is leading the charge ahead of networks like Comedy Central by hosting up-and-coming black comedians along with seasoned veterans. Che, who grew up on New York’s Lower East Side and was named after Che Guevara by his father (the comedian was born Michael Che Campbell), is one of several comedians who are part of Netflix’s rollout of comedy specials, including Cedric the Entertainer, whose special aired Sept. 16; Reggie Watts, whose special will air Dec. 6; and Gabriel Iglesias, whose special will air Dec. 20. Chris Rock is returning to stand-up after an eight-year absence with two new specials for Netflix that will tape in 2017.

Netflix also dropped the bomb earlier this week that Dave Chappelle will be airing two never-before-seen specials that come directly from his personal comedy vault, along with another show in 2017. He reportedly received $60 million for the deal.

For Che, 33, this will be his first comedy special. He has worked as a correspondent for The Daily Show and as a writer and cast member for SNL, and in 2014 he became the first black co-anchor in the history of “Weekend Update.”

He brings an understated New York B-boy sensibility, dressed in a hoodie, jeans and Air Force 1s, and mixes it with a quirky take on serious issues like police brutality, homophobia, white Jesus, catcalling and white supremacy, all with unpredictable twists.

Che on the black man’s burdens of being called a n–ger and then having to fight: “You can’t say, ‘I got my ass kicked for 15 minutes.’”

On white supremacy and racism: “You know what kind of self-confidence you need to be a supremacist? You think Hitler had body-image issues?”

On saying All Lives Matter over Black Live Matters: “That’s like my wife asking me if I love her. ‘Baby, I love everybody; what are you talking about?’”

On police brutality: “Blacks and cops aren’t getting along. I don’t know if you’ve seen the news in the last 400 years.”

On white people asking can they say the n-word: “It’s like having an alcoholic ask for a sip of my drink. I don’t want to be responsible for what happens.”

On Jesus being black: “You insist on having that black baby. Well, keep him in the manger over there.”

Che’s special, Michael Che Matters, taped at Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse in Brooklyn, N.Y., airs Friday on Netflix.

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