In the wake of John Oliver’s exit from the The Daily Show into his own half-hour HBO show, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, there were bound to be a few casting changes in the land of Jon Stewart. Joining new Daily Show correspondent Jordan Klepper, current SNL writer and stand-up comic Michael Che will join The Daily Show as a correspondent this June, after SNL wraps up. Know little to nothing about about him? Brush up on Che’s career here.
He went to La Guardia High School for painting.
Che was raised in the Lower East Side, the youngest of seven children, and attended Fiorella H. La Guardia High School, where he was a painting student. During his teenage years, he designed and sold T-shirts at the corner of Wooster and Prince in Soho, though he hasn’t painted seriously since he fell into comedy.
He has never taken a comedy class before.
Before he started doing stand-up in 2010, Che says he always thought about taking a comedy class, but never did. He told the New York Times, “I said, ‘As soon as I get $400, I’m going to take a class.’ Then every time I had $400, I had a bill.” Instead, he went to the now-closed Comedy Corner during a $5 open-mike night, and has been performing ever since.
He pretended to be a Republican strategist and hip-hop artist for his web series, “The Realest Candidate.”
Che wrote and starred in a web series for Above Average called “The Realest Candidate,” in which he plays a rapper spicing up the Republican Party with, for instance, fresh ideas about creating jobs (try vodka companies!) In the first episode above, Che appears on a fake cable news show, The Henkle Factor.
He won New York’s Funniest Stand-Up Competition.
In 2012, Che won the title of New York’s Funniest Stand-Up, an annual competition that takes place during the New York Comedy Festival. Before that, he had previously appeared on Letterman and also, coincidentally, on John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show. After he won the competition, he became a fairly regular guest on the VH1 reboot of Best Week Ever.
He has been writing for SNL since 2013.
Che was hired as a guest writer for two weeks in February 2013, then again for the last few episodes of the season. His first-ever live sketch featured Zach Galifankas in an M&M suit, which pretty much says it all. For the current 39th season, Che was hired full-time on the writing staff.