Michael Che said Friday that he is leaving the anchor desk of "Weekend Update" on "Saturday Night Live." The co-head writer of the show shared an anchor desk with Colin Jost for eight years.
"This is my last year," Che said between jokes during a pop-up show at a Minneapolis hair salon. "You know my tie is a clip-on, right? What man wears a clip-on tie to work for eight years — that's embarrassing."
He did not go into detail about when and why he is leaving. Just in January, he surpassed Seth Meyers for having the most appearances as host on "Update." Only Jost has more.
Che, 38, was provocative during the pop-up event at Steller Hair Co. In his adult-themed show, he made it clear that he did not want to talk about the news. After asking an audience member whether she was from Ukraine, Che wanted to know: "Is it Ukraine or the Ukraine? Is this what this war is about?"
The native New Yorker referenced growing up in the projects and was self-deprecating in his 40-minute set, which was loaded with expletives and sexual references.
"Did you guys think I was gonna talk about the news?" he asked. "I don't really do jokes. If I had jokes, I would've like, booked a theater. I'm in a beauty shop."
Che has been branching out from "SNL." In 2021, he did an HBO Max series "That Damn Michael Che" and a Netflix comedy special "Michael Che: Shame the Devil." And in his stand-up act Friday, he seemed to be testing new material.
He started the show talking about aging. "In your 30s, you start to realize that you don't need as many friends," Che said, adding that by the time you're in your 50s, it's just you and your partner. "Then, in your 60s, 70s, 80s, she's gone. It's just you and the ducks."
Che spent a good chunk of time talking about sex: "Everyone has a different love language," he said laughing, sometimes bantering with the 50-member audience. He even brought up a Minnesota reference, tied, of course, to sex.
"You know what a threesome feels like?" Che asked. "You ever see Bob Dylan playing guitar and harmonica at the same time? It's kinda dumb."
Known for his straight-faced, deadpan delivery, Che was comical even with end-of-life matters. Everyone dies, he said matter-of-factly.
"If anybody here is suicidal, please, just wait," Che said. "Swear to God."
Che's tour of unusual stops in the Twin Cities began Thursday when he performed at the open mic at Sisyphus Brewing. After the salon event, he went to another open mic. The gigs followed a Q&A at Winona State University.
The salon show came together quickly after comedy host Casey Flesch contacted owner Katie Steller. "I got the call four hours before showtime," Steller said, thanking her staff. Stylists were still working on clients before doors opened at 8:30 p.m.
Che allowed patrons to take still photographs but not video.
"This is my diary," he said. "Can't a man have a private conversation into a microphone in front of strangers without the whole world finding out about it? Jesus. I'm just telling you my secrets."
Flesch opened for Che along with Kansas City-based comedian Dayton Bissett and Twin Citian Emma Dalenberg. She joked about her weakness for losers.
"I'm like a Spanish bull — red flags turn me on," Dalenberg said.