Comedian Michael Che made his Saturday Night Live debut this weekend, joining the popular Weekend Update segment as a co-anchor alongside Colin Jost.
Che may have flubbed a line or two in his first appearance on the show, but he earned a fair share of laughs with some solid punchlines, hitting on topics ranging from Derek Jeter’s final game to Orange is the New Black.
While he’s the new kid on the anchor desk, he doesn’t have too much less experience than his co-anchor. Jost joined the on-air team as a co-anchor with Cecily. Che came to the anchor desk after a short but relatively well-received stint as a correspondent for The Daily Show. But while Che might be a newcomer to the SNL cast, he’s well known in Studio 8H, having written for the show up until this past spring.
After the kicking off the comedy newscast with the usual headline-based jokes, Che quickly welcomed the co-anchor he replaced, Cecily Strong, who joined to play one of her characters, known as The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party, to talk about the Ebola crisis.
In a later segment, he and Jost were joined by longtime cast member Kenan Thompson to take on a little political humor, with a bit offering a little support to President Obama, who’s facing lagging poll numbers and heightened criticism in recent months.
Thompson hummed lines from “O-o-h Child” by The Five Stairsteps while Che and Jost lobbed a few tongue-in-cheek reasons to look on the bright side.
Che quipped that after the midterm elections, “pretty much nothing” the president does will matter, giving him the freedom to “become the black president I was truly hoping for.”
“You thought people flipped out over your tan suit? Wait ’til they see you in a purple suit,” he said. “You could give the next State of the Union looking like you’re the number one pick in the NBA draft.”
The duo followed up with a joke about how quickly former presidents become almost universally beloved as their post-presidency lives roll on.
“Remember that no matter what, the brothers are always going to love you,” Che said. “I mean, you could lose a war to Canada and we’d still paint murals of you in the ‘hood, right between Martin Luther King and Aaliyah.”
“You might not get an airport like Reagan, but it’s got to be pretty cool to know that one day parents might tell their children not to go north of Barack Obama Boulevard,” he added.