Michael Che joked about the revival of his Black Lives Matter stand-up routine that recently resurfaced on social media in a wide-ranging interview with Seth Meyers on Late Night Monday. He also talked about his decision to cover a month’s rent for those living in the same public housing complex as his grandmother, who died in April of coronavirus, and about working with Eddie Murphy on Saturday Night Live.
Che told Meyers he finds it bittersweet that his Black Lives Matter bit from his 2016 Netflix special Michael Che Matters continues to resurface “because I’m happy that people like the clip, but it’s also kind of a bummer that it’s still relevant.” He added, “I feel like the guy who wrote “Amazing Grace”, like every time you hear it you’re like ‘Oh no, what happened?’ because no one plays it for a good occasion.”
Che also responded to the argument that all lives matter. “After a while, you stop worrying about why they don’t want to give it to you and you get to the point where you just demand it,” he told Meyers. “We’ve been asking for so long that people are at a point where they don’t want to ask anymore, and that’s kind of the reality and it’s sad.”
He also expressed hope that something good would come out of the protests. “It’s coming across as extremely destructive, but I do think if they channeled it that they can get a lot done that generations before them couldn’t get done,” he said, adding it’s “one of those rare times where you don’t have to speak for the community because the community is actually speaking for themselves louder than they ever have … It’s really up to this younger generation who’s tearing stuff apart. I hope something good comes of it.”
On his decision to pay rent for those living in his grandmother’s apartment complex, “It was just something that I felt like would have been great for her memory. My grandmother loved helping people,” he said. “She didn’t have much, but anything she could give, she would.”
“It was such an uncertain time for a lot of people where they didn’t know if they were going to have to pay rent. How long were they were gonna go without rent? Were they ever gonna get back to work?” he added. “At least somebody would feel like somebody’s thinking of them in the memory of my grandmother.”