In a surprising move, Michael Che, co-head writer and Weekend Update anchor on Saturday Night Live, said he would be leaving the Weekend Update desk after this year. But not so fast.
The comedian denied speculation that he’s ending his years-long tenure on the NBC sketch comedy series after it was reported that he joked about a potential exit during a recent stand-up performance.
“I’m not leaving SNL,” Che wrote on Instagram, sharing a screengrab of an article detailing his supposed departure. “I said it at a comedy show, and some dork transcribed it & wrote an article.”
Pointing out a few more exaggerated punchlines about his life, he added, “Those were just jokes as well.”
Che originally joined SNL in 2013 as a writer. He later replaced castmate Cecily Strong as co-anchor of Weekend Update in 2014, making him the first Black person to hold the position. He also now serves as a co-head writer for the show.
The Daily Show alum hasn’t spoken about leaving SNL before now, but his Weekend Update co-anchor, Colin Jost, has addressed the possibility on multiple occasions.
After alluding to ending his nearly 17-year run at SNL in his 2020 memoir, A Very Punchable Face, Jost clarified his comments.
“I don’t have a real timeline, I just meant like I started to potentially psychologically brace for the concept of leaving, which I hadn’t really done,” the 39-year-old said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in October 2020. “And I don’t really know. Certainly, quarantine makes you appreciate having any job and [I’m] very much appreciating having friends you get to work with and enjoy seeing.”
Colin said he was in “no rush to leave” but was interested in exploring other opportunities for his career.
“That’s kind of what I’m trying to figure out a way to do,” he added.
Saturday Night Live airs Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC.