Is Michael Che Leaving SNL? Don’t (Necessarily) Believe the Hype

Michael Che stirred up a bit of speculation regarding his future on Saturday Night Live last week, after posting a rather cryptic Instagram story that had some fans questioning whether the “Weekend Update” anchor was getting ready to call it quits.

“I’m a full-time standup comedian again,” Che wrote on an otherwise blank post. The post found its way to the SNL subreddit within minutes, and ignited a debate over how to interpret the message. To some, it read as if Che was hinting that SNL is no longer his “full-time” job. If that is indeed what he meant, it’s still unclear whether he was referring to a complete departure from SNL, or simply the fact that the show is on hiatus for the summer.

Che also could have simply been expressing a renewed commitment to his standup career, as the post came just two days after he brought his act to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. (Fallon mentioned Saturday Night Live’s upcoming 50th season when introducing Che, but didn’t specifically say the comedian would be a part of it.)

Regardless, it’s not the first time Che has implied a departure from the show. So even if Friday’s post was referring to his SNL gig, it’s worth taking with a grain of salt.

In March 2022, Minnesota’s Star Tribune quoted the comedian as telling a standup audience, “This is my last year,” regarding his time as a “Weekend Update” co-anchor.

The next day, Che took to his Instagram to clarify that he was “not leaving” the show and his comment was mean in jest.

Two months later, he expanded on that initial onstage comment in an interview with The New York Times where he admitted that “My head has been at leaving for the past five seasons.”

In a separate interview with CBS News conducted at around the same time, Che further expressed ambivalence about his future at the show. “I have no idea what I’m doing, man. It’s just, I don’t know,” he told the outlet. “I’d like to do more standup.”

While Che has retained his “Weekend Update” gig, he did resign his post as SNL’s co-head writer in 2022, shortly after those interviews and just ahead of the show’s 48th season.

Che first came to Saturday Night Live in 2013 as a writer. After a brief stint as a correspondent on The Daily Show in the summer of 2014, he returned to SNL to co-anchor “Weekend Update” alongside Colin Jost. He was elevated to co-head writer in 2017 and served in that position for five years.

As for Che’s future at SNL? For now, anything is possible.

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