Michael Che Becomes SNL’s First Head Writer Of Color

Saturday Night Live is a television mainstay dating back to 1975. In those 42 years, NBC’s sketch comedy show has catapulted the careers of Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, and countless others. This week, it was announced that Lorne Michaels’ show has appointed its first non-white head writer. Michael Che, who has been part of the SNL cast and writers staff since 2013, makes that precedent going into the show’s 44th season.

Che, who began as a stand-up comedian, grew up just blocks from where his show tapes. The 34-year-old is known for co-hosting the show’s “Weekend Update” news special as well as impersonating the likes of Lester Holt and Meek Mill. Before SNL, Che worked briefly as a correspondent for The Daily Show. He also starred in Rock’s 2014 film Top Five.

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Che receives the promotion with “Update” co-host Colin Jost. For Jost, he previously served as a head writer between 2012 and 2015. Together, Che and Jost join the head writing team of Kent Sublette and Bryan Tucker. The move comes as writers Sarah Schneider and Chris Kelly step down to develop a Comedy Central series.

During its current season SNL has featured many hosts and guests of color. Tiffany Haddish and Chance The Rapper hosted, with Kevin Hart confirmed for this coming Saturday’s show. Recent musical guests have included JAY-Z and SZA.

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Past head writers of note include Tina Fey, Seth Myers, and Anchorman/Stepbrothers director Adam McKay.