SNL’s Michael Che is famous for his, shall we say, combative relationship with the press. He’s been known to complain about articles critical of him on his Instagram Stories, leading to more critical articles, leading to more Instagram posts, leading to … you get the point. On the November 20 episode of Showtime’s Ziwe, the eponymous host took the opportunity to remind the “Weekend Update” co-anchor that he belongs to a wider community and need not suffer this burden alone. Responding to a question about whether there are any marginalized communities he “would like to apologize to,” Che asks what the word “marginalized” means, to which Ziwe explains, “‘Marginalized’ means people who are at the margin of the power structures. It could be like comedians who are written about in the press.” It’s one of two things she has to explain to Che in this interview segment, the other being who Fran Lebowitz is. “She is a tiny woman who is famous for her commentary on New York City,” Ziwe says. “Where would I have seen her?” Che asks. The show immediately cuts to footage of Che introducing Bowen Yang in character as Lebowitz on “Weekend Update.”
Elsewhere in this interview, Ziwe asks Che about the time he joked about street harassment on Twitter, and then asks if there are any other women’s issues he would like to make light of. When she suggests he “lighten” Roe v. Wade, Che is uneasy. “It’s my choice to terminate this segment,” he says. “You can’t force me to carry that joke to term.” Later, he squirms in silence, and Ziwe questions whether his discomfort is because he’s “not used to listening.”
Ziwe and Che appeared together earlier this year in a season-two episode of Che’s HBO Max sketch show, That Damn Michael Che, in a sketch where they were throwing competing brunches to celebrate Black excellence. This interview raises the question of how awkward it would be if the pair ever attended a real brunch together. How many mimosas could they make it into the meal before Ziwe is sighing and explaining the meaning of the word “disenfranchised”?