As protests continue to rage over the death of George Floyd, “Saturday Night Live” comedian Michael Che had a bittersweet response to the reemergence of his 2016 Black Lives Matter stand-up routine. (See the interview above.)
The clip of Che riffing brilliantly on the movement during a Netflix special bubbled up on social media this week.
“I’m happy that people like the clip but it’s also kind of a bummer that it’s still relevant,” Che told host Seth Meyers on “Late Night” on Monday. “I wish it wasn’t.”
Che likened the bit to the spiritual hymn “Amazing Grace.”
“You’re happy to hear the song but every time you hear it, you’re like, ‘Oh no what happened?’ ’Cause no one plays it for a good occasion.”
Che said his jokes explained the “absurdity” of having to fight for the legitimacy of Black Lives Matter.
“Black lives matter,” he says in the clip of his routine, below. “Not matters more than you. Just matters. Matters! Just matters. That’s where we’re starting the negotiations. Matters ... We can’t agree on that shit. What the fuck is less than matters? Black lives exist ― Can we say that?”
As for the unrest following Floyd’s death in Minneapolis after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes, Che expressed optimism “in young people’s ability to unite.”
“If they channel it, they can get a lot done that generations before them couldn’t get done,” he said.