Social media can be more of a burden than a blessing for many comedians, which is why Michael Che is taking a break from the virtual scene.
The Saturday Night Live star caught some flak a few months ago for his Facebook comments on the New York City catcalling video that went viral. Che apologized for his remarks, but the whole situation left a bad taste in his mouth.
Formerly an avid Twitter user, the Weekend Update anchor recently quit the social networking site after realizing just how easy it is for people to misinterpret the words and jokes he puts out online.
“If you tweet a joke, it’s not your joke, it’s their joke,’’ Che told Boston.com. “They’re the ones to breathe the life into it. It can sound mean, it can sound silly, it can sound dumb… it’s all up to the reader. It’s out of your hands, and there’s nothing you can do about it. I don’t love that part.’’
Che prefers getting laughs on stage or television, as these mediums provide context and nuance to his jokes—aspects that are lost when you are relegated to 140 characters.
Another reason why the SNL funnyman decided to leave Twitter was that he found himself obsessing over the social media platform.
After a conversation with a friend and high-profile comic who quit tweeting (despite having millions of followers), Che realized it was time to abandon the Twitter-verse once and for all.
“I wanted to take a break from tweeting, because I was like addicted,’’ Che said. “I would always tweet. If I had Twitter, I’d be on Twitter right now.’’
No longer worried about his online life, Che is now 100-percent focused on his comedy. and is putting all his effort into his work on SNL.
SNL’s 40th Anniversary Special
Leading into the show’s 40th season, Che joined the popular Weekend Update segment in September, becoming the first African-American performer to be named an anchor for the skit.
The series is celebrating its milestone anniversary on Sunday with an over 3-hour-long, star-studded special. Everyone from Bill Murray to the Backstreet Boys are set to make an appearance on this weekend’s episode.
While Che can’t reveal too much about the special, the comedian says he’s excited for people to see it.
“It’s going to be great, it’s going to be a surprise, and people will stand up at home and clap,’’ Che said.
Performing in Boston
Following this weekend’s festivities, Che will be shipping up to the Hub to perform at Laugh Boston on February 20 and 21.
Che says he always has a good time when he comes to town and can’t wait to get the chance to perform in Boston again.
“Boston crowds are always fun,’’ Che said.