Exclusive - Michael Che Extended Interview

January 3, 2017 - Michael Che 01/03/2017 Views: 9,652

Comedian Michael Che explains what he learned about being a performer from Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and discusses his Netflix special "Michael Che Matters." (9:18)

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-Please welcome Michael Che!

(applause and cheering)

(Che mutters,applause, cheering, whistling)


(applause and cheering swell)

Welcome to the show, Michael.

It's cool as hell, man.Thank you.

-This is so cool.-This is... this is great.

This is so epic. You know what'seven more epic for me is?

When I first startedat The Daily Show,

-when I first cameinto this building... -Yeah.

...you were still working hereas a correspondent.

That's true.


Normally, I would say that,and then,

the guest would be like, "Let metell you a story about that,

my time working here."


-Okay, cool. -This is awesome.This has been like a...

-This is a real treatto be here. -Yeah?

I'm really proud of you,obviously.

Yeah, I've known you for, what,five years?

Yeah, it's been a while, man.

Yeah, so, like,we knew each other

when I was, like, broke,and you was less rich.


Trevor's been famousever since I've known him.

One time--remember on Twitter?--

-one time I tweeted at you...-Yes.

and then, uh, you tweeted back.

-Oh, that was... that was funny.-And I didn't know

he was famous, but it turns outmy phone exploded,

and I was like,"Damn, I'm funny!"

-(laughter) -But you knowwhat was extra funny was

it was Africanswho were tweeting you.

-That's right.-So then Michael was, like...

he called me, and then he said,he said, "Hey, man,

did you retweet meor something?"

And I said, "Why?"And he's like,

"'Cause I got a whole bunch ofpeople with clicks in their name

-retweeting me."-(laughter)

I bought two watches that day.

-Nah, I'm-I'm sorry.-Welcome to the show, dude.

It's good to have you here,good to have you back.

-Thanks, man. Thank you. Thisis fun. -And congratulations

on the special.First thing we see in that clip

is, uh, quite a controversialjoke that you're making there,

-Michael Che.-That's true.

Do you feel that as a comedianit is your job

to, uh, point out these thingsin society?

Yeah, uh, I don't thinkit's my job,

but I've just taken itupon myself to do my job wrong.

-(laughter) -No, but...no, but for real, though,

-as a comedian, like...-No, yeah, I think it's...

I think it's fun.

That's the one thing we can doas comedians,

is we can...we can talk about things frankly

and in a fun wayand make people laugh.

I mean, if you got to hearthis important stuff,

why not make it funny?

But do you...do you still think...

'Cause comedians go through thisall the time.

A lot of people take comediansmore and more seriously now.

Like now, I once said to you,I feel like comedians

get scrutinizedthe way politicians used to,

and politicians get to makethe jokes on Twitter now.

(sighs heavily)

-(laughter) -You know whatI found out about scrutiny?

Nothing happens.


Those are fam... you know,those are famous last words.

-Those are, like...-Nothing happens!

A bunch of people get upset,and then what?

I apologize, and then what...what do you do with that?

Anytime I get in troubleon Twitter,

I go down to my deli and,you know,

the guy never brings it up.


My life is the same.

We pretend thatthis thing matters.

It doesn't matter.

I think this electionproved that-- we were all like,

"Oh, there's no waythis guy could win." Ha-ha!

He did it.

Are you one of the peoplewho's emboldened by Trump, man?

Honestly, you know...


You know what?I got to tell you.

He-he's taught me a lotabout being a performer.


Well, uh, for one,you know what?

You got to trust your audience.

And, uh, he had an audienceof people that were like,

"Yeah, man. Play the hits."


And he was loyal to them

and they were loyal to himand he won.


It's changed my life.

I like the idea that younow have a picture

-of Donald Trump on your wall.-That's right.

And the phrase"Trust your audience."

That's right, that's right.

That's like you kissing itbefore you go out to every show.

-(laughing): Yeah.-Trust your audience.

It's right, it's rightin my living room

next to Black Jesus and Tupac.


Donald Trump.


Let's talk about the special,very funny.

It's always hard for comediansto watch specials,

'cause we-- it's almost likewe're behind the scenes

-of everything.-That's true.

-But this is your first special.-Yes.

Which seems strange, 'causeyou've been doing comedy

-for a while now in New York.-Yeah, a little while.

You know, you-you blow,you blew up real quick.

And, like,was it special for you

doing it in New Yorkas a New Yorker?

Yes, it was. I mean, to me,

it's like, with a sp--you know a special,

you want it to be a home run,so.

And I'm from New York,and-and I know this city,

and you want it to,you know,

you want everything to be set up

-for a good, a good audience.-Yeah.

And there was a lot of peoplethere that, you know,

owed me money.


You know that, you know that.

I don't get how that changes

your performance on a show.

Well, you geta different confidence

when some people in the audienceowe you money.

You're like, yeah, all right.Y'all better laugh, or...


Or you're gonna geta phone call.

Like, ah, man, you funny.I knew you wasn't gonna need

this money back, man.You're gonna be all right.


That's how it works out.But what about you?

How do you feel... I mean,this is a big stage, man.

Like, what does-what doesit feel like for you,

coming out here every day

and-and making fun of thepresident of the United States?

I'm not making funof the president.

-I'm making fun of Donald Trump.Um... -Oh...

-AUDIENCE: Ooh! (applauds)-Oh, no, but that's true.

That's true. That's true.

But he will... but he willsoon be the president.

You have a similar job:you wear a suit and tie,

-you make jokes...-But I still wear jeans.

You wear... Wait, you wear jeansunder the desk?

I wear jeans under the deskand Jordans.

-I got... -I feel likethe illusion... Like, I was...

I pictured youin a full head-to-toe suit

with, like,pointy leather shoes.

How long you known me?

I've known you a while.

When you ever seen mein pointy shoes?

But that's the image I had.It made it funnier for me.

I was like... I was like, "Underthat desk, he got pointy shoes."

-No, man, they're...-Aren't you... are you-are you

a little bit afraid? Like,people ask me that question,

but you're a comedian, you'reon... And here's my thing.

-Here's what...-I'm not afraid.

No, no, no, but here's my thing.Here's my thing. Listen, though.

Like, Donald Trump--

he has beef with SNL.

-Yeah. -You are on...Like, he watches your show.

-True. -I can safely saythat Trump avoids this show.

-That's true. -Like, hebasically goes, like, "No,"

-like, he see... "No. No."-Yeah.

And he goes to some...But he watches SNL.

-Yeah, that's true.-And you-you... you're gonna

say some things about himwhen he's president.

-That's true. -You're not evena little bit afraid?

Well, when I met him,he's... he asked me...

He goes, "Can I call you Che?"And I said,

"You know what,call me one of the good ones."

No, I'm kidding. Uh, he...

No, I didn't say that.I wish I did, though.

Damn it. Should havethought of it then.

-You should have done that.-No, man,

I don't-I don't care.He's the president.

Listen, we do comedy and we'resupposed to make fun...

Whoever was in office.I'm kind of happy it was Trump,

because if it was Hillary,I was gonna make fun of her

and a lot peoplewasn't gonna like that.

Yeah, but that's the people,though. I still...

He's the presidentof the United States.

He is the presidentof the United States.

You know that hetakes things personally.

That's true.(chuckles)

-He watches your show.-Yeah.

I'm not saying you should beafraid. I'm just saying

-if I was in your position...-Oh, man.

(laughs)No. Why would I be afraid?

I-I like Donald Trump.

I think he's a hilarious dude.

I feel like you like himfor the reasons...

Like, that's the reasonhe shouldn't be president.

If you really think Donald Trumpis gonna focus four...

He's 72...He's a 72-year-old billionaire.

Or... Whatever. 70?Is he 70 yet? 71?

Oh, I thought you were gonnaquestion the money.

'Cause we don't knowif that's real.

Nah, he's got... I thinkhe's got a billion dollars.

-You don't thinkhe's gonna change? -Huh?

You don't thinkhe's gonna change?

He's gonna change.

No, he's not gonna change.

He doesn't want to be president.

He wanted to win.

He ran that campaign like,

"I'm not gonna let this nerdbeat me."

He just... He didn't wantto lose to Nerd Lady.

-That's it. That's it.-(applause)

He doesn't want to be president.

You think he really wants to bepresident?

You think he wants to havedinner with Mitt Romney?


Think he wants to sit acrossfrom people

that he doesn't even know how topronounce their country or name?

He doesn't want to do that.That's why he's on tour.

He goes on tour immediately.

As soon as he won, he's like,"Eh, let's go back

on the campaign trail."

That stuff was fun.I liked that.

You know, what's funny isthat-that was, like,

where I was like,"This guy's a stand-up."

Yeah. He...The crowd is addictive.

-He was, like... Yeah.-He's loyal to the crowd.

When he goes into Washingtonand he goes in the White House,

he's the dumbest guyin the room.

When he goes to Bathwater,Pennsylvania,

he's a genius.

They love him.

-I, uh...-(cheering and applause)

I'm just gonna say,for the record,

I know nothing about Bathwater,Pennsylvania,

and so the views of Michael Chedo not reflect my views.

If you are in Bathwater,Michael Che said that,

and he probably saidsome crazier stuff

in his new special, Michael Che Matters,

which is currently streamingon Netflix.

Michael Che, everybody.