Making his London debut at the Soho Theatre is US comic Michael Che. The massive American star is currently a writer on Saturday Night Live but he’s about to join the global hit, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Martin Walker asks about his show, Cartoon Violence.
“I don’t like explaining my shows, because you may get something very different than what I explained, and then I’d be a liar. So I’ll say it’s an hour long show of the funniest jokes I know at the moment. If something should happen in the room that’s funnier than the joke I’m about to tell, we will explore that something instead. So come see two shows. They will be different.”
You made your Edinburgh Fringe debut last year. How do UK audiences differ from those in the US?
“UK audiences are better listeners. In New York people wanna be a part of the show. In the UK they are a lot less interactive. The American attention span is a lot shorter, so the jokes have to come a little faster.”
Did you get chance to meet any UK comedians?
“I did. I met David Baddiel when I first got to Scotland. He was a really nice guy. Very funny.”
This is your first time performing in London. Looking forward to it? Why now?
“I am looking forward to these London shows. We chose now because, why not? I had fun in Scotland and in Ireland and I wanted to see more on that side. It’s always great to perform outside your comfort zone, and see how your material translates.”
Is it really true that you are joining ‘The Daily Show with John Stewart’ as a correspondent?
“Yes, it’s true. Why would I make that up?”
You’ve also been a full time writer with NBC’s iconic Saturday Night Live. Any behind the scenes stories?
“There’s a ton. A lot I can’t tell, but one cool thing was drinking whiskey in my office with Lady Gaga in full makeup. Well, I wasn’t in make-up, she was. I don’t know why that’s cool, but I get a kick out of celebrities doing human things.”
What are your thoughts on gay marriage?
“I’m thinking, double your wardrobe. I’m thinking, fist-fighting your spouse. I’m thinking, lots of high fives. If I was a gay dude, I would high five my husband all the time. That’s how we’d show affection.”
You’ve performed on several high profile TV shows, including your own half hour stand-up special – to be broadcast in the US in June. Do you prefer live stage or TV work?
“I prefer live stage. It’s more intimate. It’s more exciting. It’s between me and a couple hundred friends, and if you weren’t there, you weren’t there.”
If you were putting together your own Prime Time stand-up comedy TV show. Who would be your guests?
“Sinbad, Dick Gregory, Woody Allen, and Larry David.”
You are already hugely successful. Just how far to you want to go?
I don’t know, can I be a Sir?