Thursday, 20 June 2013 11:20

New York Native Michael Che Makes the Comedy Rounds

Written by  Josh Spanninga
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Michael Che
Dr. Grins, Grand Rapids
July 18-20, show times at 8, 9 and 10:30 p.m.
$5-$10, (616) 356-2000

When it comes to telling jokes, Michael Che feels honesty is the best policy.

“[My stand-up] is honest in a way that I really believe these things are funny,” Che said. “I'm not saying it because it's an easy way to make you laugh, I'm saying it because this really kept me up at night.” 

The stories Che tells during his routine might not necessarily be true per se, but in his performance he always remains true to himself. This is also evident in his decision-making process for picking up new projects.

“I want it to be the right project, and not something that's just available that's paying me something,” Che said. “I want it to be something that I think I could do well, something that I find funny.”

Like many comics, Che made people laugh at a very young age. In 2009 he decided to take this skill to the stage and see if he could make money.

“Every medium [of performance] is like a different language, and some people take different things easier,” Che said. “And stand-up is the most fluent thing for me.”

It doesn't hurt that he lives in New York City, a place with a well-established and celebrated comedy scene. Che even credits performing at different clubs in New York as preparing him for the diversity he experiences while touring.

“There's so much tourism in New York that it's almost like playing the road in certain clubs,” he said.

At this point in his career, Che is no stranger to the road. He has toured all over the world and sometimes performs multiple times per day. This non-stop performing sometimes leads to Che feeling burnt out, but there are also positives to this relentless schedule.

“It helps with the creative process, because you get so sick of jokes after you've told them for a year that you're like, 'I have got to work on something new because I am going to kill myself if I don't.'”

Aside from his stand-up career, Che has also been a guest writer for "Saturday Night Live," a project he would be more than happy to do again.

“For a show to be on and secure for that long, and to be a part of it, and to see the stars that it's turned out decade after decade, feels very special,” Che said.

As for other new projects? Che is currently working on a podcast, and is gearing up to record a standup special, amongst other things.

“They're not necessarily things that are going to make me a millionaire overnight” Che said. “I'm not doing Rush Hour 4 or nothing, but it's exciting for me to play with different mediums, and I think it's going to make me a stronger performer.”

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