Saturday Night Live: Michael Che On Why SNL Thor Sketch Didn't Happen

With only hours to go until host Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen's Gambit) and musical guest Lil Nas X take the stage of Studio 8H for the 46th season finale of NBC's Saturday Night Live, we're taking a look back at a sketch "that almost was" and why it wasn't with "Weekend Update" co-anchor and SNL co-head writer Michael Che. So do you remember back in 2018 when Che mentioned to late-night host Seth Meyers that 2015 host Chris Hemsworth shot down a sketch idea where "Thor accidentally kills an unarmed Black teenager," saying that "it wouldn't help with tickets"? Well, Che checked in with The Howard Stern Show this week to not only reconfirm the proposed sketch but also explain why "for obvious reasons, there's no way that's going on [SNL]."

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Saturday Night Live "Weekend Update" Anchor Michael Che (Image: screencap)

"Something that's like racially specific, the audience is kind of looking at 'Saturday Night Live' as Lorne Michaels' show," Che said in reference to the program's creator and producer. "They're not looking at it as 'Oh, this is a Black writer who is making this nuanced observation or whatever.' So it's a little trickier. On my show ['The Michael Che Show'], I can get away with it because they know it's me." Che also believes that Black audiences may have questioned what the writers were going for with such a highly-charged sketch on a broadcast network show like SNL. "Even Black people are a little bit like, 'Why are we doing that there? What do they mean by that?'" Che explained. "It's a little bit more, 'What are you making fun of here?' We don't really get the benefit of the doubt for something that's that loaded." Here's a look at a clip from Che's interview:

Now here's a look back at the promos from earlier this week, with SNL cast member Chris Redd making us realize that maybe all of the masks in play make it hard to know exactly who's in the cast; while in the follow-up, the duo promises the best show of the season (are you listening Keegan-Michael Key?)- they're just not willing to hug on it. Sorry, Redd…

Saturday Night Live's 46th season includes Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, Colin Jost, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Melissa Villaseñor, and Bowen Yang. Che and Jost serve as head writers, with Bryan Tucker serving as senior writer. Lauren Holt (The Filth), Punkie Johnson (Space Force), and Andrew Dismukes (Comedy Central's Colossal ClusterFest, New York Comedy Festival) are feature players. Alec Baldwin returned as Donald Trump, with Maya Rudolph joining them as Kamala Harris, and Jim Carrey as Joe Biden for part of the season before cast member Moffat took over the role just before the holiday break.

Not including specials and digital series, Saturday Night Live has won over 70 Emmy Awards, the most for any show in television history. SNL also holds the title for the most nominated television show in Emmy history with over 275 nominations (once again, not including specials and digital series). The long-running sketch comedy and musical series is executive produced by Lorne Michaels, produced by Steve Higgins and Erik Kenward, and directed by Don Roy King. Ken Aymong serves as a supervising producer, with Lindsay Shookus, Erin Doyle, and Tom Broecker producing. The series is produced by SNL Studios in association with Universal Television and Broadway Video.

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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