On Tuesday night, Lincoln Center hosted an unconventional trio of performers for “a night of comedy and song.” The soiree, featuring Michael Che, Michelle Wolf, Demetri Martin, and singer and actress Patina Miller, was presented by Lincoln Center Corporate Fund and Netflix in support of the performing arts center.
While multiple references were made to Michelle Wolf’s recent controversial headlining gig at the White House Correspondents’ dinner—the comedian was described in introductions as “beloved in Washington D.C.”—The Break star kept her set Trump-free, instead turning to gender politics with a tight fifteen of highly warranted misandry. She did, however, allude to our national sense of impending doom, joking, “I think lesbians are the future. I think this entire time they’ve been planning and making granola. I think they know how everything’s going to end and they’re very prepared for it.”
Saturday Night Live’s Michael Che did not feel the need to steer clear of presidential humor, although he did so with a few jabs at the sound-bite obsessed media culture that fuels articles like this one. “I actually got in trouble because I said a nice thing about Donald Trump in the press,” he admitted, calling out “See!” when he was booed by an audience member. “In fairness, he had just hosted the show, and we hung out, and he was very nice to me. He even gave me a nickname: he called me ‘one of the good ones.’”
“He’s funny,” Che joked. “Remember when we used to make fun of other countries’ leaders? Remember that? Like two years ago? It would come on the news, it would be like, oh we gotta get this guy out of office, he’s crazy, and they’d have the people protesting like, help us, save us. We’d be like, yeah they gotta save those people, they have some crazy-ass fucking leaders…” he trailed off. “Remember all those countries?”
The comedian continued, “Would you go, if a bunch of Iraqi ships pulled through like hey, we’re ready to return the favor. Would you go? Or would you be like, yeah, just gonna ride this one out. Thanks but no thanks.”
“Remember Rob Ford? Boy we got a good laugh out of that guy. Mayor of Toronto, he used to smoke crack. Did we have a good chuckle! You fucking elected a crackhead? You dumb Canuck! Now look at us. Wish he had crack as an excuse, our guy,” cracked Che.
“I don’t really hate Donald Trump obviously, but it is frustrating to watch him be president,” he concluded. “It’s frustrating because he doesn’t know what he’s doing, but he insists on doing it.” In other words: “Watching Trump govern the country is like watching a baby carry a baby.”
At one point, the SNL comic asked the assembled crowd if Trump was the worst president ever, to thunderous agreement. “Keep in mind, like the first sixteen owned slaves,” Che rejoined. “That’s the bar.”
Despite the riff—and his Weekend Update gig—Che insisted that, “I don’t talk about politics, because I don’t really know a lot about it.” He added, “I know everyone’s upset. People are upset. Black people are very upset. Brown people are very upset. And white women are distraught.”
While the crowd acted shocked at the mere suggestion that anyone in the room voted for Trump, Che pointed out that, “It’s statistically impossible that nobody voted for him. Nobody wants to admit that shit, but somebody fucking voted for him.”
“Trump votes are like herpes: nobody’s got ‘em but everybody’s got ‘em.”