Last year, Saturday Night Live head writer and Weekend Update co-host Michael Che publicly harassed critic Steven Hyden, an A.V. Club alum, after Hyden penned a mildly critical article about Che’s SNL colleague, Colin Jost. Via his Instagram Stories, the comedian’s preferred mode of response, Che called Hyden a “regular mediocre ass white dude” who liked to suck off rescue dogs (or something?). Hyden’s Wikipedia page was updated with the “joke” so quickly after the incident that many assumed Che himself had made the edit. Kinda weird!
Well, that incident didn’t exist in a vacuum, as anyone who follows Che on Instagram has probably figured out by now. For roughly six months, Che has used his Instagram Stories to berate podcaster and former Kimmel writer Jack Allison, who, by his own admission, often egged it on. Now, in a searing new essay for The Outline, Allison unpacks this weird feud, which began when Allison pointed out a clause in SNL’s submission guidelines that says the show can’t be held liable for theft if it yanks jokes from an applicant’s social media page. (He also called it the “worst show on TV.”)
Allison’s tweet didn’t go viral or anything, but Che responded within 15 minutes of its posting anyway with a few low-key dunks. And, in the ensuing months, he just...kept going, adopting a casual, lol-heavy air as his posts about Allison grew more and more personal. (He’s also gone after comedy journalists Seth Simons and Megh Wright, calling their Twitter accounts “the saddest shit you’ll ever read.”)
As Allison puts it:
There was the time we bickered about the function of the applause sign on SNL. There was the time he dunked on me for offering tuition-free slots in a class I was teaching. There was the time I posted about making Campbell’s tomato bisque wrong (I am not smart), and the next day Che spent the afternoon making fun of me for eating soup and saying that I must be “saving up for a gun.” He mocked a podcast I appeared on because the Patreon only costs $5 — between this and the large block text Instagram Stories, I’m forced to conclude that Michael Che is an early-onset Boomer. He spent the Friday afternoon before the David Harbour-hosted episode of SNL posting that I was “miserable” and also noting that I’d made a pie that afternoon, which to me just feels inherently contradictory.
Allison, who no longer works in television, goes on to meditate on what might have motivated this very successful, very rich comedian’s ongoing posts, and ponders what this apparent inability to process criticism means for shows like SNL and the future of comedy. Read it in full here.
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