Christmas in February: Michael Che Comedy Show
I could tell there was more than just a card in the envelope when it was handed to me for my Christmas present in 2015. Sure enough, inside the card were six tickets for the February 25th show at the Columbia City Theater featuring Michael Che.
I was excited about seeing the up and coming young comedian who is one of the news anchors for Saturday Night Live, and who had also served as a correspondent for The Daily Show. However, I was even more excited about getting a triple date with Candace and Ricky, Bugg and Erin, and, of course, Linda.
When the day came, the ladies all rode up to Seattle with me. Ricky had to close the store, but would meet us before the show at the theater. We had a lovely dinner at Tutta Bella Neopolitan Pizzeria next door to the theater. Bugg and Erin insisted on paying the bill as their part of the Christmas present.
I had been to the theater one time before. That night it offered seating. This night, however, the audience would be standing for the show. It was a small price to pay, I suppose.
The show opened with Elicia Sanchez. I would describe her as a large woman, but she prefers to be called fat because, she says, she is fat. She talked about getting back into the dating scene since her recent break up.
One date had her with a guy in a bar who seemed surprise when she suggested they go to his house. His surprise was a bit surprising to her. After all, how did he think a Tinder hook up was supposed to end?
She was a bit nervous when they got to his house. Not only was it "in the middle of nowhere," his decor included a forty-eight star American flag, and a bunch of ammo boxes and spent shells. Despite her concern that he was a white supremist skinhead, something he admitted many people asked him, she did him anyway. After all, how else is a Tinder hook up supposed to end?
She was followed by Cipher Sounds, a Puerto Rican from the Bronx. He cautioned the mostly white audience that there would be black jokes coming, and that it was important for us to make certain the black people in the audience were laughing before we laughed. He even found us a couple of people to cue on. Those of us in the back could safely rely upon a lady named Shaniqua. The people in the front, however, were a little less secure because their cue person was named Shante, which is only a marginally black name.
He then talked about Puerto Rican culture, including forty some relatives living in a one bedroom apartment. Saying good night takes about an hour calling each person by name, including the six named Jesus. He also talked about his six year old uncle being his father figure since he didn’t know his dad. It is a bit awkward getting called into the house by a six year old uncle, but he drew the line at getting his father figure cigarettes and beer.
He concluded with the confession that he is in counseling. He is an admitted germaphobe, but also loves delivering pleasure through cunnilingus. Those seemingly contrary aspects of his mental state resulted in him being grossed out by an offer for a drink of water from a lady who was the beneficiary of his oral generosity. After all, she had just taken a sip from that same glass!
It was time for the headliner!
Michael Che is tall and could be an imposing figure, but he speaks softly and thoughtfully. He certainly does not take his meteoric rise in fame for granted. Rather, he put the audience at ease with his gentle nature and tales of his humble upbringing.
He talked of one of the requirements for growing up black was the expectation to fight anybody from a different race who used the "n-word" against him, but, more than that, the expectation to win the fight. Nothing was more embarrassing than going home and telling his father that he got into a fight because somebody called him that, and then admitting that he lost the fight so he was called that again.
He also talked about how the most feared people in the world are white women. He said that they can gentrify any place with their mere presence. He asked how rich he, as a black man, would have to be to gentrify a neighborhood, and then answered his own question with "impossibly." He suggested that if we were to get serious about defeating ISIS, we should send white women over there so they could open a Trader Joe’s. It would be the first war in history won because the enemy could no longer afford the rent.
He moved on to how white people are so concerned about seeming racist. One lady told him about a fried chicken place, but wanted him to know she didn’t want to seem racist suggesting a chicken place to a black person. He thought it odd, but she went on to explain that black people are stereotyped as loving fried chicken. "Two things," he told us: "one, it’s true, and, two, other people who like chicken are everybody with taste buds."
He recalled the incident when golfer Sergio Garcia was criticized because he said he would invite Tiger Woods over and make fried chicken for him. He said he would love racism if it included providing things the target likes. He would even love the KKK if they showed up in front of his house with things like fried chicken and, perhaps, some baked beans.
He confessed that he is not always politically correct, but that it is sometimes misunderstood. For example, he was asked how he would feel about having a gay son. He admitted he would not like it. He drew some criticism over that response, but he said, if he had been allowed to explain further, that he also would not want to have a straight daughter. He simply does not want his children penetrated when they grow up!
It was a great evening!
It was capped off with Michael Che’s offer to hang around so audience members could get a picture with him. When it was our turn, I told him that he was given to me as a Christmas present by my children.
"That’s beautiful, man," he told me.
It was beautiful. It was Christmas in February!
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