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That Damn Michael Che seems aimed at being the new Chappelle's Show, but it also indicates the humbling of a maturing comedy agitator

  • "There are elements of the series that will inevitably draw comparisons to Chappelle’s Show, particularly in the sketches that use broad comedy to make a statement about the realities of racial injustice in America," says Kevin Fallon. "It’s a more micro approach than the underrated Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas, which spent entire seasons exploring multiple facets of one social justice issue through Cenac’s comedy perspective. But That Damn Michael Che has a similar effect as Problem Areas. The comedy and the intimacy of Che’s personal experience create a show that feels funnier, more resonant, and more current than he could ever hope to be on SNL. There’s also reason to be exasperated by how Che has handled himself as a public figure since gaining fame on the sketch show. When called out and criticized for offensive jokes perceived as transphobic, homophobic, sexist, and ageist, he has in the past taken to social media to harass those lobbying the complaints. In one case, he doxxed former Daily Beast writer Samantha Allen after she wrote about transphobia in comedy. Because That Damn Michael Che asks for a certain level of empathy as he details so much of his personal history and feelings, that behavior is something to square with when you watch. Che clearly thrives on baiting controversy and then engaging with the fallout. And That Damn Michael Che certainly pokes the bear. But what the show wants to say and what Che wants people to glean from its provocations also, then, indicate the humbling of a maturing comedy agitator."

    TOPICS: That Damn Michael Che, HBO Max, Michael Che