"Saturday Night Live" star Michael Che says he will pay a month of rent for residents of the same New York City public housing building his late grandmother lived in. During last weekend's episode of SNL, the "Weekend Update" co-host revealed she died from COVID-19.
Che announced on his Instagram page late Wednesday that he was taking care of rent for 160 residents "in the spirit and memory" of his grandmother, Martha. He also called on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and music mogul Diddy for more help.
"It's crazy to me that residents of public housing are still expected to pay their rent when so many new yorkers can't even work," he said. "I know thats just a drop in the bucket. so i really hope the city has a better plan for debt forgiveness for all the people in public housing, AT THE VERY LEAST."
Many praised the comedian for his generosity on social media, including a New York state lawmaker.
"I love this...so much," assembly member Yuh-Line Niou tweeted. "And he is shedding a light on the needs of our Public housing residents and renters in our city and state...but we shouldn't be depending on the kind hearted to help. Our government should."
There have been more than 111,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York City, according to the latest data, and at least 6,840 deaths.
On Saturday's episode, Che told his fellow co-host Colin Jost about the loss of his family member. "As you know, Colin, I lost my grandmother this week," Che said. "And coming back to work really made me feel better, especially with you."
At the end of the segment, in the place of his usual signoff, Che said instead, "For Weekend Update, I'm Martha's grandbaby."