Review: Michelle Buteau, “Welcome To Buteaupia” on Netflix

It’s such a joy to see Michelle Buteau’s career climbing now, and her debut solo hour special on Netflix kicks off with the voice of Cardi B introducing her to the stage at Times Square’s Sony Hall.

Also got a kick out of VICE’s interview with Buteau promoting this special by referencing my Meet Me In New York profile of her from way back in 2013, where she said then that she hoped by 2018 she’d be “Having my own show and a couple of interracial children, composting in my backyard in Brooklyn, just ’cause.” She’s doing it!

As I wrote about her new Netflix hour for Decider:

I’ve known and loved Buteau’s comedy for more than a decade, because her confidence and stage presence translates into unapologetic pride and exuberance.

When she compares her shape to the drumstick emoji, it’s not at all self-deprecating, because as she reminds us, drumsticks are delicious. When she engages in a bit of crowd work, asking audience members who their types are for romance or soulmates, she responds and reacts with amusing insights into what we really should be looking for in a life partner. And reminding us that each of us is someone else’s type, too.

It all culminates in a coda of inspirational gratitude, with Buteau reflecting upon her then 18-year journey in stand-up comedy, and imploring everyone else to keep striving toward their own goals, “because you never know what is going to happen, but it’ll be great.”

Filming her hour on March 1 in Times Square at Sony Hall, just as the true scope of the coronavirus pandemic was only starting to become clear, Buteau reminds us: “There’s always going to be a lot of s— going on in the world, and it doesn’t matter what your title is at work, or what your degree says, or whatever f—ing car you drive. The only thing that matters is your character. We have to be kind to each other.” When Buteau jumps up and down with joy afterward, you’ll be filled with joy, too. And unlike hearing Ellen or Melania tell you to be kind, you really feel that Buteau backs that s— up.

Watch Michelle Buteau: Welcome to Buteaupia on Netflix

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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