Michelle Buteau wears a striped dress, rests her chin on her hand, and looks directly at the camera. The background is purple and there is a dark purple box with Queue & A in light purple.

Michelle Buteau

Netflix stars answer Queue’s questions about creativity and craft.

Opening photo by Gijs van der Most
4 June 20214 min read

Michelle Buteau, star of the comedy special Michelle Buteau: Welcome to Buteaupia, takes her turn answering Queue’s Q’s.

Queue: When did you get your SAG card?
Michelle Buteau: Well, I don’t have the receipts, but I got my SAG card after I did, I think, Last Comic Standing. I just remember thinking, Whoa. Not only did they use me being in the line, they actually used a joke. I think it was a one-liner joke. One of the jokes I had was about having a college boyfriend — like if you bought me french-fries on your meal card, I loved you; if they were curly fries, I was touching your dick. Look, am I proud? No. Is it my truth? Yes.

Who or what inspires you the most?
MB: Is this a tampon commercial? Who and what inspires me the most? Gosh, my family and a circle of friends that I call my chosen family definitely inspire me. I want them to be proud of me. I want to leave good in the world. I want to inspire other people who not only look like me but sort of don’t fit in and want to not only find a place but make their place. That inspires me for sure.

Michelle Buteau stands amidst a huge crowd with colorful lights. Her hands are spread wide, and her smile is wide. People clap and cheer, presumably for her. She holds a mike and wears a beautiful sparkly top.

What is your favorite on-set snack?
MB: If I’m really, really hungry I’m going to go for a Slim Jim — just like a salty protein snack. Delicious. Jerky is great, but then I’m like, Where’s the dental floss? Because it’s just in my mouth. Like the jerky is hiding in my teeth like Harrison Ford in The Fugitive. I also do a nice dried fruit. Not like mangoes. I do love dried mangoes, but sometimes when they’re all together, it’s like organic baby wipes: They’re just so hard to peel, I don’t like it. Nuts, sure. Nuts also pile up in my mouth. But you know what? I really love a hot snack. I don’t even care if it’s chili at ten a.m., I’m like, Give it to me! On set, why not? I’ll try it. All the rules are out the window. Eating on set is like a buffet under $30. It’s like, do I need the beef stroganoff with the cotton candy? Who knows? But it tastes good.

I want to inspire other people who not only look like me but sort of don’t fit in and want to not only find a place but make their place.

Michelle Buteau

What inspired you to pursue a career in comedy?
MB: I always wanted to work in front of the camera. But I did have a college professor that told me I was too fat to be on camera, and I didn’t doubt him, because no one looked like me. I worked behind the camera in production, and I was tired of telling people what to do and how to be sassy and shine. I’m just like, Why am I not doing this for myself? A lot of co-workers would tell me, “You’re so funny, you should do stand-up.” True story: 9/11 happened, and I thought, Well, this is the time, right? This is the time to do something, because everything is so uncertain. I did stand-up three days later.

Michelle Buteau wears a sparkly black suit, and rests her hand on her backside, while looking at the crowd. A microphone is poised at her mouth, and the background is lit with blue, orange, and red lights.

What is your dream role?
MB: Man, I don’t even know how to answer that. Truly every role’s a dream. The fact that somebody’s like, “You don’t have to lose weight to do this part. You don’t have to blacken up. You just be yourself. In fact, if you want to add something that you think is good, add it,” is a fucking dream.

If you could play anyone in history, who would it be?
MB: I would play one of the Pointer Sisters. I am obsessed with them, although I don’t know any of their names. I’m the only child. I’ve always wanted siblings. I’m just like, Who are the Pointer Sisters, and how do you just love each other so much and harmonize so well that you have a whole-ass group?What was the last thing you watched on Netflix?
MB: Definitely CoComelon or The Wiggles with the kids. But what did we watch? We watched something cool. We watched Malcolm & Marie. We’re cool.