Meet the Comics: Michelle Buteau

Miami-born Michelle Buteau is the savvy older sister we all wish we had. She got her first major exposure on seasons five and six of Last Comic Standing, and was quickly scooped up by VH1’s Best Week Ever when an off-hand comment she made during an audition led to her being given a regular “Panties On/Panties Off” culture review segment on the show. Michelle is a dynamic presence both on television and on the stage, bringing an unapologetic frankness to every performance, and is in high demand at comedy clubs and festivals across the country. She was Jenny McCarthy’s sidekick on her VH1 show Jenny, and has also appeared on MTV, Lifetime, Oxygen, Bravo, Lopez Tonight and The Late Late Show. She will also be seen in the new FOX comedy, Enlisted, in Fall 2013. Michelle currently lives in New York, where strangers have started recognizing her as “the panties girl.”

I’ve never seen Star Wars & I sleep at night just fine.
Michelle Buteau

Q&A with Michelle

What was your worst-ever heckle?

I was new to comedy, maybe two or three years in, I was performing one of my first late night,  bringer-free spots at a New York City club, and it was “Urban Night.” As soon as I got on stage, I said “Hey, everyone, I’m Michelle.” This guy immediately yells, “Say something funny, bitch.” I replied, “Sir, I hope your dick is as big as your mouth.” I somehow won the crowd over in that moment, and he didn’t say anything for the rest of my set. It was the best/worst heckle.

How did your friends and family react when you told them you wanted to be a comedian?

My parents were happy that I graduated college, had a well-paying job and didn’t have any kids out of wedlock.  When I told them I wanted to do comedy, they thought that would be a nice hobby, but they had no idea what it really meant. They honestly thought it was like a “softball meet-up group to find a man” kind of situation. Ew.

What’s your least-favorite comedy cliche?

Comedians are unhappy people.

Women aren’t funny.

You can’t be pretty and be funny.

Comedians want to tell you a joke right on the spot after you’ve found out they’re a stand-up.

If you’re a female comic, you must be gay.

Do I have to pick just one?

Learn more about Michelle at

Related Content
Aditi Sneha Speaking, People in Background

Meet the Heroes

Learn about SUP’s heroes and allies here, and visit their websites to support their work.
Hasan Minhaj

Meet the Comics: Hasan Minhaj

Where many comedians fail to make their jokes greater than the sum of their parts, Hasan succeeds.
Aditi Mittal

Meet the Comics: Aditi Mittal

Her comedy provokes at the same time as it pleases, but judging by her success, she may not be as “deviant from the norm,” as an elderly audience member once insisted to her after a show.