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Yesterday the WNYC Studios podcast “Late Night Whenever,” hosted by comedian Michelle Buteau, was officially released on iTunes, Stitcher, and everywhere you might get your podcasts. The premiere episode features Samantha Bee’s husband—Mr. Bee, as we call him at TMS office—Jason Jones, and Mr. Aaron Burr, sir, himself, Leslie Odom Jr.
The premise behind the show is incorporating the fun of late night with the personal intimate storytelling of a daytime program. If you visit Buteau’s set, you will see a tiny picture of Oprah looking out at the audience.
What makes the entire show come to life is Buteau herself. Not only is she funny and able to make jokes at her (and the audience’s) expense, but there is a bubbly energy that permeates through the entire room. After seventeen years in comedy and often feeling like “always the bridesmaid, never the bride,” Buteau is determined to give other women, especially women of color, a space to perform.
Just in the episode I watched being recorded last night, they covered colonization (“why am I so light? It’s cause of y’all”), traveling nightmares (5 days in Rome with no clean underwear), and the importance of standing up for yourself in a professional environment. One half of the 2 Dope Queens, Phoebe Robinson, spoke about pushing back against some nude scenes that she thought were unnecessary.
Buteau also brought up Mo’Nique a few times throughout the night, in a humorous way, but I think it’s important that Buteau isn’t afraid to at least press that button. For women in the industry, especially those who are bigger, they have been taught that they should be happy to occupy the space they have, regardless of how talented they are. Regardless of how you may feel about Mo’Nique herself, the reality is that she isn’t afraid to be loud, take up space, or be proud of her work.
In that sense, Buteau is definitely showing herself to be that kind of comedian, and it is amazing to watch an expert come alive in her craft.
Word to the weak, if you are gonna sit the front seat, you risk getting dragged, and Buteau is an excellent roaster. Your wig has been warned.
“Is it weird that I’m more excited about this podcast then I was planning my wedding?!?” said Buteau. “Between my years of stand-up, hosting, and acting I simply cannot wait to use the tips, tricks, and tools I’ve learned along the way to host my very own show! The hustle is real, y’all—and we know there could and should be more women hosting late night, which is why I simply heart WNYC Studios for giving me and my freckled face the opportunity to deliver my version of a late night show straight to your cute little earbuds. It’s the same kind of joy like when you try on your clothes in the morning and they actually fit. In LATE NIGHT WHENEVER, I’ll welcome celebrity guests, comedian friends, and always have my homey, my Black Dr. Phil, my professional friend and music director Rob Lewis, by my side. Not to mention my audience members who will serve a huge part in the show as my walking Yelp review for life! Oh, we’re about to get très très interactive, in the good way. I mean, is there a bad way?”
If you do want to catch a live taping of the podcast and you live in the NYC area, stop by the WYNC website. Buteau’s next two guests will be Matteo Lane and Nico Tortorella. Live tapings will be happening until June 26th every Tuesday, so go watch the magic of podcasting in action.