Seales, Buteau bring race, sexual health, solidarity to comedy

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Collegian | Gregory James

Stand-up comedian Michelle Buteau performs in the Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom April 30. Buteau and Amanda Seales were the two comedians performing at the RAMbunctious Comedy Show put on by RamEvents.

Kota Babcock, Arts and Culture Director

On April 30, comedians Michelle Buteau and Amanda Seales graced the Lory Student Center Ballroom with stories of being high, young and in love.

“2 Dope Queens” performer Buteau, who recently announced her show “Survival of the Thickest” with Netflix, brought high energy with her onstage. With her bubbly personality and hilarious stories of her “white boy” husband, Gijs van der Most, Buteau made her mark on students and community members alike.

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“I’m really bad at being high,” Buteau said. “My husband is so good at being high, and one night, we got basketball tickets, … and he was like, ‘Let’s go get high, and it will be really fun because you don’t have to talk to anyone.'”

Stand up comedian Michelle Buteau performs at the Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom April 30.
Stand-up comedian Michelle Buteau performs in the Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom April 30. Buteau, who hosts the Netflix series “The Circle,” was one of two comedians performing at the RAMbunctious Comedy Show. (Collegian | Gregory James)

Unfortunately for Buteau, she said she hallucinated that the ground was moving and began whispering, thinking the basketball players could hear her. Like many of their other high adventures, getting high before the event did not make being high more tolerable for Buteau. She described other events like this, including a trip to a reptile refuge where she swears a lizard spoke to her.

She attributed much of her husband’s strange hobbies to his whiteness, joking she’d rather get high and make social change than fix a chair he found in the dumpster.

At the sight of so many white college students, she jokingly assigned names to audience members before asking for them and laughed when their name was more stereotypically white than she expected.

“The names are getting whiter and whiter,” Buteau said. After realizing the trend of names, she said, “Taylor, where you at?” which led to an eruption of laughter as a girl raised her hand in the middle of the crowd.

Her set was full of audience interaction and jokes about her “big-titty TED Talk,” especially as she got more personal.

“I’m from New York, and like, I get very nervous when I go to the rest of the country and leave my five-block radius,” Buteau said. “If I don’t see Black people, gay people or smell piss I get nervous.”

Buteau moved into a more serious conversation prior to Seales’ set, voicing her support for transgender women and relating to them through her own inability to carry children, telling people a woman is not defined by her fertility or birthing abilities.

As Seales took over the stage, the HBO star known for her roles in “Insecure” and “Black-ish” commented on her stress over abortion laws in Florida and Texas.

“Can y’all still get abortions (in Colorado)?” Seales asked the audience, who in response shouted and applauded to signal that the medical procedure remains legal in the state.

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Stand-up comedian Amanda Seales perfoms at the Lory Student Centr April 30, 2022.
Stand-up comedian Amanda Seales performs at the Lory Student Center April 30. This was an event held for Colorado State University students and the public to enjoy a laugh. (Collegian | Michael Giles)

Both Seales and Buteau addressed their college years, with Seales capitalizing on the failures of her school’s sexual health clinic and the racism she witnessed from teachers in New York.

“(My roommate) went to the clinic because she was like, ‘You know, I’m having cramps,’ and the clinician was like, ‘Hm, I think you have an ectopic pregnancy.'”

Seales said despite her roommate being a virgin and the clinician running no tests prior to the statement, the clinician was convinced she was pregnant. Seales herself admitted to having a similar experience when she developed a yeast infection, and a clinician told her she had chlamydia without running any tests or doing an exam. In response, Seales accused her boyfriend of giving it to her before discovering she was negative for the disease.

Much of Seales’ set joked about sexual health and her experiences of having a vagina and how confusing it is regardless of age. Her discussion of her own sex life turned into a conversation about a racist professor at her college, who told an African student that white people “civilized” Africans just for him to “act like an animal.” The audience quickly became uncomfortable, and Seales said that class was one of the catalysts in her leaving college.

“Unless you have like, a Kanye plan of action, and we see how that’s turning out, don’t (quit school),” Seales said.

Stand-up comedian Amanda Seales performs at the Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom April 30.
Stand-up comedian Amanda Seales performs in the Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom April 30. Seales, best known for the HBO show “Insecure,” was one of two performers at the RAMbunctious Comedy Show. (Collegian | Gregory James)

The adventure tales of Seales and Buteau throughout their sets did much more than entertain an audience of mostly CSU’s underclassmen — it became clear at the end that this comedy show provided a moment to unwind without hiding from the social issues found at CSU and nationwide. Seales and Buteau offered a space in their show to celebrate diversity and encourage change in universities and larger society.

If you were unable to make it out, Buteau’s comedy special, “Michelle Buteau: Welcome to Buteaupia,” is available on Netflix, and Seales’ special, “Amanda Seales: I Be Knowin’,” is available through HBO and HBO Max.

Reach Kota Babcock at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @kotababcock.