We have been huge fans of YouTube sensation Michael Buckley and his show “What the Buck” for such a long time that we were super excited when he agreed to do an interview with us. Not only is Michael absolutely hilarious, he is also endearing, delightful, handsome and, well, just an all around nice guy. His celebrity commentary is always right on mark and his ease and grace, while rolling his eyes and laughing, make him the perfect host to Hollywood stupidity. During several of his videos, especially the one discussing the teen suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer, he has brought us to tears, feeling his true emotions as he shares them on the screen. He has adorable taste in clothes and an impeccable sense for class and privacy. Yep…we’re pretty much in love with Michael Buckley. Check out what he had to tell us about his start on YouTube, his husband and his definition of sexy!
1. What motivated you to begin making videos on YouTube?
I started a public access show in my hometown to work on developing an on camera persona in 2005. In 2006, my cousin started putting clips of it on YouTube and it developed from there. I didn’t know what YouTube was the first few months. It seemed silly but fun so I kept posting.
2. What was the moment you knew you had made it on YouTube and how long did it take you to get there?
In Nov 2006, I had a hit video that had 200,000 views and that is when I knew that this could be something big. In the summer of 2007, I became a YouTube partner and started making money and was one of the top 20 users on the site. At that point, I knew I had made it. So it took about a year from when I first started.
3. What are the three biggest opportunities you have been able to experience as a result of your videos?
It’s funny because the things that seem like big opportunities like meeting celebrities and going to awards shows and things like that don’t feel like the biggest things to me. For me the biggest things have been 1. Being able to stay at home and make a living doing something I love. That is the single best part of all of this. 2. Getting to partner with brands for lucrative and fun sponsorships. 3. Being a figure skating fan and being What the Buck has thrust me into the skating community and I pretty much know every Figure Skater now and got to go to US Championships and do coverage for that. That was for me the most fun thing I have done because I love skating so much!
4. Who are your 3 favorite YouTubers to follow and watch their videos?
This is the dreaded question for all YouTubers. I love so many YouTubers and respect so many. It is very hard to pick 3 because I am friends with most of these people. My favorite YouTuber these days is Daily Grace. I just get joy and belly laughs watching her. I love and respect Phil Defranco for how he has turned his videos into a big business, same with Smosh. They and Phil nailed their YouTube careers! I also love watching iJustine; we are very good friends. I also love Shane Dawson, The Fine Brothers, Shay Carl, so many. I can’t name just three. And I love seeing younger gay people like Tyler Oakley and Lohanthony doing so well. I think they are going to save people’s lives simply by being themselves and so comfortable with their sexuality. They are a great asset to the site and the world.
5. What kind of camera and editing software do you use for your videos?
Panasonic HVX 2000 and Final Cut Pro.
6. What is one question which is off limits for one YouTuber to ask another, but only YouTube insiders would know?
YouTubers are pretty open and chatty with each other. I have been asked everything. YouTubers tend to be private with the media but very open with each other. It is a great group of people to be a part of!
7. What is a topic too personal to discuss in your videos?
I would never violate my husband or my family or friends trust by speaking about anything that would affect their privacy. I don’t mind talking about myself but I try to shield my loved ones from over sharing. I have cried a lot on camera and I have had good heart to hearts with my audience but I have been very protective of my privacy as well. But I am happy to share my own insight on pretty much anything.
8. What do you think are the 3 most powerful YouTube videos you ever made?
HAHA! I am not sure my videos would be described as powerful. Probably a simple video I made called ‘Why Wait To Be Happy’. I love that one and I watch it at least once a year just to remind myself to be happy! My “It Gets Better” video was well received. Another video that stands out is a video I made about TV Characters and how it’s nice you love them so much but you really need to calm down on Tumblr about Glee and Darren vs. Chris and stuff like that. The kids were freaking out on Twitter and Tumblr and I made a video and told them to close their laptops and take a deep breath. It was a helpful video for the kids who watch me to know I was seeing them derail and wanted to give them some positive and productive thoughts.
9. What are your 3 favorite videos you’ve made?
I did a Dance Battle video in 2008 that had over 200 YouTubers in it. That is my all-time fave. It has a great song that was my anthem at the time and it was just a great example of the fun the YouTube community was having!
I went backstage at the Glee tour in 2010 and got Heather Morris to say “What the Buck is a Gay Dolphin”. That made me laugh for a solid year!
I had a fake fight with Ryan Higa that was a fun video because people really thought we were fighting and I had scripted this video. It was hilarious to watch it play out and we ended up doing a movie together and I tweeted a picture and people were like “I thought they were arch enemies”. It was funny.
10. What are 4 things about you we wouldn’t know by looking at you?
I am shorter than you think. People always think I am taller until they meet me. I must look tall on camera.
I am much less opinionated in real life than I am in my videos. In my videos, I call people out for behavior that in real life I have zero judgment on. What the Buck is very judgmental for humor. I am not at all.
I am very relaxed. When I am on camera, I am super hyper. When I am just hanging out, I get rowdy when I need to but in general I am very calm, peaceful, love napping! HAHA!
I grew up on Cape Cod and was stung by a jellyfish in 1989 and never went back in the ocean until 2011! Now I love it again.
11. If you could only listen to 3 CD’s for the rest of your life and they couldn’t be mixed, who or what would they be?
Next to Normal, Aspects of Love, Scott Alan Live
12. You don’t talk much about your partner in your videos. Is this a conscious choice and what would you like your fans to know about him?
Yes it is very conscious. I am happy for the world to know that I am married since 2002 to a very handsome, wonderful man! I have no interest to put him on camera or discuss my marriage. I think the track record of reality TV and relationships is not great and YouTube is eventually reality TV. I do not mind anyone saying things about me. I have no interest in comments on my marriage. Keeping some private life is good for my sanity and longevity on the site. I try to sneak in comments about him that are cute or I will tell some stories casually but there will be no videos documenting our life together. That is not of any interest to me.
13. Have you ever received fan mail or hate mail which has changed your perspective on the impact you have on your followers?
Hate mail has zero impact on me. I developed a phrase early on “Don’t let the praise go to your head or the hate go to your heart”. No one has ever said anything that has ever hurt my feelings. I don’t give it that power. But the nice things can make your day! I do know that the people who watch me tend to be sad or have home problems and I am grateful that they enjoy watching me and that I can make them smile.
14. How do you define sexy? Who is the sexiest celebrity? What is the sexiest city? Sexiest song? Sexiest movie? Sexiest hotel? Sexiest restaurant?
Sexy is such a funny word to be because I think I use it more as a joke than a compliment. Like someone will look not sexy and I will say “Sexy” so I am pretty sure my definition of sexy is sufficiently warped!
Sexiest City – New York City
Sexiest Song – It’s All Coming Back To Me Now –Celine Dion
Sexiest Movie – Showgirls #duh
Sexiest Hotel – I love W Hotels
Sexiest Restaurant – Taco Bell #duh
15. What are your thoughts about Dan Savage’s definition of monogomish marriages or relationships?
I had to Google it. HA! Hmmmmmm! I am not worried about other people’s relationships. Whatever works for them. Different things work for different people. As I mentioned before I am not really judgey in real life so whatever works for other people, good for them!
16. What do you know now that you wish you had known at 16?
I am good not knowing things. I love surprises. I like watching my life unfold so I am grateful for not knowing too much back then. I guess I wish I knew I would not always be covered in pimples. I was pretty ugly and 16! HA!
17. What advice would you give to an aspiring YouTuber who wants some success from making videos?
Do it because you love it! Have passion and joy for the videos you are making. If you become rich or successful from it, great! But make sure you love it and enjoy the work and the process.
18. Who are your 3 favorite celebrities to talk about in your videos?
Kardashians – easy material always. One Direction – fun to watch their career going so well. Taylor Swift – equal parts fun to mock and celebrate!
19. What 5 dreams would you like to have accomplished in the next five years?
TV Show, Several Books Written, Do Stand Up, Return to Theatre, Renovate Kitchen
20. What are your three simple luxuries?
Napping! Cute Jeans! Miracle Blur by L’Oreal
Thanks buddy! Check out all of our other YouTube interviews, like Tyler Oakley, in our Interview section!
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*Images courtesy of Michael Buckley.