It was just after 9:00AM, and I had barely opened both eyes, never mind done anything productive. And yet, the ever-manic Michael “Buck” Buckley, host of YouTube’s wildly popular “What the Buck?” had already shot and posted a video entry, tended to his four – yes, four – dogs and wrangled his recyclables (an excessive quantity of Diet Coke empties) to his Connecticut curbside when I called him.

I was at once refreshed and alarmed that Buck spoke with as much enthusiasm (translation: speed) off-camera as he does in his videos. With irrepressible energy and a gift for long-windedness, Michael Buckley is one of the hardest-working motor-mouths in the vlogosphere, regularly serving up his punchy, schticky, commentaries on celebrity gossip and reality show highlights.

In terms of his career as a personality, Buck said that it has “totally just evolved. I have a degree in psychology! As an adult, I knew I wanted to do something different and I saw TV hosts and thought, ‘I could do that.’”

Starting with a small, local cable access show in CT with a female co-host, Buck tested the net’s self-broadcasting waters with his cousin, who posted some of his video clips on YouTube. Eventually, the few times a week What the Buck? blew up to be one of the biggest shows on the site. With 113,920 (or so) subscribers, Buck’s channel is ranked the 7th most subscribed-to page on YouTube and is the site’s most popular entertainment channel.

Regarding his popularity, Buck said, “It couldn’t be possible without YouTube. If I put these videos on a different site, I might get 200 views, as opposed to YouTube, where I can get 200,000.” Regarding the YouTube community, Buck is constantly invigorated by the response of his viewers. He reads all their comments and tries to respond to each email he receives as quickly as possible. “I love the interaction, love getting the comments and love the relationship with the online community.”

As someone who has made a name for himself slagging celebs, Buck has made himself into a celebrity in his own right. When asked if people recognize him, he told me, “Yes! All the time! Two yesterday! They’re like, ‘Hey! You’re that guy from YouTube!’” And yet, he still manages to maintain a double life and work an administrative job at an undisclosed CT-based office. His co-workers are hardly aware of what he does in his spare time.

Buck has made a few forays into traditional broadcasting, most notably with a recurring spot on Fox News (“I was their token gay”) and a spotlight about him on the CW. But he’s not necessarily an appropriate candidate for a role on celebrity gossip shows such as Entertainment Tonight or Extra, though TMZ or The Soup would be a good fit. “I’m more obsessed with making fun of celebrities. I find the celebrity life so ridiculous. It’s more for the comedic aspect of it. I’m actually not someone who reads the gossip magazines.”

One thing that Buck is happy to riff on is American Idol, which means that right about now, with the “Top 12 ” finding their place in those coveted slots, Buck is really in his element. His most recent post is a 9-minute rant about the top 12 – who he loves (e.g. “Effie” David” Archuletta), and who he could do without (Amanda “Skunk Nurse” Overmyer).
Buck’s gusto for the topics he babbles about teeters the line between annoying and infectious. But he must be doing something right. Pop culture junkies, reality show addicts, celebrity gawkers and everyday fruit-flies will love tuning in to What the Buck?  He’s just mean enough, just funny enough, and with the right dose of you-go-girl!

And, truthfully? I think I’m hooked; I just became subscriber #113,921.

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