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