Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



River Butcher slices up some fresh new comedy
by Jerry Nunn

This article shared 1078 times since Mon Feb 21, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

River Butcher is a comedian, actor and writer born and raised in Akron, Ohio, and who is returning to his roots for a one-night stand-up act at The Den Theatre on Friday, March 11.

Butcher began performing improv at The Second City then took their act to other local venues in Chicago including Zanies, The Hideout and The Lincoln Lodge.

Butcher co-hosted with comedian Cameron Esposito the web series She Said for Amy Poehler's Smart Girls Network. Their relationship together was explored more with Take My Wife, on streaming service Seeso. Another co-host gig on a podcast with Esposito titled Put Your Hands Together was recorded weekly at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in LA until it ended in 2019.

His first comedy album, Butcher, was released in 2016 and debuted at number one on iTunes. Television appearances include Adam Ruins Everything on TruTV and a spinoff of The Fosters called Good Trouble.

This multitalented trans man uses pronouns that include they/them as well as he/his. Butcher discussed their life in the business of comedy before an 11 year anniversary this August, describing it as, "It feels like a lifetime and brand new all at the same time!"

Windy City Times: Hi, River. Where in the world are you?

River Butcher: I am in Toronto right now.

WCT: How is traveling with everything going on in the world today?

RB: Traveling to Canada is very different than before. I will say that [laughs]! I had to prove that I am here for work.

I like traveling with masks because people are quieter. You have to find the silver lining when you can. I feel like people are more chilled out on a plane with a mask on.

WCT: As far as germs it seems more sanitary on an airplane to wear masks, doesn't it?

RB: Yes. I have been traveling with stand-up since 2014 and I was getting to the point where I was sick a lot. I was already starting to wear masks. These days, I wear a mask outside to protect myself and the tour. I haven't been sick for three years!

WCT: What hot topics are you tackling on this tour?

RB: I just put out a half-hour special with Comedy Central called A Different Kind of Dude. A little material taken from the top is about my recent transition. I would like to go more into that experience and what it has been like while in a pandemic. That is a hot topic to me at least. I have always talked about gender. I have experienced gender a lot in my life and I feel it is relatable for people.

I would like to flip the script because there are so many cisgender comics out there that are talking about transgender people. Similar to my experience before where male comics were talking about female comics or straight people were talking about gay people, white cisgender men have used us as topics, but in queer culture, those things are really just our lives and not hot topics. My comedy is always about presenting experiences, not topics.

I used to think I should be more universal and get into the mainstream, but then I realized anything can be universal, so I talk about my experiences and people can get on board with that or not. We have all been missing the live experience of standup and this is what I do.

WCT: You are describing your style of stand-up act as conversational to the audience. Do you like the audience to engage with you by talking?

RB: No. I do have a conversation style, but I do write jokes. I have setups and punchlines. That momentum gets messed up when people speak out.

I am also not a tyrant on the stage though. During my comedy special, a guy talked about his life and it was so big that I had to address it. I have that happen a lot.

I create a very queer space in my stand-up and people sometimes feel a part of something that they don't always feel when they are out in the world. Speaking back to me may happen more in that type of situation.

WCT: How do you feel your stand-up audiences have evolved in terms of respecting the LGBTQ+ community?

RB: It is interesting because the goal of comedy is for people to pay to come to see you. They know who I am, so that's not a problem. There's not a conflict there because they know what they are getting into.

If I were opening for a nonqueer comic then things would be different. That is the journey of the marginalized comedian to do both.

Audiences are very smart now because of the information on the Internet. I have to bring my A-game. I like to put out content in a live setting so that is what my audiences are there for. To be out on the road with joyful moments is what I like to create for people.

WCT: With people finally seeing comedy live again, do you feel an eager vibe from the audience when you enter the stage?

RB: Yes, but there is still a hesitancy. My audiences are generally considerate and concerned about the pandemic. They usually relax at some point so we can have a good time together.

WCT: How was playing a non-binary character on Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts?

RB: It was a lot of fun! I love voice acting and would like to do more of it. I am one of a pair of twins on the show and was told it was a non-binary character before I took the role. When I first watched the finished product the other cartoon character had long hair and I thought it was my character. I had gender dysmorphia over a ponytail even though that wasn't even my character.

WCT: How was working on Netflix's Friendsgiving?

RB: Jane Seymour was so much fun to hang out with, along with Ryan Hansen. The dinner scene was fun to shoot and watch everyone have a good time while it was filmed.

WCT: You have made many podcasts over the years. Would you like to make another one?

RB: Yes, I would like to do another one because I feel it is something I am good at. I miss my baseball podcast all the time. I just grew tired of always talking about baseball, not on the podcast, but everywhere else in the world. I kept guesting on other podcasts and talked too much about baseball. Don't turn your hobby into a job. If you want to love something purely then keep it where it is and just enjoy it.

WCT: What were your thoughts on the podcast on HBO's And Just Like That…?

RB: It thought it was funny and pretty accurate until they did a call-in segment. That is not how we do that.

WCT: What are you working on for the rest of 2022?

RB: I have stand-up dates in March and April. I will be headlining the Netflix Is A Joke Festival in LA. I will put together an hour set for that appearance and see how it goes.

I am working on a pilot episode for a show and hope to make another comedy special soon!

Catch River Butcher in the act at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., on The Heath Mainstage on Saturday, April 9, at 7:30 p.m. (The original date was Friday, March 11.) For tickets, visit or, or call 773-697-3830.

This article shared 1078 times since Mon Feb 21, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

THEATER Theo Ubique hosting production about Elizabeth Taylor
Evanston's Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, 721 Howard St., will run Call Me Elizabeth—an acclaimed one-woman show about the early life of Elizabeth Taylor—on Aug. 20 (at 7:30 p.m.) and 21 (at 2:30 p.m.) only. The production ...

Gay News

Production based on Larry Kramer speech at Center on July 22-31
Open Space Arts announced its inaugural production of The Kramer Project, directed and adapted by David Zak from activist Larry Kramer's watershed speech "The Tragedy of Today's Gays." This will be the first production for Open ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Elliot Page, NPH, Madonna, Chita Rivera, Jennifer Lopez
Elliot Page talked with talk-show host Seth Meyers about how her Netflix show The Umbrella Academy incorporated the actor's own personal transition into season three of the series, Deadline noted. "With Steve Blackman, the showrunner of ...

Gay News

COMEDY Hannah Einbinder to perform additional show July 16
Due to popular demand, The Den Theatre announced a third stand-up performance for comedian/actress Hannah Einbinder (the TV show Hacks) on Saturday, July 16, at 7 p.m. on The Heath Mainstage, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. The ...

Gay News

TELEVISION John Early and Kate Berlant discuss 'Would It Kill You to Laugh?'
Peacock is releasing a new sketch comedy show called Would It Kill You to Laugh? Starring Kate Berlant and John Early, the show debuts Friday, June 24. This one-hour special features a comedy duo who have ...

Gay News

Writers Theatre's 2022-23 season to include 'Tiger Style!,' 'Once' and other productions
-- From a press release - Glencoe, IL—Writers Theatre Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma and Interim Artistic Director Bobby Kennedy announce the company's 2022/23 four-play season, to include Mike Lew's Tiger Style!, directed by Brian Balcom; ...

Gay News

Goodman Theatre running musical 'Life After' through July 17
Goodman Theatre is running the musical Life After through Sunday, July 17. With humor and wit, this "luminous new musical…lush, poetic and surprisingly funny" (The San Diego Union-Tribune) explores how people move through and live with ...

Gay News

Billy Masters
"u don't know my alphabet."—Sexy Lukas Gage (from The White Lotus; Love, Victor; and the rebooted Queer as Folk) tweets his response to criticism that Hollywood shouldn't hire him to play LGBTQIA+ roles. When asked to ...

Gay News

TELEVISION 'Rutherford Falls' returns for season two with double the diversity
Peacock's hit comedy Rutherford Falls is back with season two. (It started June 16.) The story follows two lifelong friends—Nathan Rutherford (Ed Helms) and Reagan Wells (Jana Schmieding)—as they navigate ...

Gay News

WORLD Pride disruption, trans journalists, Tunisian play, marriage bills
Turkish police officers carrying clear-plastic riot shields, wielding batons and deploying pepper powder balls as well as tear gas violently broke up a Pride parade that Middle East Technical University students organized in the capital of ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Lightyear,' celebrity event, LGBT runner, Mariah Carey
Video below - Pixar's latest film Lightyear is hitting theaters, and it has a special moment for gay fans—a same-sex kiss between the character Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) and her female partner—that almost didn't happen, Out Magazine note ...

Gay News

Steep Theatre's race-centered 'Paris' running June 17-July 23
Steep Theatre, 1044 W. Berwyn Ave., will run the Eboni Booth work Paris on June 17-July 23. Jonathan Berry will direct. Returning home to the small town of Paris, Vermont, Emmie tries to make ends meet ...

Gay News

PERFORMANCE 'Moonset Sunrise' at Navy Pier on June 16 and 18
Collaboraction announced that Moonset Sunrise, its 25th-anniversary production, with live performances on June 16 and 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Beat Kitchen's new Bar Sol on Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Ave. Through healing ritual, storytelling, ...

Gay News

Queer-themed plays win Tonys; Hudson reaches EGOT status
On June 12, the 75th annual Tony Awards were held to honor the top performances from the theater industry. The event—hosted by LGBTQ+ Oscar winner/Tony nominee Ariana DeBose at New York City's Radio City Music Hall—followed ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Jodie Comer, 'Queer As Folk,' trans film, Tom of Finland photos
Jodie Comer—the Emmy- and BAFTA-winning actress perhaps best known for playing LGBTQ+ assassin Villanelle on BBC America's Killing Eve—will make her Broadway debut next spring in Prima Facie, a new play by Suzie Miller, Deadline noted. ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.