Matt Buechele on His Pitch Perfect Musical Parodies

Musicals by Ludovic Bertron / (CC by 2.0)

Last month New York comedian Matt Buechele posted a short video with the title “All Musicals Sound Like This To Me.” In the video Buechele perfectly parodies the tear-jerking sentimentality of our favourite show tunes by pointing out the formulaic qualities of the genre. The post left musical theatre kids feeling both seen and attacked and became a massive hit on Twitter with over a million views. The comedian’s take on the genre also earned praise from heavy hitters like Billions creator Brian Koppelman and Broadway’s favourite storyteller Mike Birbiglia. Buechele followed up the song’s success with more biting takes on the genre, showcasing a the comedian’s massive talent, and becoming one of our favourite follows on Twitter. Recently we had the chance to catch up with Buechele to chat about his songs, comedy, and musical theatre.  You can read our conversation below.


Intermission Magazine: Your musical parodies cut to the heart of the genre. Can you talk to me about their origins/what made you write them?

Matt Buechele: I had been writing/performing comedy in New York off and on for several years to varying levels of success and I was getting burned out. A few months back I decided to focus on making short, simple premise videos that would be more shareable. A longtime comedian friend told me I should lean more into my musical talents (something I had previously shied away from) and musical theatre was perfect for tropes/parody/etc. I grew up on Disney movies and have always been surrounded by people in the theatre world so I was pretty familiar with everything from the classics to the more contemporary stuff.

Musical theatre is notoriously made fun. It also brings joy to a lot of people. Why do you think it gets such a bad rap?

I’ve thought about this a lot. There will always be a group of people who can’t get over the fantasy element of the genre. The lamest complaint people make is nobody just breaks out into song! and like, sure, but we also have real life recording artists releasing diss tracks to address their problems; sounds pretty dramatic to me too. I think the people that don’t take musical theatre seriously let a part of their childhood imagination die and that’s sad. To take musical theatre seriously you have to be willing to accept that stories can be told with dancing, singing, set changes, etc, and that’s hard/too effeminate for a lot of people.


Sometimes the parody of the work and the work itself seem pretty similar. What do you think satire can do that other genres can’t?

I think the best part about satire and, more specifically, parodying musicals is that we all (as fans of the genre) know the tropes and the patterns of the big numbers. We can all share in the secret language of our fandom. It’s fun to write these songs because I get practice writing and performing and I get to see if my hunch about the genre was right or way off base. I learn that almost immediately. I do sometimes wonder if I’m funny or if I’m just accurate AF.  

The videos you’ve made are extremely funny and have been getting a lot of attention online. Has that lead to other things for you?

Thank you, yeah, it’s been kind of wild. I will start by saying I am still incredibly unemployed but I have picked up a few freelance writing jobs that came about because of the recent success of these videos. I would love to develop and write a TV show/musical along the lines of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend or Flight of the Conchords. I’d also love to contribute songs to Disney/Pixar productions. And, of course, I have the pie in the sky dream of bringing my own musical to Broadway one day, but I feel like there may be a few other steps in between.

Matt Buechele is a comedian and musician based in New York, NY.

 

Written By

Graham Isador is a writer in Toronto. He is an associate producer at Theatre Passe Muraille.