Rhea Butcher may be having the best week ever. Her new Seeso series with real life partner Cameron Esposito, Take My Wife, has gotten rave reviews and tomorrow she’ll release her debut comedy album, Butcher, on Kill Rock Stars.
“It’s been so great,” Rhea told us. “I had really just hoped people would watch the show and like it, but this reaction has been bonkers. I’m honestly floored.”
Rhea recorded Butcher live in Portland, Oregon earlier this year and credits the city’s comedy crowds with being “open to queer lives and storytelling.”
“I really love performing there. They are also hard to win over, they don’t just laugh at anything,” Rhea said. “Same is true about LA. They’ve seen it all. I love that challenge.”
Butcher, like Rhea herself, is unapologetically queer, with jokes about her love of baseball (not softball; baseball) and people telling her she looked like Jodie Foster when she was a young girl.
“Oh I loved it,” Rhea said of the Jodie comparisons. “Because the other side of that joke is essentially that I felt the same way about her: I related to her ‘for some reason.’ I just always felt a kinship with Jodie Foster as a kid. I think that’s what some people call ‘gaydar.'”
photo by Megan Thompson
Butcher has some off-the-cuff jokes, too, like a bit about a lizard expo by the airport. (Curious? Have to buy the album.)
“I also had a raging sinus infection when I recorded this album, so the fact that anyone laughed at all that night, well, it’s a miracle,” Rhea said.
But what Rhea brings to comedy, aside from her poignant and skilled sense of humor, is much-needed visibility for women who look like her.
“Honestly, I get a lot of butch women say they are stoked to see someone like them onstage or on screen and that is the highest compliment I could ever get,” she said. “I realized recently that the first seasons of The L Word were my first gay friends. Representation matters!”
Rhea fans can also purchase limited edition baseball Ts and hats from Kill Rock Stars to show they’re on Team Butcher. And if you’re a sports-loving comedy fan, Butcher is probably the perfect comedy album for you, with Rhea making plenty of references to her love of the game.
“I think I love baseball because I love baseball, and I’m gay because I’m gay,” Rhea said. “They’re like two siblings rather than twins? Does that make sense?”
It all makes sense to us, Rhea. #TeamButcher
Check out an exclusive clip below where Rhea talks about the plight of getting mistaken for a young boy and how she responds.
Butcher is available August 19 on Kill Rock Stars.