Humor and Sexuality: Exploring Michi Buchinger’s Bold New Act

por Guillermo Seis

In the quiet town of Müllendorf, Austria, a shy child once grew up surrounded by a family known for their humor. This child, navigating the strict hallways of a Catholic school, discovered that humor was both a shield and a bridge—connecting his true self to the world around him. Fast forward to the present, that reserved wallflower has transformed into the beloved comedian and YouTube sensation, Michi Buchinger.
Over lunch at Schöne Perle, I had the pleasure of diving into Michi's journey. We chatted about his small-town beginnings that ignited his creative spark, the intricate dance of sexuality in his comedy, and his current transition from comedy to acting, aiming to shed new light on himself with a sexier, more complex image. A part of him, once shy, is now ready and confident to break through.


Can you tell us a little about yourself? And what inspired you to start your YouTube channel and a career as a comedian?
I grew up in Müllendorf, Burgenland, which is a small town with a population of 1000 people. I was a quiet kid, but my family was always pretty funny and I’m sure I got my sense of humor from them. At school, I usually felt like a wallflower. I was never particularly popular, nor was I considered attractive. Early on, I got the feeling that the only way I would win people over was by being funny and self-deprecating, so that’s the road I took. In the beginning, my YouTube channel was only meant for my close friends, but naturally, nothing stays a secret at a Catholic private school, so all the students started watching my videos. I have to say, it did help with my popularity and by the time I graduated, I didn’t feel like an outsider at all.


How would you describe yourself as creative? Do you see any links between your creative work, and sexuality contributing to your work? And does this creative drive allow for some form of self-reflection and self-discovery?
To be honest, it took a long time to describe myself as creative at all, since I thought that stand up comedy, podcasts and Instagram videos were more like casual conversations rather than creative work. However, I’ve come to realize that being funny is a deeply serious business and that all of these things are actually very creative, as well - but maybe not as highly regarded as if I were an acclaimed sculptor ;)
I’m certain that a lot of my comedy is inspired by my sexuality. I have always presented the perspective of an urban, gay man with a sarcastic sense of humor. It helps knowing that a large part of my audience is queer, as well, so I can assume that they will understand certain references I make, or scenarios I talk about.
And yes, my creative work is very self-reflective. On my weekly podcast and on stage, pretty much all I do is reflect on myself. In my experience, the more specific the story you tell, the more people can relate.


What does sexuality mean to you, and how has your understanding of your own sexual and personal identity evolved throughout your life and career?
Back in school, my sexuality was always linked to shame. I came out of the closet at 15 and told some of my family and most of my friends. I was always pretty sure I was gay but in the beginning, I pretended to be bisexual for a while, maybe to give my parents a speck of hope. I usually didn’t address my sexuality online; I thought it was obvious that I was gay and didn’t feel the need to clarify or do a „Coming Out“-video, as was the norm back then. 
During this time of self-discovery, I found myself gravitating toward the women's section at H&M. The men’s clothes felt so boring; I craved something different that could better project my personality. This was more than just a fashion choice; it was an extension of my journey to embrace and express my true self in every aspect of my life. As I explored new styles, I felt a growing sense of freedom and authenticity.
I got into a relationship with my boyfriend Dominik when I was 21 (we’re still together more than 10 years later) and enjoy talking about our relationship publicly, as it is an effortless way of coming out. While sex has always been very important to me, I usually refrained from talking about it publicly since I thought it was inappropriate and somehow declassé. There was no particular incident, but sometime around 2020 I just stopped caring what people thought was appropriate or not. These days, I feel very comfortable talking about sex on stage or on my podcast and these stories are usually the ones that are best received by the audience. People, no matter their sexuality, seem to really connect to my sex stories and I think that’s beautiful.


How do you use comedy as a tool to address and challenge societal norms around sexuality and identity?
I try to keep up a careless, naive persona and rarely address political or societal topics directly. However, in talking about my own experiences with  prejudice - for instance, women who see me as a „gay best friend“ and expect me to go shoe shopping with them - I think I do address these topics. But I try to be subtle. Maybe it’s like when parents bake brownies for their children and hide broccoli or black beans in there, to get their kids to eat healthy. I’m not overly preachy, but if you listen carefully, you might still learn something.



As a public figure, what unique challenges did you face when discussing your sexuality openly, and how did you manage them?
I distinctly remember giving my first interview at 16 to an Austrian print magazine. As per usual, I was much too honest with the interviewer and when the article came out, I was described as „gay“, which didn’t really matter in the context of the article and was also uncomfortable for me, as I hadn’t come out to all of my family yet. In general, most of the journalists I talked to back then felt the need to make a thing out of my sexuality even when the interview was about something completely different, but I feel like that has changed by now.
Over the years, I have encountered several homophobes online, but I haven’t faced nearly as much cyber-bullying as some of my queer colleagues. However, when I joined season 15 of „Dancing Stars“ in 2023 and danced with a man, there were a lot of people who took issue with that. I’m not sure why - maybe dancing is sacred to some. I received quite a lot of mean messages and anonymous emails containing Bible verses. Maybe I’m getting old, but these insults really don’t get to me anymore. I’m quite confident these days and I know that my sexuality is not something that is wrong with me.


How do you envision a more inclusive and fulfilling sexual culture and discussions around it in digital media? How can we work towards it?
Well, representation matters and I think queer comedians especially have the power to challenge stereotypes and break down barriers through humor. By sharing our own experiences as LGBTQ+ individuals and addressing issues related to sexuality with wit and authenticity, we can create space for more diverse voices and perspectives. I also believe that comedy allows us to shine a light on the everyday experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals in a way that is relatable and approachable. Through jokes and anecdotes, we can normalize these identities, relationships, and experiences, helping to fight stigma and promote acceptance. I try to do my part every day.



As you hosted your last stand-up comedy show, could you share a bit more about your future plans? Where are you heading next?
To be honest, after my upcoming last stand-up show I initially wanted to chill for a bit and take some time off to relax. But, in typical me fashion, I couldn't rest for too long. So, first up, I'm releasing a cookbook in August that I've been working on for a while. It will be my fifth book, but my first „lifestyle“ project; so lots of pictures, personal essays and over sixty recipes.
Also, I’ve decided to step into the world of acting! It's a new and exhilarating direction for me, and I’m eager to embrace a more sexy and mature image. With this new venture, I want people to see a different side of me—it's the same part of me, but a new era. I've already booked my first role on a TV show, and although I only have a few sentences, I'm incredibly excited about it.
Pascal Schrattenecker