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May 11, 2016

When Rachel Butera appeared on the TV show “America’s Got Talent” in 2014, the man who declared himself “America’s Judge” had to disqualify himself from voting on the impressionist’s talent because he was the one who already put her on the map. So, after she squeezed Wanda Sykes, Rosie O’Donnell, Whoopie Goldberg and Joan Rivers into 90 seconds of vocal magic, there was only one thing that Howard Stern, the King of All Media, could say to her: “You’re somebody I believe in… I’m proud of you.”

RACHEL BUTERA podcast excerpt: "For people who know the Howard Stern Show, I competed in the 2010 Staff Impressions Contest. I did Tracey Millman, who used to work on the show and she used to call everybody a 'douche.' And Little Lupe, the porn star. And Underdog Woman, the woman who wears the cape and dances around in parades like Underdog."

Rachel’s comedy and impressions do her Jersey heritage proud – the Bloomfield native lets her characters rip, both in language and tone.

In addition to working as a standup and frequent TV and radio guest, she also has a growing body of work in commercials and cartoons, which makes sense when you experience the full range of her voices. This summer, Rachel will appear on the new USA Network comedy competition series “First Impressions,” starring Dana Carvey and hosted by Freddie Prinze, Jr. It’s a funny show, populated by impressionists, and airs Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m.

RACHEL BUTERA podcast excerpt: "Being on 'First Impressions' was fun but it was nerve-wracking because it was all improv! I'm not that comfortable at improv. I like to write things out, so I was really nervous. But it was super-fun. And Dana Carvey was so sweet!"

But you don’t have to wait for Rachel’s episode of “First Impressions” to air before getting a taste of her work – just follow her hourly insights on Twitter @RachelAButera and you’ll read updates such as: “I just pulled a long gray hair off my vibrator. Life just keeps lookin up.”

Key interview moments:

• 4:40 Rachel Butera describes the characters she imitated to win the "Howard Stern Show" staff impressions contest in 2010, include Tracy the office manager, porn star Little Lupe, and Underdog Woman;

• 17:08 Back home in Bloomfield, New Jersey, Rachel's family supports her late-in-life decision to move to Hollywood and pursue fame and fortune as a comedian and impressionist. Well, everyone but her sister, to whom she rarely speaks, and her dad--he's dead;

• 32:50 Dana Carvey, the star of USA's "First Impressions," made Rachel feel at home on the improv show, as did celebrity judge Tom Arnold, who told her how much he loved her work on the Stern show.

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