Stand up comedian, writer, actress and the hilarious and relatable narrator of Netflix’s overnight hit dating series TOO HOT TO HANDLE, Desiree Burch has exploded onto the entertainment scene.
A Funny Women Stage Award-winner, she has appeared in dozens of shows including Live at the Apollo (BBC), The Jonathan Ross Show, and the Comedy Central special Desiree Burch Live, and also recently hosted the Netflix game show FLINCH. With an illustrious international career in comedy under her belt, this funny girl is ready to make her mark.
Audiences all over the world fell in love with Burch’s witty personality when she appeared as the narrator on Netflix’s TOO HOT TO HANDLE, with ELLE Magazine saying, “TOO HOT TO HANDLE’s Desiree Burch is the show’s true star.” The show follows sexy singles on a tropical island who are challenged not to hook up with each other with a $100,000 award for not breaking the rules. No contestant was safe from her voiceover zingers and she instantly became the voice of the viewer on the sofa – snarky, relatable, and nonjudgmental. Burch was already part of the Netflix family when she was cast as narrator, having hosted Netflix’s 2019 series FLINCH, a game show where people were put in stressful and scary situations, but lost prize money if they flinched.
Desiree attended Yale University where she was mentored by Deb Margolin of the groundbreaking experimental theater group Split Britches. After graduating from university, she moved to New York where her artist aesthetics were honed as a founding member of the New York experimental theatre group Neo-Futurists. She additionally performed in conceptual artist Wu Tsang’s Full Body Quotation at the New Museum, with NYU’s Experimental Theater Wing and with Moving Theater. While in NYC she also developed her talents on the theatre stage as an actress with favorite roles including Miriam in In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel, Nurse in Romeo & Juliet, Emilia in Othello and Lu in Rip Me Open.
In 2015 she made the move to London where she produced her solo show Tar Baby that tackles the story of race in America. Co-written with playwright Dan Kitrosser and performed by Burch, this solo and interactive performance piece speaks to the growing majority of minority experiences in America and beyond. Tar Baby received a Fringe First Award for new writing at the Edinburgh Fringe, and the Scotsman called it “One of the most breathtaking monologues you’ll see this entire month”.
It was also shortlisted for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression award. Tar Baby weaves personal and social narratives in this hilarious, provocative, and deeply moving performance that is “smart, original, refreshing and maybe even necessary.” (-New Yorker). In 2017 she made a memorable impact at the Edinburgh Fringe with her candid show, Unf*ckable about her former life as a dominatrix. As a storyteller, a lot of her work tends to focus on identity, body image, systemic racism, sexism, and her life as a black woman. She isn’t afraid to broach society’s biggest frustrations and issues affecting the world.
Burch has 15 years’ experience as a performing artist, storyteller and educator. In 2012 she spoke to Silicon Valley women about injecting personal passion into innovation at the TEDx Bay Area Women conference. She worked nationally as a master teaching artist and facilitator with the American Place Theatre, and has lead performance-writing workshops for Perry Mansfield, The New York Neo-Futurists, Queens Theatre in the Park, and the New Orleans Fringe, as well as at several universities. She has performed at various storytelling shows and conventions, including RISK!, Yum’s the Word and at the first ever NerdCon: Stories convention.
She’s also been heard on The News Quiz (BBCR4), The Now Show(BBCR4), It’s Not What You Know (BBCR4) and on podcasts such as Welcome to Night Vale, The Guilty Feminist, The Adam Buxton Podcast, The Richard Herring Leicester Square Theatre Podcast, Made of Human, Dumb White Guy, as well as on the immensely popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale. Without a doubt, Burch is on the trajectory to stardom.