Bo Burnham: An Intelligent & Introspective Comedian
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Bo Burnham: An Intelligent & Introspective Comedian

Smart Comedy.

Bo Burnham: An Intelligent & Introspective Comedian
Northern Iowan

If you have anything in common with me, it's hard to find a comedian to be humorous that makes an earning off of being as crude as possible while making jokes that aren't very extraordinary or original. I find Bo Burnham to be exactly the opposite: a standout, original, reflective performer in a diluted comedic world.

Burnham got his start on YouTube in 2006, posting his comedy and satirical punchlines online. He creates his jokes and bits with purpose, making them even funnier because of how honest and genuine they are. Burnham goes from addressing race, others opinion of him after fame, discrimination, religion, mental illness, media/celebrities, and relationships to talking about how Pringles cans are way too small to fit your hands inside of them. Burnham mixes serious tones and points in with lighthearted humor and unpredictability, turning crisis into humor. Self-deprecation and vulgarity are used for an honest reason by Burnham: to make people laugh. Burnham accomplishes much of this through song, as he is a very talented and creative lyricist, piano player, and guitar player. Burnham makes use of lights, piano, sound, auto-tune, or even loop machines to accomplish comedic gold.

A 2013 routine, called "what." includes satirical songs composed and performed by Burnham, such as "Left Brain, Right Brain," where the two sides of himself (logical and analytical vs. creative) have a conversation, "Repeat Stuff," in which Burnham mocks the mainstream music industry with predictable lyrics and a chorus consisting only of the words "repeat stuff", and a closing song titled "We Think We Know You," where Burnham uses recorded bits of himself mocking people in his life (an old "friend" from high school, an agent, and a "jock") telling him what he should/shouldn't do. Burnham then uses gestures to control the recorded bits and creates a song.

Burnham's latest 2016 routine, titled "Make Happy," features a similar tone to "what." Satirical songs performed by Burnham within this routine include a song called "Lower Your Expectations," where he delves into the dating scene of young men and women, describing that the expectations that men and women have of one another are too high and that we are all only human. "Country Song (Pandering)" is a song making fun of today's mainstream country artists, with commentary on how they have never worked a day in their life. The song also demonstrates how easily mainstream country can be imitated, created, and performed. The show's finale "Can't Handle This" is a take on Kanye West's performance style, with Burnham stating that he attended a Yeezy tour show and that he wanted to try to mimic the ranting that West did at the end of his show. Complete with Kanye-esque lights, background tracks, and auto-tune, this creation is a hilarious and entertaining closing act.

Many concepts, bits, songs, points, jokes, and reflective and honest statements make up Bo Burnham's comedy in such an original and mind-bending way that it almost can't be called comedy; it is much more than that. Burnham's performances can make us question our perception of the world around us, all while making us happy and filling our lives with laughter.

"what." and "Make Happy" are now both available to watch on Netflix & YouTube. ***DISCLAIMER: Bo Burnham's jokes can be vulgar at times. Parental discretion is advised.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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