Bo Burnham: Inside is by far one of the riskiest and original comedy specials to come out in years. It’s a one-man show that will surely rub many the wrong way, and will most certainly cause a strong reaction with its supports and detractors.
Bo Burnham is the closest thing we have come to a comedic performance artist since Andy Kaufman. His latest special, Bo Burnham: Inside, confirms it. He is Kaufman reincarnated for the twenty-first century. A virtuoso comedic artist who created a playlist of the manic highs and the depressive lows that were the pandemic isolation experience.
Burnham’s comedy special was born out of the isolation, fear, and sheer amount of human resiliency that millions around the world experienced. He managed to make a playful variety of songs that made fun of the vain, the ones starving for content when isolated, even entertainers like himself, and how we didn’t know what we were missing until it was taken away from us. That, and his trademark way of inventing a language and dialogue that is practically verbal juxtaposition. He will often compare two ideas in a single line of lyrics that can range from funny to thought-provoking, or both.
By far, the highlight of Bo Burnham: Inside is his hilarious “White Woman’s Instagram” that calls out the hubris of it all on how many take human lives for granted. The mockumentary attempt at commentaries, including how he introduces how his special may not have smooth transitions. Or his amusing reaction video of Unpaid Intern that starts an endless loop of gratuitous grandstanding the Gen-Z generation are prone to on social media. That leads to the line, “I think that, ‘Oh, if I’m self-aware about being a douchebag, it’ll somehow make me less of a douchebag.” But it… but it doesn’t.”
Though the special is quite serious and I would argue is more of an amalgamation hybrid of comedy special and surrealist filmmaking. Especially when you take in its lasting visuals, particularly the ending, and its comic sensibilities. “Some random quote from Lord of the Rings incorrectly attributed to Martin Luther King” is the stuff of legend here. It’s a complex tight rope that Burnham attempts and completes masterfully. Nor is he afraid to point out how the hypocrisy of his special that puts him at the center of attention.
Bo Burnham: Inside is by far one of the riskiest and original comedy specials to come out in years. It’s a one-man show that will surely rub many the wrong way, and will most certainly cause a strong reaction with its supports and detractors. Either way, you can’t say you were not entertained. It’s the Bo Burnham experience, completely, wholly his, and without any regrets.