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More Bo Burnham videos
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In 2006, when he was just 16, Bo Burnham started writing comic songs about teenage angst and posting them on YouTube, attracting millions of views. He then started playing live and in August 2008, four days after his 18th birthday, he became the youngest person to record a Comedy Central special. He released his first CD in March 2009.
Bo Burnham: Words, Words, Words
Don’t they grow up fast these days? It seems like only yesterday that Bo Burnham was the awkward, geeky fresh-faced teenager distributing the comic songs he made in his bedroom over YouTube.
But after the lo-fi videos went pandemic, he’s now an official big deal, with a Judd Apatow movie in the works and an Edinburgh show that one’s of the best in the programme.
He’s a renaissance man of comedy; singing, rapping, delivering exquisite one-liners, performing snapshot theatre pieces, reciting poetry and even haikus. He wears his prodigious talent with petulance, surly with well-placed confidence, yet still happy to expose himself as a self-loathing comic with an all-consuming neediness.
His background may lie in musical comedy, but he easily proves he’s just as inventive off keyboard. Acapella raps are layered with gags upon gags, innuendo is delivered in pun-riddled pentameter and he can coin aphorisms that will have the editors of books of quotations reaching for their overtime forms. Occasionally he has to take his foot off the genius pedal to give us time to appreciate the dense wit he fires out, yet still you have to concentrate to catch every throwaway line.
The sharp humour rewards a little knowledge, but still leaves no punter behind, with quickfire jokes about quantum physics, Greek philosophers and Salvador Dali among others. Precocious? Yes… but how many 19-year-olds do you know who can take on Shakespeare and win? Willie got pwned.
The songs are brisk and as quip-packed as you might expect, and even when you think you’re on familiar territory – the boastful rap or the tongue-in-cheek allusion to Alanis Morissette’s rightly maligned Ironic – the writing is so smart it remains full of surprises.
This is a scrapbook of a show, fragments of all manner of comic techniques included, but always the very best examples of each style. Burnham has no overarching approach or big message. The only thing he really proves is that, like the gay otter in his uncanny hip-hop spoof, he ‘blows other guys out of the water’. Catch him before he’s in the arenas.
|Date of live review: Sunday 15th Aug, '10|
Review by Steve Bennett
Sunday 25th Jul, '10- Dublin Iveagh Gardens
Absolutely amazing! It was so much more than just a comedy show and seeing just how talented he is in real life eclipses the snippets you seen online. Major hero! See him when you get the chance!
Bo is one of the best performers I have ever seen. His YouTube videos don't do that element of his act justice. If there is any comic alive today that I would urge you to see live it's Bo. His onstage persona is unforgettable.
I hope this new tour is expanded to include Scotland. Words Words Words is one of the best shows I've ever seen.
I was lucky enough to catch Bo Burnham and Reggie Watts on the one bill yesterday and was extremely impressed by both. The precision of Burnham's comedy was awe-inspiring and I was delighted to see him do more than songs - wonderful and hilarious as they were.
|Forget the Celtic Tiger... the Celtic Cat is rich on laughs
Steve Bennett at Kilkenny's Cat Laughs festival
07/06/2011 Permanent link
Bo Burnham [Album]