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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Comedy

Bo Burnham’s ‘Inside’ brings lighthearted sarcasm to tough times


Juana Garcia/The Cougar

While most of us spent this past year of confinement wondering when we’ll get back to the real world, Bo Burnham produced “Inside,” a comedy special now on Netflix. 

Throughout the special, you can see how in tune Burham is with the times. Burnham began producing his special at the beginning of the pandemic, when people had just begun to realize the coronavirus was real and masks weren’t a normal part of one’s outfit of the day. 

Burnham films the entire special in one room/house, and uses lighting to create depth in one singular space. 

Watching the special, you can tell around when in the last year each song was likely produced. 

For instance, about five minutes in, Burnham’s first number in the special addressed last year’s protests and advocacy around the Black Lives Matter movement. He was also able to recognize his privilege as a white man in America through sarcastic comedy. 

This trend of sarcasm continues throughout the special with a now fan-favorite song, “White Woman’s Instagram.” Burnham, once again, uses lighting, sarcasm and the resources he likely had at his disposal to create fake Instagram posts that he thinks someone would typically find on a white woman’s instagram.

This song comes right after a strong message he delivers about marketing departments and companies attempting to address social justice issues without seeming too opinionated. 

These sharp cuts between numbers with little to no explanation of what may be coming next is very indicative of Burnham’s usual comedy style. Aside from his directing and producing career, Burnham performed stand-up comedy pretty often, even having one taped and put on Netflix called “Make Happy.”

Burnham addressed his stand-up career in this special and was very nonchalant about his reason behind stopping live performances. He developed stage fright sometime between the “Make Happy” and “Inside” specials, and when he felt comfortable performing in front of audiences again, the pandemic hit.

Overall, Burnham’s special was long awaited and definitely worth the wait. Now that vaccines are more readily available and Bo Burnham is outside, a tour with similar tones of sarcasm and lighthearted humor would be appreciated. 

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