Bo Burnham’s “Inside” Comedy Special

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I’m not a typical viewer of Bo Burnham, nor do I partake in Comedy Specials. But one late afternoon, while scrolling on Netflix — this is by no means a unique experience — I came across the new “Inside” Comedy Special by Bo Burnham and without my consent it start to play the trailer. I decided to indulge and watch the trailer. And damn, if that wasn’t the most well-crafted trailer for visual media I have seen in a long while. I sat back for the evening, cheese puffs, seaweed snacks, and See’s chocolates at the ready and decided to watch the full special.

As I mentioned, I’m not a typical viewer of Comedy Specials, so I was a little surprised how entertained I was the whole way through. A few days later I went back to previous Comedy Specials of Bo’s and found that I enjoyed his most recent work the best. I know many people have joked that the forced isolation of quarantine brought forth a type of creative energy, or maybe the lack of socialization made us all reach a special kind of madness where creativity flourishes.

I now regularly hum my favorite songs from the special under my breath at work. I listen to them every day.

What made this special so… “special”? Talent, time, and a pinch of, perhaps, madness. Of course anything based off the past year and a half (2020-2021) will be relatable for a majority of the population. At least when we’re assuming the viewership are from a certain sample size.

But look I made you some content

Daddy made you your favorite, open wide

Here comes the content

It’s a beautiful day to stay inside

— Bo Burnham

My personal favorites are “Bezos I” and “Bezos II,” “FaceTime with my Mom (Tonight),” and “Problematic.” But, before you listen on Spotify, I do recommend experiencing their performance in the special first. It adds a whole extra layer to the songs, experiencing in their full chaos and art.

Perhaps the most striking was the mixture of media, while there were aesthetic film shots throughout, incorporating a vivid array of colorful lights and projections, there were also moments behind the creative process, showing mistakes and moments of silence. Whether those “behind-the-scene” moments were carefully crafted to elicit a specific response, or if they were natural goofs during the filming process, is unclear. However, for me it doesn’t matter, it’s the idea of perfection and chaos that makes the special stand-out.

To those who have yet to view the Comedy Special, I’d say I highly recommend it. Even if just to watch the opening 3 minutes, which are what drew me in. Even if comedy, stand-out, or Bo Burnham aren’t your usual “cup of tea,” this one feels a bit different and I think it’s a worth — in the least — those 3 minutes of your time.

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