A Review of Bo Burnham, Make Happy

The darling husband and I are big on stand up comedy. I, in particular, love musical comedy, like Weird Al and Stephen Lynch. (That’s the only thing those two people have in common. Weird Al’s usually family friendly, and Lynch works about as blue as you get.)

One of our recent favorites is Bo Burnham. He was big on Youtube awhile ago, and finally got his own Comedy Central special called What. Start out by watching this, it’s great. Well, it’s great if you’re not easily offended. If you are, this might bother you. My favorite song is Right/Left brain.

Recently, while searching through Netflix, we found a new Burnham stand up. It’s definitely worth a watch.

First off, I love that he’s an indie comic. He started himself on Youtube with no backing at all, and worked hard to earn his reputation. I love seeing someone get themselves out like that, it gives me hope.

I also love that Burnham’s comedy is surprising. I watch a lot of comedy, and I sometimes feel like I could recite the comedian’s jokes right along with them. Sadly, it’s a curse that my seventh grade English teacher warned me about. Eventually you’ve heard everything, and can guess the ending of every movie and book. I just didn’t think that was going to happen at thirty. I like it when someone thinks of something I haven’t heard. Even better when it’s good.

It helps, I think, that he’s totally honest. In the new standup, Make Happy, he talks about depression, music, and male privilege to name just a few topics. He’s bitingly shockingly honest about all of those things. This is something I strive for, and I don’t know if I’ve really gotten to, yet.

But what I really want to talk to you about, what I really want you to see, is the last few minutes of the show. Bo very suddenly goes from funny to “Holy shit, I think he’s being serious.” The last bit speaks to a part of me that I think all creators have and don’t want to admit. I don’t want to ruin the moment for you, but trust me, it nearly made me cry. I’m also sure it encouraged more than a few, ‘How are you doing?’ emails for Burnham.

So, it’s been awhile since I’ve done a review for anything, so I hope you all like it. If you get a chance, check out Make Happy on Netflix. And let me know if you’d like to see more reviews here on PBW.

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