A Look “Inside”
I’ve never been the biggest fan of stand-up comedy. Growing up, I never wanted to watch somebody just stand there and tell stories I couldn’t relate to, or say jokes I didn’t really get. I watched a lot of cartoons, and not much of anything else. So it was only in 2015 that I discovered a comedian named Bo Burnham, and it was only because a friend of mine made me watch him.
It was his special, what., from 2013. I didn’t expect much, maybe a couple good jokes here and there, but it ended up being absolutely hilarious, and I laughed so hard I cried. It was funny, really made you think, and was exactly my type of humor.
I never revisited it, though, and I never got around to watching his special from 2016, Make Happy. For the past five years it’s been on my to-watch list. So when his newest special, Inside, came out, I thought I’d just add it to the list and get around to watching it eventually. But after seeing the hype surrounding it, I decided I had to watch it, even though it’d been years since I’d seen what. and hadn’t even watched Make Happy yet. Usually it bothers me to watch things out of order, even if they don’t have to be watched in order, but I made an exception for Inside.
I’m so glad I watched it, because it is incredible. That’s right, I’m here to add to the hype surrounding Bo Burnham and his special, because it is amazing and I want to share that awesomeness with y’all.
If you’ve never seen anything by Bo Burnham before, he’s a comedian and a musician, and his main thing is that he performs funny musical numbers and skits. His humor revolves around commenting on topics like white people, religion, sexuality, and mental health. He’s got lots of catchy songs that make you laugh but also have a message, and I find that format to be really cool.
The messages have never been clearer than in Inside, though, with songs about declining mental health, the ocean rising, how the world was built with blood, getting older, and sexting! Now that I list it out, it sounds pretty depressing. Honestly, it is a very emotional and somewhat depressing special, even though it is funny, as well. But isn’t it fun to joke about tragedy? Isn’t it in our nature to laugh at the bad things that are happening? To make light of dark situations?
Bo Burnham is quite transparent in his newest special, making it evident that the pandemic has only worsened his mental health, as I’m sure it has done to many, many people. He doesn’t beat around the bush, he has opinions and he is here to make them known. And those opinions will get stuck in your head for days on end, because his songs are insanely fun and catchy.
I’ve had a lot of thoughts within the past year regarding our society, systemic oppression, capitalism, global warming, all that good stuff, and Bo Burnham has taken all those thoughts out of my head and expressed them perfectly. I could never really put my thoughts into words, but he manages to not only do that, but sing them! Truly an art.
In all seriousness, Inside really is a piece of art, it’s deep, and impactful, and it resonates on several different levels. I’ve been so obsessed with it for the past week, listening to all the songs on repeat day after day, trying to learn every word of every song, and talking about it with anyone and everyone who has seen it. It’s an amazing piece of media, and I can’t recommend it enough.
It’s on Netflix, but if you don’t have Netflix, you can still listen to all 20 of the songs from the special on YouTube or Spotify. It’s definitely a bonus to see the songs performed (and see all the stuff in between the songs), but the songs just by themselves are still great, so definitely check it out either way!
Have you seen any of Bo Burnham’s specials before? What did you think of Inside? Do you have a favorite song from it? Let me know in the comments, and have a great day (and watch Inside if you haven’t already, you won’t regret it)!