People obviously think Bo Burnham is funny. Not only has he actually gotten his own Comedy Central special, but the kids in the audience seemed to really be enjoying themselves. However, personally I barely chuckled while watching this and even that was only once or twice.
Here’s my biggest problem with Mr. Burnham. Anecdotal humor requires pulling from one’s own life and retelling the tale in a humorous way in which to make the audience laugh. Bo was 19 when he filmed this. Seriously, how much life has a 19-year-old lived? Not a whole lot cause he seems to pull more from all the comedians he grew up watching rather than his own life. It all comes off sounding very insincere. Early on he makes a Noam Chomsky joke and I can’t help but think, what does a 19-year-old know about Noam Chomsky? Perhaps I’m being ageist, who knows? He also sings about being divorced and having kids and I KNOW, he doesn’t know anything about that.
And when he’s not doing that he’s either co-opting old jokes and putting his own twist on them, throwing in as many pop culture references as possible or singing songs that just aren’t that good.
However, he’s not all bad. I will give him this; he does have a good stage presence, he owns the stage and not only enjoys what he’s doing but looks the part to. Comics twice his age have looked much more uncomfortable on much smaller stages. Also, he is a good piano player. And if nothing else, it’s impressive that some kid who put himself on YouTube made it this far. That is the modern American dream, isn’t it?
It will be interesting to see how is career progresses. Will he be a flash in the pan comic that teenagers now reminisce about when they’re in college, or will he progress as a comedian and actually become funny to people over 20.
Bo Burnham: Words Words Words is presented in a widescreen format. Sound is in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound. This is a pretty well produces stand up DVD. It looks and sounds fine.
“Oh Bo” and “Words, Words, Words” Music Video: (9 min.) Yup, these are music videos all right.
If I was still in high school I probably would have thought this was really funny. However, I’m 31 now and I’ve heard way funnier comedians many times over. So I can only recommend this DVD to people who are too young to actually watch it due to the subject matter.
Comedy Central presents Bo Burnham: Words Words Words. Starring Bo Burnham. 63 minutes. Not Rated, contains very vulgar languages and sexual references. Release date: October 19, 2010.
Tags: Comedy Central