Bo Burnham's Musical Comedy

Marc Gordon
May 20, 2023

When it comes to the music scene that we see around us in today’s age, we’re surrounded by artists who all have unique ideas that they’re sharing with the world. However, in the long-term, it seems as if popular music these days isn’t concerned with the central ideas that people are being affected by in today’s age. Unlike many of these artists, Bo Burnham is someone who fixes this issue by offering new and creative takes on how our world is changing.

Bo Burnham attends the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards

Getty Images / Getty Images Entertainment / Rich Fury

He is a comedian who communicates his jokes in a rather interesting fashion: through musical pieces. By mixing the two mediums of stand-up comedy and music, he stands out to most of the people who consume his content. After creating videos on YouTube for years, one of his earlier specials, ‘What.’, is what got him famous. In it, he explores the interactions people have with each other on a small scale, finding the humor in everything. The kinds of jokes he makes are largely backed by him playing piano on stage, with him using backing tracks with other instruments and vocals that he regularly interacts with, making his special extremely specific and planned.

His next special ‘Make Happy’ was of a similar nature, many parts of which became viral on social media and led to his fame. Most recently, he worked on ‘Inside’, which is the way he adapted his unique method to the COVID pandemic. Filled with interesting and catchy songs, he talks about the global experience of staying at home during the height of the pandemic, highlighting his experience with mental health and social media as well. Although these topics are extremely heavy, he uses musical techniques to intentionally add a sense of irony to his songs, allowing viewers to relate to his ideas while not taking them too seriously.