Burnham down the house
Published: Monday, October 8, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 8, 2012 18:10
Hundreds of students lined up outside Congress Lounge on Oct. 4 for a night of laughs provided by comedian Bo Burnham. Some had waited since the early afternoon to get a guaranteed front row seat.
“He has no filter; he is in the same line as George Carlin. You have to think about what he says,” said Roosevelt University undergrad Ted Weissberg.
Dominic Segatti was also looking forward to the evening.
“I am excited to hear his new material,” Segatti said.
Students were granted admittance around 9 p.m. A twin set of bright lights illuminated the small stage where a keyboard, wind chimes and a stool sat ready for Burnham’s act.
Two comedians warmed up the crowd to a packed house before a sweatshirted Burnham entered to a roaring audience. A young-faced Burnham at 6 feet 5 inches could easily be seen by spectators in the back of the room. His opening number had him playing along with a backtrack song and pulling off multiple pairs of tear-away pants.
Burnham’s strong energy permeated through the crowd. His rapid-fire approach kept the audience engaged, only taking breaks to steal a sip of water. Burnham’s lanky body lends to exaggerated physicality, particularly during musical bits.
No topic is sacred to Burnham, but despite singing and joking about touchy subjects, he never lost the crowd. Burnham’s fusion of music and stand-up made his act made his act unlike most comedians today; it’s filled with snappy lyrics and puns you might miss because you’re still laughing at the previous joke.
Backstage after the show, Burnham was more at ease. Wearing a Pee-wee Herman t-shirt, he towered above most of the fans he took pictures with.
Burnham is currently working on his third hour of material, which he hopes to turn into a new special for release next spring.
On his fourth year on the road, Burnham hasn’t faced flack from other comedians for having come into the comedy scene through YouTube fame.
“They’ve been really cool to me,” he said of his colleagues.
When asked who his inspiration is, he was quick to say Steve Martin.
“I had his CDs growing up; not records, though, I’m not that old,” he said.
Burnham himself records all of his own CDs alone in a studio. There is no room for work-shopping his material in front of an audience before it is recorded because he is not able take his elaborate set to clubs.
“I’m into this Australian comic, Tim Minchin, and Anthony Jeselnik,” Burnham said.
“Burnham’s show was fun for the whole family; a nonstop roller-coaster ride that’ll have you on the edge of your seat,” said Roosevelt student Darrell Jackson.
Want to laugh some more with Burnham? Check out his jokes @boburnham and tweet us your faves at @RUTORCH