Bo Burnham’s ‘Inside’: A Comedy Special and an Inspired Experiment


Webb’s incentives, which reward resentment, excess, and emotion, are the villains of the show. In a humble tribute to “Cabaret”, Burnham, in sunglasses, plays the Internet’s MC, welcoming everyone with a decadent menu of options while the disco lights twirl. It is a lyrically intensive song with camerawork that moves to its own rhythm. As often as Burnham’s shot sequencing plays against the meaning of a song, like when he breaks up a glamorous split screen to complement a comic song about FaceTiming with his mom.

“Inside” is the work of a comic with artistic devices that most of his peers ignore or ignore. Not only has his musical range expanded – his genres of genres include bebop, synth-pop and peppy show tunes – Burnham, who once published a book of poems, also had his visual vocabulary as his language. Just as meticulous and creative.

Some of the show’s narrative can be overheated, playing into clichés about the brooding artist’s process, but Burnham anticipates this and other criticisms, and integrates them into the special, including the idea that Drawing attention to potential flaws fixes them. . “Self-awareness doesn’t free anyone from anything,” he says.

True, but it can make art darker and clearer. “Inside” is a difficult task that remains a comedy in the spirit of the neurotic, self-loathing stand-up in its all-border ending. Burnham skews himself as a virtue-signal ally with a white-savior complex, a bully and an egoist who draws a Venn diagram and finds himself in the overlap between Weird Al and Malcolm X. That there is an indictment of his particular Internet artist whose career was born and flourished is the ultimate joke.

Burnham sticks to his behind-the-scenes technical tinkering – handling the lights, editing, practicing the lines. He is bedraggled, swiftly unshaven, growing a Rasputin-like beard. The aesthetic telegraphs authenticity and vulnerability, but the special’s stunning final shots reveal the wrong direction at work, encouraging doubts about the performance of such realism.

In the end, he appears completely naked behind his keyboard. It’s a scene that epitomizes a man exposing himself, until you realize he’s in the limelight.

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