Bill Burr Takes Comedy Too Far, and It's Great
Bill Burr is one angry and funny dude. At least that was the consensus from his new hour of comedy, which he let Miami in on Friday night during the South Beach Comedy Festival. Burr got noticed for his recurring role on the second season Chappelle's Show and has since premiered four specials and starred in films like Walk of Shame, Date Night, and The Heat, as well as in his favorite TV show of all-time Breaking Bad.
"I'm a balding red head male," he joked during Friday's 8 p.m. set. "Do you the I would ever be the lead in a romantic comedy?" To which he answered his own question with his trademark logic: "I'm not the lead, I'm the friend." This was the finishing joke of a rant that began about feminism and went into Hollywood's physically demanding and shallow industry. "You want to be in the upper two percent? That's the amount of body fat you're allowed to have. Your job is to be as fuckable as possible."
Having gained notoriety for ranting about everything from Steve Jobs to random hecklers, Burr used this opportunity and 60 minutes to let us in on the source of his untameable anger. "I had an overbearing father." A father who apparently created "some monster that comes out every once in a while. Could be over some real shit or some cheese and crackers."
But he's working on it, or so he says. Perhaps because he recently had a dream he reenacted for the audience where a little girl in the corner of his room tells him he's going to commit suicide: "Any psych majors in here can tell me what that means? I know it actually doesn't mean I'm going to kill myself cause you dream in metaphors, right? If I were going to kill myself hair would fall on a brush and a rat would walk by or some Scorsese shit like that would happen. So does this mean I need to do my laundry?"
It's this unadulterated and unapologetic way of laughing at fear - he admitted to waking up screaming from the dream into the dark - that makes Burr unlike any other comedian.
We also learned that he's a control freak, which he apparently only figured out this past year thanks to several airport encounters. One of which he turns into hilarious and well thought-out skit on how he successfully ran away from a cop. "I had to return a rental and the little lady in the phone was telling me where to go, which never goes well cause I got ADD, and also I can naturally tune out the female voice." This means he never hears her until she says to make a U-turn to which his response is, "WTF??? Why didn't you say something sooner."
"So now I turn around driving to the airport pissed off, late, and feeling like I've been wronged rather than I wasn't listening. And I'm whipping by the terminal at 25 miles an hour when I see a cop and I know he's a cop cause he's got this big stupid I'm a cop hat." So what does Burr do? "The voice inside me just told me to keep going." So he did, but not before going into extreme paranoia about how the cop had called reinforcements. "Don't think I've ever laughed that way about myself ever," said Burr, who took us with him on the entire journey as if we were loling right beside him, from returning the car to what was going through his mind as he was racing through security and on then freaking out on the plane. "I was thinking shut the fucking door! Felt like I was in Fargo."
And while Burr spends most of his time in airports, he hates them. Especially those 360 radiation body scanners, which he thinks they're strategically using to "thin the herd."
"I used to work in a dental office and to do the same scan would have to but a vest over the patient's entire body, leave the room and then a press button. If a woman in the job is beyond the first trimester she was not allowed to do that job, but now you want me to go to airport and stand in this thing like I'm I a fucking Jay-Z concert?"
If you're wondering, he totally threw up the illuminati sign to the audience with the delivery of that line.
It's not all anger though.
If Burr let us in on one thing Friday is that he's really just a simple guy with simple pleasures. Things that make him crack a smile: guys on South Beach wearing linen, sandwiches, and picking on audience members (particularly media). Perhaps it's Burr's handling of hecklers that led Rolling Stone to dub him the "next Louis CK."
True to form, he showed no restraint as he called out a photographer trying to do his job within the first 10 minutes of the show, and then again to some bad-mannered spectators. "Are you going to text the entire time? You look like an Avatar with the screen lighting up your face like that." But the highlight was when he straight up got into a quarrel with a woman from the audience who screamed out blow job after probing how they'll compensate for something. "I'm trying to have an intellectual conversation with you and you just turned yourself into a whore."
Burr's biggest smile of the night, however, came after a morbid joke he made to prove that Prince Charles isn't good looking. "It killed Princess Diana, probably cause she was thinking about his face on top of her and grabbed the wheel." The crowd met in an united "oooooh", and Burr reacted by picking on the rude blogger who'd been texting earlier. "Ohhhh, are you going to blog about it later – Comedy? Did it go too far?"
With Bill Burr, too far is the name of his comedy game.
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