Bo Burnham is nothing if not willing to take risks to make an audience laugh.
The last stop on his Make Happy Tour 2015 started with a literal bang as the lanky comedian, clad in Ray-Ban’s and a button-down, stormed the stage with a vulgar, goofy rap and never slowed down.
Originally set for March 3 and postponed because of inclement weather, his raunchy, thought-provoking comedy did not disappoint at his sold-out show at the Boulder Theater Thursday.
Burnham, who started his career on YouTube at just 16 years old, has quickly garnered wild success virtually unheard of for a comic of his age.
Since he burst onto the scene, he became the youngest artist to record a special with Comedy Central at 18, released four records, all of which reached top 5 in Billboard’s comedy charts, and was nominated for an Edinburgh Comedy Award. He starred in his own self-written MTV show and released a poetry book, all while touring in the US and UK.
Following a short opening act, Burnham began with a few jokes about the marijuana culture that Boulder is so well-known for, before diving right into the dirty, musical, social commentary-style comedy that he is known for.
From that moment on, it was clear he was in tune with the crowd as he continued to banter about Colorado culture and also rib audience members as well. He brought the heat and the laughs when he called out a mother who brought her 8-year-old child to the show, going so far as to invite the youth to the stage and reference the discomfort of having someone so young in the audience for the rest of his set.
Audience members were in stitches for the entirety of the remaining hour and a half as he poked fun at all of the “problems” straight white males face and reenacted what it was like to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich while under the influence of marijuana and alcohol.
Megan Foley, a sophomore at CU Boulder and a newcomer to seeing Burnham’s standup live, said she was impressed with the vocal and instrumental skills he harnessed throughout the act, his dual personality sketches, and his “talent for wordplay and ambition to push the envelope and twist expectations.”
“Pushing the envelope” certainly proved to be Burnham’s forte as he harnessed the stage in unusual and hilarious ways, using everything from bass-heavy EDM-style beats to fog and strobe lights as he interacted with himself through perfectly timed pre-recorded vocal tracks.
After ending his sketch on a more introspective, serious song about how scary it is to be a kid trying to stay true to himself and please his fans at the same time, he was met by not only one, but two standing ovations. Burnham’s multifaceted and humanistic comedy is, as Foley described it, “a must-see.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Brianna Dascher at firstname.lastname@example.org