“Inside” is Burnham’s attempt to balance his motivations as a performer and his mental health issues against the world’s inability to provide a live audience — and whether comedy is even appropriate in these times.

Photo courtesy of Netflix

He got started alone in his room. Don’t let that fact slip away.

Bo Burnham first shot to fame at 16 by uploading videos to a nascent website called YouTube, in which he performed vulgar but lyrically impressive comedic songs. Fourteen years later, after a career of tours and hour-long specials, it’s as though his career arc has curved all the way back to form a full circle. In “Inside,” he’s back to performing alone in a room, filming himself for a virtual audience he can no longer see in person.

“Is there anyone out there? Or am I all…


“Make Happy” is a performance to warn performers (as in, all of us)

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Bo Burnham was the first viral star. At the least, he was the first person to launch a career after gaining his following on a social media platform. Silly songs uploaded to YouTube for his brother away at college turned into wide popularity, which turned into a Comedy Central contract and three stand-up specials in 10 years.

His third and newest hour, “Make Happy,” just came out on Netflix June 3, and he calls it “a show about performing.” It’s not like he’s never been direct about the subject before — in his debut special in 2010, he prefaced a…

Adam Zielonka

Sports journalist with too many interests to name. www.adamzielonka.com

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