Bo Burnham: Inside
To describe Bo Burnham’s comedy special, which doubles as a multimedia tour de force, an artistic manifesto, and a lockdown diary, is to deny it its power. For, even if you’ve enjoyed Burnham’s comedy (the Emmy-winning stand-up comic cut his teeth in the early YouTube years), Inside benefits from a sense of accretion. Every new comedic musical number, with titles like “FaceTime with My Mom (Tonight),” “Problematic,” and “White Woman’s Instagram,” feels like a call for help—the kind that gets louder and all the more disquieting, if increasingly familiar, the more it drones on. And that is, in essence, what Inside is: a call for help. Or, more to the point, a reminder that all art is a call for connection—a theme made all the more pertinent when you understand Burnham wrote, directed, edited, and performed this special from the confines of a single room for what feels like months on end. What at first seems like a lark and a pitch perfect conceit for art in the age of COVID quarantine emerges in time as a deeply personal and soul-baring exercise in artistic expression that is oddly timeless in its timeliness. For skewering and embodying a being-onlineness that comforts as much as it throttles us when faced with the prospect of being alone, Bo Burnham: Inside wins a Peabody Award.
PRIMARY PRODUCTION CREDITS
Network/Station/Platform: Netflix. Executive Producer: Bo Burnham. Associate Producer/Producer: Josh Senior. Director: Bo Burnham. Writer: Bo Burnham. Editor: Bo Burnham. Talent: Bo Burnham. Cinematography: Bo Burnham. Sound/Music: Bo Burnham. Re-Recording Mixer: Joel Dougherty.