Robert Pickering Burnham, renowned as Bo Burnham, is an American comedian, rapper, songwriter, poet, actor, singer and musician. In 2006, he started his career as a YouTuber and by 2017 his videos were viewed approximately 200 million times. In 2008, he released his debut ‘EP, BO FO Sho’. His first live comedy special, ‘Words Words Words’ was aired on Comedy Central. This multi-faceted artist also released his first poetry book in 2013, titled ‘Egghead: Or, You Can’t Survive On Ideas Alone’. Besides, his career as a comedian he has also starred and co-created ‘Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous’, a MTV television series. We have compiled some funny, thought-provoking and inspiring views, opinions, thoughts and words which the celebrated star has shared through his writings, poems, music, lyrics, works and life. Let us browse through the quotes and sayings by Bo Burnham.
I don't try to call myself a poet. But I know that my stuff is pretty literal, in that the themes are pretty simple and on the surface.
I remember being superyoung, like nine or ten years old, and thinking, 'Man, I wonder what famous people eat for breakfast. They must have some special kind of cereal!' My mind was so warped by the idea of fame.
I was definitely not the kid that just wanted to be famous for no reason whatsoever and then happened to find comedy. Fame and all that stuff have always been slightly terrifying to me, and it makes me very anxious.
The problem for us, as viewers, is that we want famous people who are passionate about the things they're famous for, because that makes them worthy of the attention. But I think many of those famous people just want to be famous.
At one point when I was very young, when I was first starting out, I thought, 'Well, one day I'll be able to put all the music away and become a real comedian.' But then I realized there are amazing musical comedians out there, that musical comedy is probably something I'll always want to pursue.
I think it would collapse my heart if I was super famous. I don't have the nerve for it, I'm too anxious. I don't know how you're not obsessed with how people perceive you, because they're real people, you know? You can convince yourself that they don't really know you, and that's true, but how can it not hurt your feelings?
I've always liked TV shows that have slightly unlikable leads, where you root for them in spite of a lot of things. I know it's not common with shows with young people; they have to be so likable. But, I mean, teenagers just generally aren't very likable. I know I wasn't as a teenager.
For me, comedy is constantly presented as this fake casualness, like a guy just walked on stage going, 'This crazy thing happened to me the other day.' And he's in front of 3000 people, and he's acting like an everyman, and he's getting paid so much money.
Comedy is the one absolutely self-aware art form. Actually, hip-hop's another one, I suppose. Because in your songs you're talking about how good a hip-hop artist you are. It's like a painter painting a panting of himself painting a painting.
Comedy should be a source of positivity. I don't want to bully people, and I don't want people to come to my show to feel terrible about something. So I'm actually very open to having a conversation about what I should or shouldn't say.
I think comedy has a range, with multiple peaks in different areas. It's like trying to compare Beethoven and the Beatles. Sometimes I hear from people, 'I think you try too hard in your comedy.' And that's what I worry about.
Comedy doesn't really matter that much; I know that. I treat it like an adult - I don't treat it like a child or a god, which some people do. This might just be in America, but 'stand-up comedy' is something very particular that I don't particularly relate to.
My career was exploding at the same time that social media itself was expanding. But when my online videos were taking off, I didn't think, 'Oh, great! I'm going to be able to parlay this into a career!' I just wanted to be a comedian. I just wanted to perform live.
When I see someone filming me, I don't usually think, 'No, man, don't put this up online!' I'd think, 'Hey man, you don't get to go to shows very often, put down the camera and enjoy it!' I love going to theatre and to shows so much.