Bo Burnham Quotes
1. Once a week, I like to slip into a deep existential depression where I lose all my sense of oneness and self-worth.
2. I have a pretty good math mind, so I can see patterns, but I don’t have a great ear. It’s like a tragedy – I can see so much more natural musical ability in so many other people.
3. 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.
4. ‘Words, Words, Words’ was very much its title. It’s just words, words, words and trying to show that I can pack as much material into an hour as I possibly could word count-wise.
5. The strange thing was, when I was starting on YouTube, even the paradigm of YouTube and Internet sensation – or whatever – that didn’t really exist. So I didn’t even know that that was a thing.
6. The strange thing was, when I was starting on YouTube, even the paradigm of YouTube and Internet sensation – or whatever – that didn’t really exist. So I didn’t even know that that was a thing.
7. I’m bored way too easily. I’m staring at screens half the day. I need to be overstimulated. And how will that express itself artistically?
8. For me, if you distill comedy down, it is surprise and the unexpected. That has to be it on its most base level, in any form.
9. 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.
10. 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?
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. In high school, I worked eight hours a day just so I could get into the college of my dreams and say that I got in – and I never went.
15. I like to call everyone that I find slightly annoying a ‘sociopath.’
16. I think the love-hate is fundamental. Everyone hates reality television, and everyone’s watching it. Everyone hates Facebook, and everyone is on it.
17. 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.
18. I think the comedy clubs tend to homogenize the acts a little bit, because they force them to be palatable in way too many environments.
19. 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.
20. I chose to do comedy instead of going to college.
21. 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.
22. 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.
23. At once I feel that comedy is this amazing sort of transcendent thing, and I’m also open to the fact that maybe it’s just an evolutionary hiccup, something that upright apes do in their free time.
24. At the time of ‘Words, Words, Words,’ I’m a 19-year-old getting up feeling like he’s entitled to do comedy and tell you what he thinks of the world, so that’s inherently a little bit ridiculous.
25. I’ve found nothing but support and generosity from older comics. I think comedians are a lot nicer than the stigma is, at least from my experience.
26. I’ve always liked the format of YouTube, sharing things for free, which is a nice exchange between people.
27. I try and write satire that’s well-intentioned. But those intentions have to be hidden. It can’t be completely clear, and that’s what makes it comedy.
28. 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.
29. There’s a certain line between jokes and music and poetry that’s a bit blurred in my mind.
30. Most of my songs make fun of myself.
31. I don’t want you to think I’m better than people or that I know better than people.
32. I’m still a kid in his bedroom, writing songs and playing them.
33. I thought I had more of a European sense of humour than the average American comic.
34. I do weird things, and people watch.
35. I always wanted to be a comedian but never thought I’d be a musical comedian.
36. My success, literally, is your success figuratively.
37. I think because of the Internet I was able to study comedy from quite a young age and watch a lot of comedy.
38. I’m just a giddy teenager who would like to break into show business any way I can.
39. I have a show on MTV called ‘Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous.’ I think that’s a secret to a vast majority of America.
40. 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.
41. I misdirect the audience, so they have no idea where they are or who they’re listening to.
42. 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.
43. I was doing theater in my high school, and I started writing sort of silly songs on the piano backstage in summer theater. I eventually put them online and started getting this little following.
44. Postmodern comedy doesn’t work well with very old audiences, because it’s making fun of the comedy they enjoy.
45. Don’t worry, I’m hilarious.
46. Your hard work and talent will not pay off.
47. Please don’t stick with me if I start sucking.
48. I don’t think I’ve had a job since I worked for my father’s construction company.
49. You got to take a deep breath and give up. The system is rigged against you.
50. The U.K. and Europe in general seem to be a lot more patient. The U.S. are expecting ‘joke joke joke joke joke joke joke.’ They don’t actually sit and listen to you.
51. The average person has one Fallopian tube.
52. I just like to write and then perform.
53. 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.
54. The Internet is so crazy, and you’re exposed to so many things. In an hour, you can really jump around.
55. I know I’m probably digging for fresh fruit in the garbage, and as much as anyone, my attitude is, if stuff’s sincere, it’s gooey and boring and uninteresting. But it’s no way to live.
56. I’ll stop when I think I’m not doing good stuff. I’ll never exploit something just because people like it.
57. Uncharted territory is a good place to be in.
58. I really like maths.
59. The thing is, I always thought I could do stand-up, and so I just stayed focused on the belief that I could succeed.
60. I’m not as incredibly prolific as Louis C. K., and I’m definitely not doing a completely brand-new hour probably by the beginning of the tour.