After years of absence, Bo Burnham is back. This time, the comedian does his thing a little differently. He recently released his fourth special comedy on Netflix, Inside, and everyone online can’t stop talking about how brilliant and candid it is. It’s an in-your-face diary of painstaking quarantine isolation amidst the ongoing pandemic, with plenty of comedy golds.
So, what’s the concept of Inside? Did he really direct, shoot, edit, and write the show all by himself? What’s next for the comedian? If you’re a little late to the party, here’s a little recap of what you’re safe to expect from Bo Burnham‘s latest Netflix special, Inside.
10 It’s His First Special Since 2016
What makes Inside so special is that it marks Burnham’s return to comedy after 2016’s Make Happy. He experienced panic attacks while touring for his previous special what., and that’s the core elements of Make Happy. He’s been struggling for it for quite some time, and now he’s back for good.
“I spent that time trying to improve myself mentally,” he says near the end of Inside. “Got so much better!”
9 He Spent ‘Months’ During The COVID-19 Pandemic To Finish This Project
Sometimes, being stuck in a room can pull the best out of someone creatively. That’s what happened in January 2020, when Burnham decided to spend more than six months to a year to finish his Inside special. He filmed everything inside the same room where he closed out Make Happy.
8 Everything Is Shot, Directed, Written, & Developed By The Comedian Himself
Another thing that makes Inside so creatively refreshing and agonizingly funny is that Burnham did everything by himself, from writing, directing, shooting, editing, recording music—everything. It’s so good to see, considering that he almost hung up the live comedy microphone for good after Make Happy. Burnham, now 30, is back for more.
7 It Tackles Several Social Issues
Just like his previous specials, Inside tackles several important issues in a unique, comedic way. The masterpiece sees the comedian poking fun at unpaid internships, climate change, politics, and even FaceTiming his technology-inept mother. He even goes as far as satirizing Jeff Bezos’ immoral business practices in several songs on the special.
6 The Comedian Sings In This Special
Throughout the special, Burnham delivers his clever and, sometimes, self-loathing punchlines with song after song, which he all pre-recorded. If you’ve been keeping up with his stand-up career, this wouldn’t surprise you. The Comedy Central alumnus has been singing since he started out his career on YouTube back in 2006. The self-proclaimed “pubescent musical comedy” also released his debut EP, Bo fo Sho, two years later under the Comedy Central Records banner.
5 This Isn’t The Only Thing He’s Been Working On
Back in 2020, Burnham also served in one of the recurring roles of Promising Young Woman, alongside big names like Margot Robbie (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Terminal, Suicide Squad) and her husband Tom Ackerley producing it.
Additionally, during his little “hiatus” from comedy from 2016 to 2021, he also directed Eighth Grade with Scott Rudin and won the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay in the process.
4 Fellow Comedians Have Outpoured Burnham With Their Support
That said, Bo Burnham’s return to comedy has been outpoured with support and welcome from fellow comedians and actors. Hasan Minhaj of the now-canceled Patriot Act show spoke highly of the comedian, calling the special “incredible” while encouraging his 1.5 million followers on Instagram to watch it. Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad also commented on Burnham’s Instagram post of the special, saying that he “couldn’t wait” to watch it.
3 The Show Runs For 87 Minutes
Just like most comedy specials on Netflix, Inside runs for 87 minutes or an hour and a half. That makes Inside his longest Netflix comedy special, compared to Make Happy‘s 60 minutes back in 2016. Throughout the special, he also talks about suicide, living in fear, and his current mental health state by joking about the trauma as the easiest way to cope up with it.
2 ‘Inside’ Was Met With Positive Reviews From Critics
The critics welcomed Burnham’s comeback to comedy with wide arms. Many of them hail Inside as the comedian’s magnum-opus and masterpiece to this date. The Guardian gave the “claustrophobic masterpiece” a special five out of five achievable stars, while IndieWire praised the musical effects and its cinematography. The New York Times also wrote that Inside was Burnham’s best work, praising its “bebop, synth-pop and peppy show tunes.”
1 It’s Now On Netflix
That said, Inside has been available on Netflix since May 30 this year, and you’re not too late to the party if you want to catch up. In the meantime, if you’ve watched the special, there’s never a better time to revisit Burham’s 2016 Make Happy stand-up musical comedy special, also on Netflix.