Bo Burnham announces upcoming Netflix special

by Adnan Bašić / Head Copy Editor

Bo Burnham performing during one of his previous specials. Photo courtesy of

Bo Burnham, who made a name for himself in Hollywood due to his directing and acting over the course of the last few years, is heading back to his comedy roots.

The artist took to social media on Wednesday to announce that he’s working on a new special that is set to release on Netflix, posting a video with the caption, “hi. i made a new special. it was filmed by me, alone, without a crew or an audience, over the course of the past year. it is almost finished. i hope you like it.” 

The video is, predictably, a teaser for the new comedy special. It uses a scene from the ending of another one of his specials, “Make Happy,” before transitioning to an updated shot of a door in his room. Then, there’s a flash cut to a man with a beard (it’s unclear if the man is Burnham himself or someone else) before a title card appears with the title of the new special, “Inside,” with funky synth music playing in the background. The last shot of the clip is of his door closing, leaving much to the imagination of the viewer.

It will be interesting to see just how different this project is compared to Burnham’s earlier works. His other specials, like “What” and the aforementioned “Make Happy,” were filmed almost entirely in a theater in front of a live studio audience. There’s even some moments where Burnham directly interacts with the crowd in order to set up a punchline, with the most famous example arguably being Rob and the activities Burnham partook in with his mom.

That won’t be an option this time, though. This production will be minimalistic due to the lack of a crowd and crew. It’s just going to be Burnham, the equipment he has available to him and his brain. It’s not all bad news, to be fair, as the circumstances mean that he won’t have to perform the skits live, and that he’ll be able to edit his recordings afterward. A lot of possibilities have opened up as a result, and it’s exciting to think of the things he can do with this newfound creative freedom.

If there’s anyone who can figure out how to film a superb special in these circumstances, it’s Burnham. 

Burnham is one of the smartest artists on the scene right now, and his mind seems to operate at a different level. He can almost do it all. He can create music and craft lyrics to fit the tune while also telling a story in the process. Burnham can go from a lighthearted tone of comedy to more serious self-reflection in the blink of an eye, keeping viewers on their toes.

Burnham’s versatility has been on show ever since he recorded his last special. He directed the film “Eighth Grade,” which was released back in 2018 to plenty of praise from fans and critics alike. He then had a prominent acting role in the movie “Promising Young Woman,” earning acclaim for that performance as well. Burnham’s far from finished in mainstream Hollywood, as he’s set to play NBA legend Larry Bird in an upcoming HBO series. At this point, it’s unclear if there’s anything that he can’t do in media.

For now, though, his focus will be on “Inside.” There’s no confirmed release date just yet, but fans like myself will be eagerly awaiting its arrival no matter how long it takes. For now, going back and rewatching his older specials for the umpteenth time will do.

During the final scene of “Make Happy,” Burnham asks, “On a scale from one to two now, are you happy?”

Well, after the most recent news, I’m at the highest two imaginable.

Categories: Feature

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