Friday, September 17, 2010

Bill Burr's new special, Let It Go, debuts on Comedy Central Sunday

Bill Burr: Let It Go debuts Sunday at 11PM on Comedy Central
It’s hard to remember the last time I saw Bill Burr fail onstage, partly because I don’t think I’ve ever seen it happen. The closest I think I came was watching him pull laughs from a grudging crowd at The Comedy Store in LA a couple of years ago (I talked to him about that and a number of other things for FunnyGrownHere in May). But he did make them laugh, something a number of other comedians, big names and small, couldn’t do on that bill.

Burr is as solid as any comic in the country right now, and his new one-hour special, Let It Go, gives you a good taste of that. The title refers to Burr’s self-professed anger issues, over everything going home for the holidays to another man asking if he wants a cookie.
Bill Burr - Pro-Swine Flu
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That might seems a bit frightening, like Burr could snap at any minute, but he’s not that kind of comic. He’s not Sam Kinison, whipping himself into a frenzy, staring past the audience and screaming into the abyss. No, his tone is more self aware, and his anger is the opposite of self-righteous. More like a highly amused, “I can’t believe what an asshole I am.”

He talks about being sarcastic to his girlfriend, and even takes a shot at motherhood – “Women are constantly patting themselves on the back for how difficult their lives are and no one corrects them because they want to fuck ‘em,” he says. Bring that kind of sentiment into a normal conversation, you might want to duck.
Bill Burr - Pit Bull Mix
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But more often than not, Burr is his own favorite target. He admits to thinking about suicide, maybe once every couple of weeks. And never over anything big, like a girlfriend leaving. It’s the little things that catch him, like forgetting he’d agreed to bake a pie, something he doesn’t know how to do, on Thanksgiving Dar. “Whenever I know the next four hours of my life is going to suck, I think about,” he says.

He takes a well-directed shot at male bravado, how everything smart or sensitive is “gay” to the super masculine. That’s why guys drop dead at 55 over nothing. “It’s literally from five decades of suppressing the urge to hug a puppy, admit a baby’s cute, say you want a cookie,” says Burr. “You gotta just keep pushing it down.”
Bill Burr - No Home for the Holidays
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It’s these kinds of observations that keep him from marrying, and from wanting to go home for Christmas at ago 40. He doesn’t want to face questions again about what he does for a living. “So,” he says, feigning the voice of an uncomfortable relative, “you’re just going to tell jokes? Talk about disease and wish it on people?”

Hopefully, yes.

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