Netflix is home to countless comedy specials. However, one recent addition stands out among the crowd: Bo Burnham’s Inside.
Inside is not your regular comedy special. Unlike most, there’s no audience, there’s no laughter and at times it’s just straight up depressing.
If you haven’t guessed, Inside was created during the 2020 lockdown. With a combination of drama, music and comedy, Burnham reassures his audience it’s okay to feel alone and like shit when in isolation, and the solution can be some gold tier jokes.
Inside is the one comedy special you need to watch right now, and here are six reasons why:
1. It’s relatable
For better or for worse, a lot of what Burnham goes through during the special is very relatable and makes for a compelling watch. It’s fairly common practice for comedians to use current social issues as content and 2020 was full of it. But Burnham sticks to his theme of being alone and isolated by mainly focusing on himself and exploring the volatile and often downright stupid online ‘world’.
From the unspoken sexual frustration of being alone for long periods of time to attempting to communicate with boomers on technology, it’s a rough and grim reality. But Burnham manages to see the comedic elements of these moments, which pessimists like myself cannot.
2. Inside shows a new form of comedy
For most stand ups, being constricted to a small space with only you and yourself to make a stand-up special would be the end. However, Burnham takes this opportunity to innovate and uses the resources that editing can provide to create comedic moments (and occasionally quite tense moments) that a live audience doesn’t allow for.
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In one instance, Burnham has integrated a small skit where he imitates a YouTube gamer who’s doing a play-through of life in isolation with compelling tasks including (but not limited to) crying and attempting to go outside.
3. The hilarious soundtrack
If you follow Bo Burnham’s work, you’ll know that a staple of his comedy is his brilliant musical numbers. This special is no different, gracing the keyboard and guitar along with the help of modern technology.
Not only are the songs hilarious and socially relevant, but they’re skilfully crafted and performed with unquestionable talent. (I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have the soundtrack on rotation.)
‘Welcome to the Internet’ is one of the special’s highlights and a great example of Burnham’s ability to balance comedy and social commentary.
4. Bo Burnham’s brutally honest
Most stand-ups would suggest they’re telling truthful tales, but the reality is that the truth may be somewhat skewed. How vulnerable and exposed Burnham seems in the special is what makes it so unique.
Here we have Burnham performing theatrically heightened songs that he’s allowing to be overshadowed by reminding the audience he feels like shit, hasn’t showered in days and is at an ATL (All Time Low).
This may sacrifice the comedic nature of some of the songs but also opens a whole new perspective on what is really going on Inside of Burnham.
5. Oh, it’s also funny
Though the drama of Inside is compelling, we’re here for the jokes. And Burnham delivers.
Deep diving into everything that made 2020 so infamous: video calling, sexting, depression, race, and the overall bleakness of life. Through the lens of Bo Burnham’s ironic musical numbers, you’re left in stitches while also thinking ‘damn, I should get off my phone, ay’ .