Mon. May 29th, 2023

Anyone walking by Asplundh concert hall Friday night, Sept. 18 may have thought that they heard thunder, but it was not a storm approaching. What they heard was the roaring laughter of the audience members inside listening to comedian Bo Burnham. Sponsored by the Student Activities Council, WCU’s show was one of many performances that are a part of Burnham’s Fake ID Tour. At 19 years old, Bo Burnham is a new comedian whose fame began with the popular video sharing website, YouTube.

Though he had been performing comedic routines at home since he was a child, Burnham began posting videos on YouTube when he was 16 as a way to share his comedic songs with his brother who was away at college.

The videos went viral, and soon he was signed, he started to produce albums, and he was gaining credibility as a true comedic artist.

With over 50 million views on YouTube, his songs and jokes drew enough attention that Comedy Central gave him his own special, making Bo the youngest comedian to ever have a special on the network.

On Friday night, we certainly got to see why Bo Burnham has reached the success he has at such a young age.

The comedy started very quickly on Friday as Bo came out onto the stage in a track suit and did not say a word as he was tuning his guitar. It came to the point that his purposeful awkwardness actually made him hilarious to watch. When he finally opened his mouth to talk, he was very monotonous.

He opened the show with his song “My Whole Family” about how his whole family thinks that he is gay and that he is “in the closet and the door is locked.” After finishing the song, he mentioned that he planned to go downtown to Gay Street after the show.

Throughout the night, he performed many fan favorites including, “The Perfect Woman” about being married to Helen Keller and “Love Is” in which he claims he loves you “like Dora loves maps, like the Pope’s toilet loves holy craps.” One of the evening’s highlights came when he was performing his most popular song, “I’m Bo Yo.” Audiences members began to clap a long to the song, but they were so off beat and out of sync with the song that Bo adlibbed “This school has the (expletive) worst clappers” into the chorus.

Not only, did we hear the songs we love and know by heart, but Bo also shared a lot of new material with us, including a song called “Men and Women,” that does not appear online. In the song, Bo makes comparisons between men and women saying things like “male strippers always look like they’re applying lotion and female strippers when they’re dancing on the pole just look like confused firemen.” Comparisons are not only made between men and women, but he also relates both sexes to other objects like when he says “women are like Yahtzees because I rarely get them.”

Bo showed audience members that his comedic gift was not limited to the silly songs that he writes. He also shared some haikus that he had written while on the road. He pulled a mic stand with a triangle on the end of it to the front of the stage, and sat on a stool reading his poetry out of a little black book. “For 15 cents a day, you could feed an African. They eat pennies,” and ding went the triangle. He went on to read more haikus and also share some statistics he gathered, like “30 percent of people with the initials ‘ADD’ have ADD.”

Bo did not just stick to a scripted routine. He got off stage and walked through the crowd, interacting with audience. He particularly took a liking to an exercise science student, Tom, who shouted something at him early in the evening. He brought Tom to the front of the concert hall and tried to get him a date by telling people he was an orphan. When one girl stood up and said she would date Tom, Bo called her a “special kind of prostitute-an attention whore.” As he was jumping back on stage to finish the show, he tripped over stool, knocking it off the stage. He claimed he had irritable bowel syndrome and couldn’t control his stools. Audience members were falling out of their seats with laughter.

“Bo is a comic genius! And despite his fame, he’s such a nice guy. It was a pleasure getting to meet and work with him,” said Kelly Dougherty, SAC publicity chair.

Though his jokes may be a little offensive to some, and he spends a lot of time making fun of people, Bo is really a big sweetheart. Following the show, he signed autographs and took pictures with every fan that wanted to wait in the long line.

He made small talk with the fans and thanked each person individually for coming to his show. Additionally, he thanked the Student Activities Council for doing a good job running the show and commented on how professional they were.

Anna Moronski is a fourth-year student majoring in Communications and minoring in Journalism. She can be reached at

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