Bo Burnham: Inside

Around 2015, Bo Burnham decided to stop touring because of anxiety-related issues, like having panic attacks onstage. Then in January of 2020, he decided to start touring again.

And then.

Now it’s 2021, and Inside is his latest special. It’s on Netflix.

If anyone could manage to pull off standup without an audience, it’s Bo Burnham. This isn’t quite that. It’s more sketch comedy, which he already tended toward in his acts. It’s full of songs & self-awareness like you’d expect, touching on things like Instagram, reaction videos, & Twitch culture, but it’s largely about the elephant in the (very small and lonely) room.

When future generations want to know what the bleakness of isolation felt like, this special captures it. And what it felt like is descending into such madness that you fuck your belly button with a water bottle. With the obligatory suicidal ideation, of course.

I don’t think it would have been healthy to watch this before the light at the other end of the tunnel came into view. If you’re living in a country where that could still be some way off, I might hold off on this one. For all its artifice, it gets real.

In a way tt’s really kind of a concept video to an albums worth of material. Thought it was a pretty impressive piece of performance art.