Bo Burnham: what.

Watch Bo Burnham: what.

  • NR
  • 2013
  • 1 hr 1 min
  • 8.3  (12,932)

Bo Burnham: what. is a comedic one-hour stand-up special written and performed by Bo Burnham, an American comedian, musician, and actor who first gained fame on YouTube. This special was released in 2013 and recorded in Boston, MA. The show kicks off with a performance of "Words, Words, Words," one of Burnham's most popular songs. The song manages to be simultaneously extremely clever and a complete mockery of the wordy and often empty rhyming seen in traditional rap music. This scene sets the tone for the rest of the show, as the audience is clearly in for a night of humour of the clever and thought-provoking variety.

Throughout the special, Burnham investigates themes such as race, gender, sexuality, religion, and politics, injecting the perspectives of a younger generation directly into the routines. As a former teenage viral video star, Burnham is in a unique position to comment on the absurdity of modern technology and social media and does not shy away from using this material.

In a series of witty and hilarious songs and skits, Burnham performs a monologue that seems to come from his own mind, deconstructing his own privileged life and society in general. In his interpretation of the current state of the world, the audience is hit with a slew of critical and thought-provoking pot-shots aimed at technology, mass media, and contemporary culture.

The set design of what. is delightfully minimalist, with only a stool and microphone on stage. The lighting is artistically arranged in a black-and-white format which infuses a touch of nostalgia and sophistication to the special. This is Burnham's first show to be filmed while playing to a live, theater audience (as opposed to performing in a comedy club or a theater solely for a DVD release), and this enhances the atmosphere even further.

One of Burnham's great strengths is his ability to weave a story which has the audience laughing right up until the moment it becomes unexpectedly poignant. There are moments in what. where it feels as though Burnham is speaking directly to his listeners, reaching out and touching them with his insights into the human experience.

Another highlight of this special is when Burnham tries to classify his comedy as "intelligent" or "stupid", and he arrives at the conclusion that both types of comedy are equally important. In this moment, he highlights just one of his many talents: the ability to make the intellectual and absurd accessible in the same moment.

what. is a masterclass in the art of the one-man show, with every element of the production coming together to create something truly captivating. Bo Burnham's manic energy, unique insight into contemporary culture, combined with his formidable musical and comedic talents, makes this special a must-see for those looking for intelligent humor. It is a raw and real yet intellectually invigorating slice of comedy which has something to offer to all types of audiences.

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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 1 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    8.3  (12,932)