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Bo Burnham Biography & Facts

Robert Pickering "Bo" Burnham (born August 21, 1990) is an American comedian, musician, actor, and filmmaker. His work combines elements of filmmaking with comedy genres such as music, sketch, and stand-up, often with a dramatic or tragic twist. Following his success as one of the earliest YouTube stars throughout the late 2000s, Burnham gained notability in the early 2010s for his satirical and subversive stand-up and musical comedy. He made four comedy albums with Comedy Central Records, released three comedy specials—Words, Words, Words (2010), what. (2013), and Make Happy (2016)—created and starred in the MTV mockumentary series Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous (2013), and published the poetry book Egghead: Or, You Can't Survive on Ideas Alone (2013). He then announced a career shift away from comedy in 2016, before making his filmmaking debut as the writer and director of the critically acclaimed drama film Eighth Grade (2018). He has also directed other comedians' comedy specials, and co-starred in the Academy Award-winning comedy-thriller film Promising Young Woman (2020). Burnham created and starred in his fourth special, Inside (2021), without a crew or audience during the COVID-19 pandemic; it was released by Netflix to widespread acclaim and was nominated in six categories at the 73rd Emmy Awards, winning Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special, Outstanding Music Direction, and Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special. At the 64th Grammy Awards, Inside was nominated for Best Music Film and Best Song Written for Visual Media, winning the latter. Three songs from the special appeared also on the Billboard charts and were certified gold in the United States, as was the accompanying album, Inside (The Songs). Early life Robert Pickering Burnham was born in Hamilton, Massachusetts, on August 21, 1990, the son of hospice nurse Patricia and construction company owner Scott Burnham. His mother's work was covered in a 2014 episode of This American Life. He has an older sister named Samm and an older brother named Pete, both of whom work for their father's construction company. Burnham was raised Catholic and attended St. John's Preparatory School in Danvers, Massachusetts, where he received a free education due to his mother working as the school's nurse at the time. He graduated in 2008, having been on the honor roll and involved in theater and the campus ministry program. He was accepted into the New York University Tisch School of the Arts to study experimental theatre, but deferred his admission for a year to pursue a career in comedy and eventually never attended. Career 2006–2008: Beginnings on YouTube Burnham began his career on YouTube in 2006. In December 2006, he wanted to show two songs he had written to his older brother Pete, who had left the family home to attend university in New York City. A friend suggested that he film himself performing the songs in his bedroom and post them on YouTube, which was then a relatively new website. His song "My Whole Family..." quickly became popular when the link to its YouTube video was shared on, soon leading to it being shared on other sites.Accompanying himself on guitar or digital piano, Burnham continued to release self-described "pubescent musical comedy" songs and videos online as his audience grew. Described in The Boston Globe as "simultaneously wholesome and disturbing, intimate in a folksy-creepy sort of way", Burnham wrote and released songs about white supremacy, Helen Keller's disabilities, homosexuality, and more. All of Burnham's early videos were recorded in and around his family's home, mostly in his bedroom, and had an intentional "do-it-yourself [feel], almost like voyeurism".Burnham's music and performances tackle such subjects as class, race, gender, human sexuality, sex, and religion. Burnham describes his on-stage persona as a "more arrogant, stuck-up version [of] himself". When speaking with The Detroit News about his rapping, he expressed his intent to honor and respect the perspective and culture of hip-hop music.Burnham recorded a performance in London for Comedy Central's The World Stands Up in January 2008 (aired June 30), making him the youngest person to do so at the age of 17, and signed a four-record deal with Comedy Central Records. Comedy Central Records released Burnham's first EP, the six-song Bo fo Sho, as an online release-only album on June 17, 2008. Burnham's first full album, the self-titled Bo Burnham, was released on March 10, 2009. 2009–2016: Stand-up and comedy specials Burnham has performed his music in the United States, including Cobb's Comedy Club, YouTube Live in San Francisco, and Caroline's Comedy Club in New York City, and internationally in London and Montreal. In August 2010, Burnham was nominated for "Best Comedy Show" at the 2010 Edinburgh Comedy Awards after his inaugural performance (of Bo Burnham: Words, Words, Words). He instead received the "Panel Prize", a £5,000 prize for "the show or act who has most captured the comedy spirit of the 2010 Fringe".While performing at the Montreal Just for Laughs festival in 2008, Burnham met with director and producer Judd Apatow. That September, he negotiated with Universal Pictures to write and create the music for an Apatow-produced comedy film which he described as the "anti-High School Musical", although he insisted that the script is not a parody of the Disney musicals, but rather an attempt to emulate the high school he attended. Hoping to also star in the film, Burnham told Wired that he named the lead character after himself in a "not-so-subtle hint". In a March 2009 interview with Boston's Weekly Dig, he said that he was spending eight hours a day writing the music for the film and spending his evenings writing the script. Burnham's high school friend Luke Liacos was co-writing the screenplay. In an October 2010 interview with MTV, Burnham admitted that he did not know anything about the future of the project, and that it was all effectively up in the air as far as he knew. On March 3, 2009, 15 Westminster College students (members of the campus' Gay-Straight Alliance, Black Students Association, International Club, and Cultural Diversity Organization) protested his concert there that evening, due to his use of homophobic and racist terms in performances. Of the controversy, he said, "It's so ironic because gay bashers were the ones labeling me in high school. ... I try and write satire that's well-intentioned. But those intentions have to be hidden. It can't be completely clear and that's what makes it comedy." Despite the college's admission that they had booked Burnham while ignorant of his show's material, dean of students John Comerford praised the opportunities for discourse the controversy brought the school. In May 2009, viral marketing began appearing for Funny People, in which Burnham starred in an NBC sitcom called Yo Teach! In the promo, he starred opposite Jason Schwartzman as a.... Discover the Bo Burnham popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Bo Burnham books.

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