Holy shit. My mind has officially been boggled. Also, what does the word "boggled" even mean? Did someone mean to write "my mind is bottled" and just misspelled it and here we are 500 years later using the wrong word? Can't say I've ever seen or heard the word used outside of that phrase. Anyway, 'Inside' is fucking incredible. The most impressive thing I've seen in my entire life. I had a hard time deciding where to start with this but it probably makes the most sense to start with the elephant in the room which would be the fact that me writing this blog and putting it on the internet is in direct opposition to a question Bo posed to the audience. "Can any one singular person shut the fuck up about any one singular thing?" And you know what Bo, I can't. I'm sorry, but I just can't. When you make something like THAT, something that in a matter of an hour and a half just gave Bo beachfront real estate in every part of my brain, I can't help myself but to talk about it in some form, even if nobody reads this, I just need to put my thoughts out. This one is on you, Bo.
A few years ago I was lucky enough to get the chance to see the play 'Hamilton' performed live. That sentence being in this blog could not possibly be more stereotypical but I don't give a fuck. When I walked out of that show I legitimately felt rattled down to my core. Not because I'd never seen anything I liked that much, but because I'd never seen something that impressive. Something that had to have required so much thought, talent, and beyond all else, work. I never thought I would see something that hit me quite the same again, or at least not until the next Lin-Manuel production. That said, I recently watched 'In The Heights' which was good and all but didn't even sniff Hamilton, my Lin experience started at the ceiling, nothing you can do about that. Then I watched Inside. I know I am way behind the curve with this one, like months behind, but like I said I can't help myself. And I had that same feeling sitting alone on my couch, rattled. Shocked that anybody could turn ideas in their head into... "this thing", as Bo calls it.
If you haven't surmised that I love a good musical then you're atrocious at picking up context clues in reading, but that's okay, I do in fact love a good musical. I've seen one of Bo's specials before and I sorta knew what to expect going in, but that previous special was a taping of him performing his music and standup in a traditional setting. Still entertaining, funny, and impressive nonetheless but I don't think anything could've prepared me for what Inside was. Subject matter and however you feel about Bo's belief aside, just the fact that ONE PERSON created this is fucking insane. Towards the end of it he mentions a few times how he wanted to finish it before he turned 30, and then again says he wanted to finish it within a year, neither of which he accomplished and seemed upset about it, but during that I was sitting there in aw like, "this ONLY took a year!?!" if you would've told me it took 3 years I would've said, "yeah that seems about right". If you would've said it was his life's work and took each and every one of the 30 years he's been around I would've understood.
The music rules, it's funny, it's smart, clever, outside of the box (while ironically being inside of a box the entire time), and unlike anything I've ever seen. I only finished it maybe an hour ago and I've already run through the track list on Spotify twice. Not only does the music sound good but this guy is telling jokes through it too??? Writing jokes is hard as shit, let alone doing it musically in a way only Bo Burnham does. The jokes themselves are funny as fuck too. The entire "brand consultant" segment is one of the funniest things I've seen in a very long time, "it's time to get to work....... by selling butterfingers". The fake twitch stream, the reaction video to his reaction video to his reaction video, even some of the darker aspects like him watching the final seconds of his 20s go by on camera, pure genius. Even if a comedy special is usually somewhere to go to be happy and laugh (while there's plenty of that) the dark aspect and his battle with himself throughout the special makes it feel that much more unbelievable that he actually went all the way through with this thing. Can't even imagine how much work this poor bastard put into it.
However, the most impressive thing to me is that he did EVERYTHING. He's a comedian/musician, he's used to writing jokes and songs... but the way its shot, cut together, and produced is almost better than the material itself? Which is what really blew my mind. Feels like every song has its own noticeable and tantalizing lighting and this guy is just doing it by holding flashlights behind his back and messing with cameras and the shades in his little room? Fucking incredible. And then you think about the fact that the bulk of the work probably came from editing everything and cutting it together, work he never does, work that I'd imagine contributed very heavily into why it took him so long and why he started to get frustrated with everything. Still, he carried on.
This thing was so good it makes me want to do something incredible like it. Now I can't do anything related to music unless you want me to rip some 'Hot Crossed Buns' on the clarinet, outside of that I'm useless. But it makes me want to wrtie jokes, make little mini clips like that brand segment. I don't know, just makes me want to create stuff. And THAT is why it'll forever own real estate in my head. I've mentioned this before with movies, sometimes you watch a movie that impacts you so much you can't help but think to yourself, "should I try to make a movie?", that's how I feel about this. Don't think I could pull off an hour and a half of what he did but maybe a 3 minute segment? Inspiring man.
If you haven't seen Inside and you enjoy music, comedy, production, insanely impressive things, or talent like you've never seen before you need to watch it. Like nothing I've ever seen, shoutout to you, Bo.