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Music: Bo Burnham
Bo Burnham is a comedian and writer of satirical music. His songs contain adult language and themes, and some of them can be very offensive, but it's satire so it's okay!

Bo started out by posting a couple of his songs on YouTube so his brother can see them, and they became so popular that he decided he would make more. He signed a four record deal with Comedy Central Records, and the rest is history. He has released four works (three albums and an EP)note and has done two comedy specials.

He's pretty much famous and has done a bunch of different tours. His YouTube channel can be found here with some of his earlier songs on it, but a lot of the newer songs are absent.

He briefly starred in Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous, an MTV comedy series about a guy who tries to become an internet celebrity. It only lasted one season.

Here's his Vine.

Tropes associated with Bo Burnham include:

  • A Date with Rosie Palms: "Beating Off In A Minor" from what.note 
    • Also, from "New Math":
    "Having sex is like math homework, I do it best when I'm alone in my bed."
  • Appeal To Worse Problems: In "Oh Bo," we get this:
    Pull it out, stick it in your mouth, and I bust in the back of ya
    Swallow, bitch, there's people starving in Africa
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "It's become a symbol of misogyny, gay panic... fiscal irresponsibility..."
    • From 'Rant': "Sadness where there should be joy; hate, and rape, and Soulja Boy."
    • From 'Sad': "I saw a little boy drop his ice cream cone directly on his mother's corpse! I saw a kitten stuck in a tree, then the kitten jumped off, and he hung itself. I saw a boy who had red hair. "
  • Atomic F-Bomb: At the end of "Andy the Frog".
  • Becoming the Mask: Supposedly Bo's arrogant stage persona is just an act that he very greatly expanded into over time.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't sing along with him during a live show. Just don't.
    • Don't interrupt his jokes either.
    • Don't call Left Brain's Rubik's Cube a toy.
  • Broken Aesop: Love is all about whistles.
  • Broken Record:
    • "Prolonged eye contact (prolonged eye contact)..."
    • "Repeat stuff, repeat stuff, repeat stuff..."
    • "We think we know you. We think we know you."
  • Careful With That Axe: "A World On Fire" from what.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: His song "Eff" contains 72 uses of the word "fuck", considering it gets dropped about every three words. And that's not even including the background part.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Up to Eleven in "Sad", and even lampshaded:
    "The world isn't sad. The world's funny, I get it now! I'm a sociopath!"
  • Country Matters: All in the name of punning.
    "Go to a vagina orchard / Count one, two, three / Spin that plant around / You got a third whirled cunt-tree"
    • Also used more blatantly in haiku form:
    "Bono, if you want to help poor people, sell your tinted shades, you cunt!"
  • Cover Version: At the height of the song's infamy, Bo couldn't resist covering "Friday" during some live shows.
  • Defrosting Ice King: The cold and logical left half of Bo's brain after he yells at the right half and ends up making him cry.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: The lyrics of "My Whole Family Thinks I'm Gay" don't do much to convince anyone otherwise, which he lampshades towards the end.
    "You all probably think I'm gay / Man, this song is counter-productive..."
  • Fetish: Subverted.
    "My ex-girlfriend had had a really weird fetish. She used to like to dress up as herself and act like a fuckin' bitch all the time."
  • Flat "What.": The title of his fourth album is "what."
  • Godwin's Law: He manages to make it funny, calling upon the audience to yell "ho" when he yells "hey." When they do...
    Bo: That's how Hitler came to power. [Death Glare]
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Part of his persona.
    "And if I were gay / Though I swear I'm straight / I'd make the fellas say "Oh, Bo!"
  • Heel Realization: The Spocky left half of Bo's brain has one after he makes the right half cry.
  • Hurricane of Puns
  • Hypocritical Humor: Lampshaded in "Words, Words, Words", the catchy chorus of which starts: "I hate catchy choruses and I'm a hypocrite."
  • I Am X, Son of Y: "I am Jesus of Nazareth, son of Orflek the Butcher!"
    • "I AM SATAN, LORD OF DARKNESS."
  • Justified Trope: Bo doesn't really specialize in comedy as he does more in satire, which allows him to specialize in making fun of things, and that's why his songs can get very offensive. Plus it's funny.
  • Large Ham: At times.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Does this from time to time, often combined with Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion
    • Somehow manages to lampshade and play straight SIMULTANEOUSLY in "What's Funny":
    "If you're a musical comic, just give 'em a little weird voice inflection
    Then take a viagra, and slap 'em with a rock-hard misdirection"
  • The McCoy: The right half of Bo's brain, with a pinch of ditziness.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: A bit complicated. Bo's arrogant, unkind stage persona is partially for effect, but every now and then his reactions with audience members blur the line. He gets pretty nasty with his audience (not just hecklers and shouting idiots) on the "Words, Words, Words" DVD, such as singing "You're not a fucking metronome" when the audience starts clapping along to the beat of a song. At the very least, he's quick to shut them down. Reports vary about how nice he actually is in person, but some of it is just the persona.
    • If you really think about it, the way he treats his audience is actually all part of the joke. If you really watch closely you can tell what's all just satire and sarcasm and his real vision of things becomes clear.
    • People who know him personally will say that the persona started as an act and that it's now more a case of Becoming the Mask.
      • Bo addresses criticisms like these in the finale of "what." Bo is presented with three pre-recorded speeches from caricatures that he finds disrespectful (one being someone who knew him in high school and wants to leech off his fame, one an agent who wants to meddle with Bo's act, and one just some guy who thinks he's an asshole) and Bo simply modifies their message into "we think we know you."
      • Additionally, compare the way he interacts with the audience in Words, Words, Words and what. When someone in the audience is being particularly loud in Words, Words, Words, he snaps at them. In what. he lampshades what they're cheering for ("Places!"), then laughs and continues the show. If anything, he's become nicer.
  • Metaphorgotten: In his PSA.
    "Smoking can kill you, just like cancer. So don't... smoke... tumors...."
  • Mind Rape: When Bo's left and right brains are isolated in "Left Brain, Right Brain".
  • Misogyny Song: More of a Misogyny Poem, entitled "I Fuck Sluts."
  • Mistaken for Gay: The subject of one of his songs, My Whole Family Thinks I'm Gay
    • May be closer to Transparent Closet, considering the line "Even my boyfriend thinks I'm gay."
      • Or he (at least in the song) is bisexual.
  • Mood Whiplash: Art is Dead, a reflective song that focuses on his own faults and hypocrisy that borders on Creator Breakdown, is pretty jarring in general, let alone when heard in between his other songs.
    • More specifically: on the "Words Words Words" CD, the "Art is Dead" track is directly followed by Bo lampshading this and immediately making a hysterical crude joke:
    "We got serious there. I think fisting should be called 'uppercunting'. And we're back."
    • His first-ever Vine starts with him making funny noises, and then all of a sudden...
    "I'm gonna die alone."
  • No Ending: Multiple times, most notably "Welcome to Youtube", but to a lesser extent "Men and Women", "The Perfect Woman", and "Ironic". Also happens in the live versions of "Oh Bo" (partly justified because the bit about the oboe is hard to replicate live) and "Words Words Words", which just kinda cut off where the studio versions have little codas and fade out.
    • On the DVD of "Words, Words, Words", he performs "I'm Bo Yo" as an encore, and abruptly stops in the middle of the last chorus after changing one of the lyrics to "This song's gonna end really awkwardly."
  • Overly-Long Gag: "PROLONGED EYE CONTACT."
  • Pungeon Master
  • Raised Catholic: He went to a Catholic school as a child, and some of his works play off of that in a satirical way.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: A bit in what. involves an argument between the right and left halves of Bo's brain, who follow this dynamic. The colored lighting even follows the color scheme!
  • Refuge in Audacity
  • Running Gag: You get the feeling Bo was picked on in high school?
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: From the intro to what.:
    "Play an invisible trumpet. (Trumpet sounds!)"
    • It comes back later.
    "Bo wants to make you feel comfortable. (Random voice!)"
  • Self-Deprecation: Often, most notably in recent performances of "I'm Bo Yo"; in the final line of the chorus he says he "can really find your G-spot", which is followed by a brief self-indicting remark.
    "Oh, but I'm inadequate / Have I gotten that point across yet?"
    • "Art is Dead" is chock full of this.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: In what. Bo tells a children's story about frogs, one of which experiences love at first sight and pursues the female frog, only to be eaten alive by an alligator along the way.
  • Shout-Out: Where do you begin?
  • Sophisticated as Hell: One of his routines involves quoting Hamlet's "To be, or not to be" soliloquy and then, after a beat, saying "Pff, like, WHAT?"
    • From "Ex-Girlfriend/Racial Humor" on Words Words Words:
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: In a skit in the intro of what., while happy music is playing Bo meets a a five-horned unicorn/pentacorn, and then abruptly shoots it, reloads, and shoots it some more—all while the same happy music is still playing.
  • The Spock: The left half of Bo's brain.
  • Stealth Pun: "Because if I'm in the closet, then you are below me / taking the B A T outta "BASEMENT", homie". Unfortunately he ruins the stealth aspect in the live version of the song available on his self-titled album.
    • His songs are chock full of them, in fact. "I'm Bo, Yo" is a good example.
    • This is essentially his modus operandi. Basically, if you laugh at tons of stuff the first time you hear the song and don't bother listening again, you're doing it wrong.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Several times.
    "Maybe it's 'cause of the way that I walk/That makes them think that I like...boys."
  • Take That: Like the young stand-up comic version of Eminem.
  • Visual Pun: Almost every one of his Vines include one.
    "This fire extinguisher's so heavy. Do you have one that's a little lighter?"
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: One of his songs is named after this trope. It consists of the one line "I cried myself to sleep!"
  • World of Pun: "Words, Words, Words".
  • X Meets Y: In the intro to what., he describes himself as the genetic product of a giraffe having sex with Ellen DeGeneres.
  • Your Mom: See Sophisticated as Hell.

Mitch BennMusiciansThe CamPanulas

alternative title(s): Bo Burnham
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