Bo Burnham’s ‘Egghead’

Glenn Rose
Staff Writer

Bo Burnham is a 23-year old comedian who has gained a lot of success despite his young age. His first comedy special aired on Comedy Central when he was 18, making him the youngest comedian ever featured on that station. He started with YouTube videos to gain popularity until he was popular enough to do stand-up.
Burnham’s stand-up style is far from normal; he does musical comedy. This is another thing that sets him apart from other comedians and makes him even more of a fun act to watch.
This has been a big year for Burnham. He has been touring, gaining popularity on the social media site Vine and finishing recording his new stand-up special, “What.” Burnham previously had a TV show on MTV for a season called “Zach Stone is Going to be Famous,” which was about a teenage boy (Burnham) who spent all of his money on a film crew to follow him around and make him famous. Most recently, Burnham was hard at work writing his book of poetry called “Egghead: Or, You Can’t Survive on Ideas Alone.
You are probably thinking, “Why would this comedian write poetry?” The truth is, Burnham is no stranger to using different mediums to make jokes. Burnham’s 2010 special “Words, Words, Words,” where he takes a very George Carlin-esque look at words and how people use them, involves a bit using haikus that is actually very funny.
Egghead has a certain feel to it. Like if Shel Silverstein wrote one of his poetry books, but not for kids. Burnham made a big jump from YouTube videos, singing songs about girls not liking him and being the best rapper alive, to poetry, but the jump was successful.
These poems are funny and sometimes sad. A lot the poems are subtle with a hint of dry humor, and many make statements about how people act and what people do. Burnham is no stranger to absurd humor, and he does not take a break in this book.
There are poems about an elephant wanting to be a rabbit and bugs wanting to play on a human playground. All these jokes and satire work because they are true to Burnham’s unique style, but different enough that if you are an old fan of his they will all be new to you.
The jokes in the book never seem to land flat, and when read aloud to a crowd result in some huge, hearty laughs. However, this book has more than jokes on its pages.
Every now and then, there are poems about love, loss, regret and pure anger intermingled with the toilet jokes and clever word play.
These specific poems hit hard and fast, and often aim directly at life situations that affect everybody. Right when it seems like the rest of the book will be about serious, sad things, the next page offers another raunchy laugh.
The book is dynamic and incredibly enjoyable, and the art by Chance Bone interacts with the stories in a palpable way that adds a joviality and lightheartedness to the selections.
The book is out now, and is sold at any local book store, as well as on Amazon, iTunes and anywhere else where ebooks are sold.