He's 20 years old. Bo Burnham is 20 years old, and this is his third album. No comedian has reached that level of success at such a young age since Eddie Murphy joined the cast of Saturday Night Live before he could legally drink. There's obviously a reason for his fame, and after listening to Words Words Words, it's clear: Bo Burnham is hilarious.
Primarily a musical comedian, Burnham masterfully plays a very upbeat piano while craftily contorting the English language. The lyrics are very quick, and if you aren't paying attention for even a moment, you might miss a piece of comic gold. Different from most musical comedians (whom he even mocks in one of his songs), his laughs don't rely on misdirection of lyrics. Instead, he mixes great one-liners and mocks conventional song styles.
Bo Burnhamis is incredibly witty in his songs and spoken jokes, but he actually has something to say. He satirizes hip hop, the modern "artist", and racism. This separates him from most musical acts, who just like to make people laugh with nonsense rhymes and innuendos. Perhaps he'll pave the way for improvement among singing comedians and help these acts evolve.
Not only is he saying relevant, controversial things, but he's keeping them funny! From dark topics such as racism and poverty, he brightens them up and keeps the audience laughing. He's very smart, as noted during his parodying and critiques of William Shakespeare that are delightfully intelligent. He even shows his knowledge of stand-up comedy by spoofing the traditional, older observational comedian making jokes about him and his wife.
His set has some low points, but they don't last long, and they aren't even that low. You won't find yourself waiting too long between gut-busting jokes or lyrics.
Bo Burnham's one-liners are very similar to Demetri Martin, and his experimental humor is a bit reminiscent of Steve Martin, all of which he blends with fun, well played piano-playing. Bottom line, Bo Burnham is very talented and very funny.
Best Tracks: Words, Words, Words, Binary Reality
Worst Tracks: Rant, Haikus/Sonnets/Shakespeare
Other Bo Burnham Reviews
Bo Burnham CD/DVD Set: If you like musical comedy this Comedy Central CD / DVD set will probably please.
Words, Words, Words: Very good stand-up and mostly musical comedy.