Bill Burr, who went by Billy Burr in his early days, is a stand-up comedian and actor with a variety of projects under his belt. He’s the creator of the Netflix animated series F is for Family and hosts his own comedy podcast Monday Morning Podcast.
He has a style of comedy that relies heavily on making people around him uncomfortable, as is evidenced in his interviews and stand-up material. He balks at the idea of censoring himself and has no intention of doing so.
Despite joking that his latest comedy special was going to be his “last show ever,” Burr is still pumping out material that’s just as button-pushing as ever.
When and where did Bill Burr start his comedy career?
Burr was born and raised in Canton, Massachusetts, just south of Boston. Believe it or not, he was shy and introverted all through his younger years. It wasn’t until he started taking public speaking classes at Emerson College that he started to come out of his shell.
He told The Georgetown Voice: “The more I did [public speaking], the better I felt about myself. That was the biggest thing as far as shaping me as a comedian was that I learned how to not be afraid of being in front of an audience.”
He also participated in a comedy contest and began to get into the stand-up scene in Boston. He learned from the older bitter comics that what he didn’t want to become, and from the hopeful comics what he wanted to emulate.
Despite coming off as bitter about the world around him at times, and even going through times of self-professed conspiracy theory obsessions, Burr never gets bitter toward comedy. Comedy is his escape from the worries of the world, and he wanted to be a part of that.
Burr attributes a great deal of his success to working hard and keeping his expenses low in the early days of his comedy career. He worked a day job and began to make money from his stand-up and used that to pay off his student loans and any other debts he had. He eventually saved up enough to move to New York.
Bill Burr’s loves retiring jokes after comedy specials
It’s a common opinion among comics that the digital age is making their jobs harder. In the days before smartphones, comedians could feasibly use the same set, or portions of it for years on tour. Now, every comedian is one viral video away from needing to retire brand new material. Chris Rock famously does no phone shows, and other comedians are joining in.
Comedy specials have a similar downside: once the jokes are out there, fans don’t want to see them again live. Though the comedian is choosing what jokes will be retired, it’s still a double-edged sword.
Burr, however, thrives on it. “My favorite thing is the day after I shoot a special and it all goes away and I get to start over again. It’s my favorite thing,” Burr told Howard Stern in a 2017 interview.
Burr currently has six comedy specials, five of which are available on Netflix. The latest of these, Paper Tigers was released just last year. He also has recorded albums, such as his Carnegie Hall performance, Live at Andrew’s House, which is available on vinyl.
Bill Burr’s pursuits and talents span beyond stand up
In addition to his years of stand-up comedy success, Burr has an impressive resume of acting credits under his belt. He was a regular on Chappelle’s Show in 2004, an opportunity to which he credits a lot of his success. Burr has also been seen in comedy films such as Date Night, The Heat, and Walk of Shame.
When it comes to dramatic roles, Burr appeared in Breaking Bad as Saul Goodman’s henchman, Kuby. He’s also had the opportunity to be part of the Star Wars canon, appearing in an episode of The Mandalorian.
His animated series, F is for Family, in which he voices gruff 1970s dad, Frank Murphy, is renewed for a fourth season, set to be released sometime this year.
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