15 Dark Humor Jokes from Bo Burnham
It seems that the list of things Bo Burnham isn’t great at would be limited solely to the things he hasn’t tried yet. And even at 32, he’s done a lot. He’s been a YouTube star, a stand-up comic, a published poet and a musician and songwriter. Not to mention, he took a break from comedy to focus on film projects, writing and directing the phenomenal Eighth Grade and putting in a chilling acting performance in Promising Young Woman. Again, he’s managed to nail all of these things on the first try.
Along those lines, just as he was considering a return to comedy, the pandemic hit, so he filmed an entire Netflix special in his house, and it turned out to be his greatest work to date. Seriously, if you haven’t checked out Inside yet, do so immediately.
But one common thread throughout his entire career is his propensity for incredibly dark humor. And we’re totally here for it. Here are a few of our favorite examples…
How the World Works
A song where a sock puppet breaks down how we’re all puppets of the corporate elite. It’s toe-tappingly disheartening.
“I can do comedy without stupid gimmicks or anything, and it can still work. So this is for all those comics out there and judge this: What do you call a kid with no arms and an eye patch? Names! (throws glitter)”
Isn’t It Ironic?
“The world’s so sad. Pain. Genocide. War. Sexism. Racism. But I’ve gotta remember there’s good things about it, too. Like the fact that none of that’s happening to me! Score! Still though, it’s hard not to be sad about it. How do y’all do it? I’ve been telling you guys terribly sad things this whole song. You haven’t been sad at all. You’ve been happy. No, you’ve been laughing. That’s it! Laughter! It’s the key to everything! It’s the way to solve all the sadness in the world. I mean, not for the people that are actually sad, but the people like us that gotta fucking deal with them all the time. Being a comedian isn’t being an insensitive prick, capitalizing on the most animalistic impulses of the public, it’s being a hero! The world isn’t sad! The world’s funny! I’m a sociopath!”
Welcome to the Internet
Allow Burnham to be your tour guide through this dark, twisted online carnival.
On Ruining Disney
“If Mickey’s a mouse, and Minnie’s a mouse, and Donald’s a duck, and Daisy and Goofy— if they’re all animals and they can talk, why is Pluto just a fucking dog? Did they just forget to anthropomorphize him, or worse, is Mickey keeping a mentally-handicapped dude as a pet?”
“My aunt used to say,
‘Slow and steady wins the race.’
She died in a fire.”
World on Fire
On Double Standards
“I’m not ‘perfect,’ okay? I don’t ‘use air quotes correctly,‘ all right? But I am against double standards across the board. Why is it that when a woman wears revealing clothing, she’s labeled a slut, yet if I were to wear her skin as a jacket, I’m a murderer? If I fuck a kid, I’m a pedophile, but if a kid fucks me, I’m a pedophile again? Twice in a week? What is this?”
On Fighting Fire With Fire
“My father was a real man’s man. He believed you should fight fire with fire, which is a horrible way to live your life... Because he was a firefighter. So, he’s fired.”
Lower Your Expectations
“I stopped and I thought, ‘What would Jesus do?’ So I didn’t exist.”
“If you made a factor tree of the factors that caused my girl to leave me, you’d have a tree... Full of Asian porn.”
It’s amazing how Burnham can take a classic kid’s joke, and turn it into a beautiful, emotional dick punch of a song. Just like so: