|Birth name||Robert Pickering Burnham|
|Born||August 21, 1990
Hamilton, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Labels||Comedy Central Records|
Robert Pickering “Bo” Burnham (born August 21, 1990) is an American comedian, musician, actor, filmmaker and poet. He began his performance career as a YouTuber in March 2006, and his videos have been viewed over 250 million times as of December 2018.
Burnham signed a four-year record deal with Comedy Central Records and released his debut EP, Bo fo Sho, in 2008. His first full-length album, Bo Burnham, was released the following year. In 2010, Burnham’s second album was released, and Words Words Words, his first live comedy special, aired on Comedy Central. His third album and second comedy special, what., was released in 2013 on his YouTube channel and Netflix. Burnham finished first overall in voting in 2011’s Comedy Central Stand-up Showdown. His third stand-up comedy special, Make Happy, was released exclusively on Netflix on June 3, 2016.
In addition to his career as a comedian, Burnham co-created and starred in the MTV television series Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famousand released his first book of poetry, Egghead: Or, You Can’t Survive on Ideas Alone, in 2013.His first feature film as writer and director, Eighth Grade, was released in July 2018 to widespread critical acclaim and received numerous accolades, including the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay and the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – First-Time Feature Film.
Early life and education
Burnham was born on August 21, 1990, in Hamilton, Massachusetts, the youngest of three children of Scott Burnham, a construction company owner, and Patricia, a hospice nurse whose work was shadowed in a 2014 episode of This American Life. In 2008, he graduated from St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers, Massachusetts, where he was on the honor roll and involved in theatre and the campus ministry program. He was admitted to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts to study experimental theatre, but instead deferred his admission for a year to pursue a career in comedy.
While performing at the Montreal Just for Laughs festival in 2008, Burnham met with director and producer Judd Apatow. That September, Burnham negotiated with Universal Pictures to write and create the music for an Apatow-produced comedy film which he describes as the “anti-High School Musical“, although Burnham insists the script is not a parody of the Disney musicals, but an attempt to emulate the high school he attended. Hoping to star in the film he was writing, Burnham told Wired magazine that he named the star “Bo” in a “not-so-subtle hint [he] want[s] to be in it”. In a March 2009 interview with Boston’s Weekly Dig, Burnham elaborated on his work with the film. When he is not performing, Burnham spends eight hours a day writing the music, and his nights writing the script, of which he has finished the first draft.Co-writing the screenplay with Burnham was his high school friend Luke Liacos. In an October 2010 interview with MTV, Burnham admitted that he did not know anything about the future of the project, and that it was all effectively up in the air as far as he knew. In May 2009, viral marketing began appearing for Funny People, in which Burnham stars in a NBC sitcom called Yo Teach! In the promo, Burnham stars opposite Jason Schwartzman, as a student in the latter’s English class.
Burnham wrote and directed his first feature film, Eighth Grade, which was produced and distributed by A24 and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2018. The film has been universally acclaimed by critics: it garnered a 99% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoesbased on 283 ratings, and holds an average rating of 90 out of 100 on Metacritic.
In 2010, Burnham wrote, executive-produced, and starred in Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous alongside Dan Lagana, Luke Liacos, and Dave Becky. The series was not picked up for a second season and officially ended on June 26, 2013.
At the 2010 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, he was nominated for the main Edinburgh Comedy Award and won both the Edinburgh Comedy Awards’ panel prize and the Malcolm Hardee”Act Most Likely to Make a Million Quid” Award. Additionally, Burnham’s film career has received the following accolades and nominations:
|2018||Eighth Grade||Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best New Filmmaker||Won|
|Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – First-Time Feature Film||Won|
|Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Original Screenplay||Nominated|
|Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Filmmaker||Nominated|
|National Board of Review Award for Best Directorial Debut||Won|
|New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best First Film||Won|
|San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Director||Nominated|
|San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Original Screenplay||Won|
|San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Breakout Artist||Nominated|
|Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize||Nominated|
|Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay||Won|
Burnham has been in a relationship with screenwriter Lorene Scafaria since around 2013. They live together in Los Angeles.
Burnham has stated that his influences include Steve Martin, George Carlin, Mitch Hedberg, Anthony Jeselnik and Tim Minchin.
|2009||Bo Burnham: Fake ID Tour|
|2010||Bo Burnham and (No) Friends|
|2011–2012||Bo Burnham Live|
|2013||Bo Burnham: what. Tour|
|2015–2016||Bo Burnham: Make Happy Tour|
|Bo fo Sho||June 17, 2008||EP album||Comedy Central Records|
|Bo Burnham||March 10, 2009||Studio album||Comedy Central Records|
|Words, Words, Words||October 18, 2010||Studio album||Comedy Central Records|
|what.||December 17, 2013||Studio album||Comedy Central Records|
|2009||Funny People||Yo Teach! cast member|
|2012||Adventures in the Sin Bin||Tony|
|2017||The Big Sick||CJ|
|2018||Eighth Grade||N/A||Director and writer|
|TBA||Promising Young Woman||Chris||Post-production|
|2021||Untitled Sesame Street project||N/A||Songwriter
|2009||Comedy Central Presents||Himself||Stand-up special|
|2010||Bo Burnham: Words, Words, Words||Himself||Stand-up special|
|2013||Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous||Zach Stone||12 episodes; also co-creator, writer, and executive producer|
|2013||Bo Burnham: what.||Himself||Stand-up special|
|2014||Parks and Recreation||Chipp McCapp||Episode: “Flu Season 2”|
|2015||Key and Peele||Lyle||Episode: “A Cappella Club”|
|2015||Kroll Show||Diz||2 episodes|
|2016||We Bare Bears||Andrew Bangs (voice)||Episode: “Nom Nom’s Entourage”|
|2016||Bo Burnham: Make Happy||Himself||Stand-up special|
|2017||Comrade Detective||Sergiu (voice)||Episode: “The Invisible Hand”|
|2017||Jerrod Carmichael: 8||N/A||Stand-up special
Director and executive producer
|2018||Chris Rock: Tamborine||N/A||Stand-up special
- Egghead: Or, You Can’t Survive on Ideas Alone (2013)