Bo Burnham: Make Happy ★★★★★

“If you can live your life without an audience, you should do it.”

It’s about to get real. (I just watched this twice, back to back)
I made it a subtle 30 seconds before bursting into tears for reasons unbeknownst to me, as Bo goes out into the world, clad in his clown makeup, as the choir soars in the background. The world is not funny.

These past few weeks have been a personal low. Depression coming in waves, the unexpected death of someone in my life, and a recent terrorist attack in my town. It’s been hard to laugh, because something feels off, laughing when horrible things have happened. The feeling of how can I be happy when there is so much sadness? I needed a laugh while I pulled an allnighter. And I know that Bo would deny the effects of his stage presence on other people, reiterating that he is merely just doing his job in the service industry, if I ever said that his shows sometimes save me. So I’ll just simply put it, they make me happy. ‘Make Happy’ makes me happy.

99% of the jokes were executed perfectly. I was in absolute stitches whenever Bo wasn’t making me cry. There’s such a strong sense of self realization of just how ridiculous this all is. Bo will point out clever observations in a hilarious way while also explaining how he's guilty of those same things he just made fun of. You feel very aware that you are an audience member. The underlying feeling that both of us (Bo and the audience) feel a little guilty for indulging in this form of entertainment is always there. Guilty for creating, guilty for consuming. Since humor is so subjective, it’s hard to form a rock solid argument for why Bo never fails to make me laugh. Great timing, frusteratingly clever, and extremely innovative ways to get some good laughs is all I can come up with. Bo always grabs your comedic expectations and theatrically tears them apart and makes mosaics out of them.

On a more serious note, Bo Burnham is the cure for people in this generation who are sick of feeling like everything is a grand performance and feel unfulfilled when they’re not somehow expressing themselves and putting up some sort of interpretation of who they want people to think they are out into the world. Feel incomplete when someone isn’t validating them with social media attention. Feel hollow when eyes aren't on them. Bo is someone trying to make you see that it’s all a scam and a waste of your attention and acknowledgement. We have the power to decide what media we watch and lately, we’ve been picking the lowest common denominator. Quickly made, quickly consumed. We don’t need to always be putting on a show, we shouldn’t need an audience to make us feel here.

“I hope you’re happy.” A touch spiteful, with an overwhelming amount of genuine care. I really do hope you’re happy.

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