An AmericasComedy.Com Interview
AmericasComedy.Com had the opportunity to speak with comedian Bill Burr in advance of his Sacramento visit late last year.
Burr, who on June 8, 2009 was honored to be the first comedian to perform on (the now defunct) “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien,” is also seen in the Steve Carell & Tina Fey film, “Date Night.” This was Bill’s last performance before taping his new one hour standup special for Comedy Central at The Fillmore in San Francisco on last December 17th.
When we asked the life long Boston native, who moved to LA in 2007, why he decided to nest on the Left Coast, he joked that “I was burnt out on the east coast. I had worked every comedy club there about 4,000 times.”
“I was getting a lot of road work, about 5-6 nights a week and there was no real reason to hit the clubs other than to get out and see my friends.” “But I did love doing the Opie and Anthony shows there. Other than that, I just stayed in my apartment.”
The goal of moving, he said was not just the new venues, but felt that auditioning for TV and movies from LA, meant that he didn’t have to just send in tapes, he could also show up and demonstrate his personality and versatility. As luck would have it, Burr moved to LA exactly one month before the writers strike. “I got a lot of hiking in around that time,” he lamented.
Burr, a veteran of the road, has been performing for almost 15 years and has an almost obsessive need to continually change his material. “When I am on TV, and after I released my CD, ["Why Do I Do That?"] I experience a paranoia that everyone on the planet earth knows my act. When I walk down the street, nobody really recognizes me but I am convinced that they watched my special.”
“I have a theory that if someone sees you on TV and then they go out to see you live, and you do exactly what they already saw you do, they are not going to come out again because they already know your act. There is no surprise as they beat you to the punchline.”
So Burr keeps writing new material in order to stay fresh and to make sure you don’t ever know just what he is going to say next, no matter how many times you have seen him. “I am always working on my next hour,” he told us.
Burr’s appearance in Sacramento and the December 17th taping of his second Comedy Central hour long special will probably mark the end of his current material because ‘everyone on the planet earth will have seen it.’ He has planned a break from his touring immediately after that so he can work on his next hour.
We asked Burr about the honor that his friend Conan O’Brien bestowed upon him last June as the first comic to do the new Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.
“They worked the bugs out with me in advance, ‘Don’t just walk straight out to the microphone, do a nice turn,’ but when I walked out there, the band only played like 4 notes. On the third note, [Max] Weinberg was getting carpal tunnel trying to keep the drum roll going and I am still 10 steps from the mic and I had to almost run.”
Bill’s first hour special, “Why Do I Do This?,” premiered on Comedy Central in the fall of 2008 and is available on CD & DVD. Burr also starred in his own half-hour HBO and Comedy Central specials and was a cast member of “Chappelle’s Show.”
Still a regular on Letterman, Bill is host of the show, “Uninformed” on Sirius XM Satellite radio. Bill’s “Monday Morning Podcast,” an off-the-cuff weekly rant that has become a fan favorite, is available to play or download through Bill’s website and is available on iTunes.
Join us as national touring comedic phenom, Bill Burr discusses the taping of his new one hour Comedy Central special, his almost disaster during his taping as the first comedian to appear on the Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and much more.
About the Author: Steven Bloom is Founder/Publisher of AmericasComedy.Com. He is pursuing his dream of laughing every day and associating with some of the most creative people in the entertainment industry. Steven@AmericasComedy.Com