Bo Burnham - Biography

Comedian Bo Burnham
Photo courtesy of The Syndicate


August 1990

Bo Burnham Overview:

One of the youngest stand-up comedians ever to hit it big, musical comedian Bo Burnham was performing at festivals and signing record deals while barely out of high school. Inspired by legendary comic instigators like George Carlin and Richard Pryor, Burnham performs satirical and very politically incorrect songs about issues of race, gender, the disabled and sexuality.

Though propelled to fame by internet videos that have over 150 million views on YouTube, he has become a regular on the club and festival circuit, and his songs have made him a hit with college crowds. Burnham proves that being young helps you get away with being a smart ass.

Quick Bo Burnham Facts:

  • Bo Turnham (born Robert Pickering Burnham) hails from Hamilton, Massachusetts.
  • His comedy career started in 2006, when he began posting original songs online at age 16.
  • Burnham taped his Comedy Central special just four days after he turned 18, making him the youngest comic ever to have a Comedy Central special.
  • In 2008, he released his first comedy EP, called Bo Fo Sho.
  • In 2009, he released a full length album, Bo Burnham, on Comedy Central Records.
  • His second album, Words, Words, Words, was released in 2010.
  • Burnham's third album, what., was released in 2013.

Bo Shows on YouTube:

Bo Burnham was destined for comedy.

At age three, he was already performing "Bo Shows" in his bedroom. He continued pursuing theater and music throughout high school. In 2006, he started taping himself performing original songs in his bedroom and posting them on YouTube for his brother to watch at college. The videos were picked up by the humor site, and a viral sensation was born.

In 2008, Burnham acquired an agent and his career quickly moved beyond internet videos. He got a spot on the Comedy Central special The World Stands Up and signed a four record deal with the cable network. The first of those records, a six-song, online-only EP called Bo Fo Sho, was released in June of 2008.

The same year, Burnham performed at the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival.

In February 2009, Burnham's second album was released. The two-disc Bo Burnham featured live performances of his songs, as well as a DVD containing his Comedy Central Presents special and several of his popular YouTube videos.

Additional Bo Burnham Facts:

  • Burnham has small role in Judd Apatow's 2009 stand-up comedy film .
  • A March 2009 Bo Burnham show at Westminster College was protested by several students objecting to the content in the comic's music.
  • He was nominated for and won the Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2010.
  • He won the 2011 Comedy Central Stand-up Showdown, as voted on by a viewer poll.
  • In 2013, he co-created and starred on the MTV original series Zach Stone is Gonna Be Famous. The show was canceled after one season.
  • He also published his first book of original poems in 2013, called Egghead: Or, You Can't Survive on Ideas Alone.