Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s soccer falls to Central Connecticut 3-0 in home opener -

August 19, 2017

Preseason serves as opportunity for young UMass men’s soccer players -

August 13, 2017

Amherst Fire Department website adds user friendly components and live audio feed -

August 11, 2017

UMass takes the cake for best campus dining -

August 11, 2017

Two UMass students overcome obstacles to win full-ride scholarships -

August 2, 2017

The guilt of saying ‘guilty’ -

August 2, 2017

UMass tuition set to rise 3-4 percent for 2017-2018 school year -

July 18, 2017

PVTA potential cuts affect UMass and five college students -

July 10, 2017

New director of student broadcast media at UMass this fall -

July 10, 2017

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

Singer-songwriter/comedian Bo Burnham thrills crowds

Bo Burnham- FacebookBo Burnham looks a little awkward. With his mused hair and his wire-rimmed glasses, the singer-songwriter-comedian famous for broadcasting angsty videos of himself over YouTube isn’t exactly the sort you’d expect would rake in such a large crowd at the Fine Arts Center. But Burnham works a special magic over skeptics, winning them over faster than University of Massachusetts students leaving a football game.

Combining razor-sharp wit, a willingness to offend pretty much everyone and – to indulge in a little hyperbole – musical talent basically beyond compare, Burnham’s show on Saturday at the Fine Arts Center was one that few will forget. 

Comedian Amy Anderson opened the show to fine applause, despite the fact that she had to contend with a raucous crowd largely unfamiliar with her work. Anderson, who has previously appeared on Comedy Central and on commercials for Southwest Airlines, [TS1] has been likened in the past to notoriously raunchy comedian Margaret Cho.

Still, Anderson has a style that is strikingly her own. And it didn’t take the experienced comedian long to get into a groove, firing off-kilter jokes in rapid succession that dealt mostly with Asian people and strangely enough, her breasts. 

As her routine went on, there was clearly some sentiment in the crowd that she was overstaying her welcome, as her limited scope of topics grew tiresome. She was, however, able to close effectively with a bit on a website specializing in scatology – the site allows viewers to rate the quality of other people’s excrements.

 Even with Amy Anderson’s better-than-anticipated set, it was clear all night what drove audience members to turn up for this leg of the Fake I.D. Tour .

Burnham took the stage with assertiveness, the young performer exuding a strong stage presence. The Hamilton, Mass. native, who in addition to stand-up also plays the electric piano and the ukulele, has garnered plenty of controversy for his often outrageous skits.

Whether it was piano-driven ballads about sexual disorientation or haikus about African children eating pennies, Burnham has a subversive streak that runs deep. Burnham also fired off lightning-fast raps oozing with puns and clever wordplay, the kind that would make most English professors envious.

When a member of the crowd yelled out that Bo could sleep with anyone on campus, Bo responded dryly – and without missing a beat – “My mom’s here.” Moreover, he called out an obnoxious crowd member and proceeded to humiliate him in front of the entire audience.

However, what was most impressive about Bo Burnham’s act was the sheer amount of ingenuity and creativity worked into his musical-comedy style. There’s an every-man quality to his comedy that resonates with an audience. Burnham is able to draw from a myriad of comic styles (from Andrew Dice Clay to George Carlin) and executes them all deftly, appealing to virtually everyone in the audience. 

His strange-but-true statistics, like “One out of every 44 presidents can dunk,” drew just as many laughs as a song about how Helen Keller is the perfect woman because she can neither talk nor hear. At once blatantly offensive and painfully funny, Mr. Burnham’s act seems to have the potential to become one of the most highly demanded comedy acts in the nation.

At only 19, who knows what his true potential could be? Just like Bo’s Jackson Five joke, it is probably “too soon” to tell.

Jeff C. Larnard can be reached at Shayna Murphy can be reached at

One Response to “Singer-songwriter/comedian Bo Burnham thrills crowds”
  1. Jacob Sanders says:

    This article is dead on. I saw Bo in Dallas just the day before and he took my expectations and blew them out of the water. Bo is a true lyrical genius

Leave A Comment