Musical comedian and YouTube star Bo Burnham will hit Pick-Staiger Concert Hall on May 16 at 7 p.m. for A&O’s spring comedy show. Tickets, $5 for undergrads and $10 for graduate students, will go on sale on Monday, May 10 at 10 a.m. through the Norris Box Office website.
“We always look for somebody really fun for spring because we’re looking for somebody who goes along with that spring vibe,” says Sierra Tishgart, A&O director of public relations and Promotions. “We feel that he has a mix of music and comedy that will really appeal to the student body… he reminds us of a Northwestern student.”
Burnham joins a roster of acts from years past that includes Demetri Martin, Daniel Tosh, Tracy Morgan and B.J. Novak. The 19-year-old comedian is known for his politically incorrect, no-holds-barred satirical comedy, much of which is accompanied by Burnham himself on the guitar, electric piano or ukelele. A&O selected Burnham partly because of his high scoring in the organization’s campus-wide poll in winter, which asked students to voice their opinions on who they’d like to see A&O bring to Northwestern.
“We’re so excited,” says Tishgart. “We like to bring stars who are up and coming, and [Bo] is the youngest comedian to have a Comedy Central special. While many students know him, we hope that students who may not know him find this a good opportunity to get to know a new comedian.”
Known for his inappropriate material and its cult following, Burnham’s comedy is a quirky musical-satire hybrid. Consider some of his song titles: “My Whole Family (Thinks I’m Gay),” “Klan KooKout,” “Rehab Center for Fictional Characters” and the Helen Keller ballad, “Perfect Woman.” A&O is confident that Burnham’s unique material will translate well to Northwestern’s campus.
Burnham rose to fame when his homemade YouTube comedy videos were noticed by a talent scout. As a result, Burnham signed a four-year deal with Comedy Central Records. His first EP, Bo Fo Sho, was released in June 2008, and his self-titled full-length album was released in March 2009.
“His humor is very intelligent and witty,” says Promotions committee member Elsa Stahura. “It’s very Northwestern. It’s smart, it’s quick — it’s something that I think a lot of people will respect.”