Comedian Bill Burr Explains His Love for St. Louis and What it Means to be a "Comic's Comic"
In this week's print edition we interviewed Bill Burr, a standup comic who writes a new hour after every special, tours internationally and is now breaking into acting just for the fun of it. As story-telling comics tend to be long-winded, it was impossible to fit the whole thing in the paper. Here's what you missed.
Burr has two shows at the Pageant on Thursday, June 13. Showtimes are 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tickets are $33.
Kelsey McClure: You can come across on stage as this person who is angry all the time. Are you concerned about happiness and being an approachable person in your day-to-day life, as opposed to the intimidating person you are on stage?
Bill Burr: Yeah I mean, I'm not concerned how I come across on stage. I'm not going up there going, "Alright, I want people to think this is all me." It's more like I go up there and I know I definitely have anger issues, but I don't think I am really as angry as people think I am because they watch my act. I don't know, I'm always smiling and laughing and having a good time up there but the anger part of it is what they come away with. I think that is more a social thing. If you just look to my act then you really see it's a little kid that needs a hug.
I think you broke it down beautifully, especially because this going to be published in the music section. I think it's just spot-on for people to be able to associate comedy with music, or for people who just come from a musical point of view and then look at comedy in that sense.
Every time I come through St. Louis it's always about the music. And it's not too difficult to get a beer out there either.
Yeah. We're at 23 microbreweries now too, so that makes it easy.
I think... Don't you guys have like the most amount of bars per person?
Probably. Ha. I guess we do make it pretty easy for you.
Good. I'm a big fan of St. Louis. Big fan.
Good! Well going back into it, you were describing comedy for people outside of comedy, and I've read that you get the label of being a "comedian's comedian." I was wondering if you could explain why, or what that means.
My understanding of being a comic's comic is you're a comedian that other comedians are a fan of. And if what you say is true, then that's basically the highest compliment. If other comedians will watch you then there's no bigger compliment that I feel you can get.
And right under other comedians is the wait staff. If the wait staff is laughing, if they're serving tables and listening, then that's a huge thing. Because nobody hears more comedy than someone who is a waiter or a waitress at a comedy club, for the simple fact that as comedians, if we don't like the person on stage we can leave. But they can't. The wait staff has to continue listening to them and you know, there's two like things that you can notice: wait staff laughing, and then the worst is the wait staff lip-syncing your act. So that's the other side, when you're like "I need to be working harder." Because you know, you don't want that. That's not a road you want to go down.
When you were first starting out and getting a solid ten or fifteen to do at the clubs or to get you on TV, did you repeat material? Did you have a set ten and then work your way from that as you developed, or were you always switching it up?
Oh, yeah, definitely. When you're first filming... you're asking when I first started out?
Oh yeah no, when you are first starting you cling to all, any jokes that even remotely work, like you're in the ocean and it's a life preserver. You just find what gets your time up. But the thing is it's almost like you are going up a flight of stairs and it's like you know those landings that you get to.
Continue to page two for more of our interview with Burr.