Bill Burr Brings Politically Incorrect Laughs To Richmond
Bill Burr stopped by Richmond, Virginia’s Altria Theater and I was front and center!
Richmond, Virginia had quite an experience going on this past weekend. While Film Fad was there to cover Wizard World, I saw that one of my favorite comedians was in town and I decided to spend Sunday evening at the Altria Theater. After performing the previous night in Norfolk, Virginia, comedian Bill Burr packed the theater and I was sitting in the front row, center stage. I have watched just about every stand up routine he has done, so of course I was excited and my expectations were high.
I arrived promptly to the theater and we took our seats. I took a few photos for perspective to show how close I was but the attendants were strictly enforcing the “no photography” policy once the show began. I put my camera away and the opening act gave us a few laughs for about 30 minutes before Bill Burr took the stage. Once he came to the stage, I admit that he looked a bit more tired than he usually does. He’s currently touring and had just done a show the night before so it wasn’t surprising but unfortunate that we didn’t get him at 100% but nonetheless, he still gave quite the performance.
He opened up by sizing up the type of audience and tested the waters with a few jokes to see what garnered the best responses. This seems to be a norm for Bill Burr and it’s also what makes his style of comedy so dynamic. He has his established jokes in the queue but he typically frames his performance around the audience. That’s not to say that he specifically caters to the audience, but he might be more emphatic about a particular subject depending where he’s performing and who he’s performing for. Watching him perform live, you can see that much of his comedy is spontaneous with a few known bits here and there. He even mentioned to us that he was just saying whatever came into his head at that particular moment and for 80% of the show, that worked out well. There were a few bits that lingered a bit too long but that’s the cost of spontaneity and being a bit under the weather. In my opinion, seeing Bill Burr live is like a live play. Each show will be something different and there will be some that are better than others.
As for the jokes themselves, there was a lot of new material and this is coming from a die hard Bill Burr fan. I’m not going to ruin the punchlines but without revealing those, be aware that some of the subject matter may be taken out of context. He elaborated upon his “sinking cruise ships” joke which I first heard on his “Conan” appearance below, but he also went into a variety of other controversial topics. From modern politics, to white privilege, to feminism, to even Hitler, he managed to find some way to offend every type of person yet also point out flawed logic in some of our own political correctness. These were the type of jokes that definitely brought the laughs but they also made you think about the topics he addressed in some different ways.
Towards the closing of the show, Bill Burr seemed like he still had some things on his mind that he would have said if he had more time. Despite looking a bit physically fatigued, his brain was still active as he seemed to forcefully find a stopping point in order to make his way off stage.
Overall, Bill Burr is not a comedian for those who are easily offended but then again, maybe he should be. He’s open and honest about what he thinks and his perspective on the world puts him in a category all his own. He doesn’t align his beliefs with one particular group or political party, instead he dissects every group in a piecemeal approach taking from them what he likes and calling them out for what he believes to be flawed. He tends to give a “f*ck you” to anyone who tells him how to think and embraces his own individuality. This is probably why audiences love him. He makes us laugh about our trivial concerns and we envy his confidence to say what he believes and not care about how he is perceived. Based on his thoughts on bloggers, I wouldn’t be surprised if he gives a middle finger to me as well…haha.