Exactly one year ago (May 30th, 2021), comedian Bo Burnham wrote, directed, filmed, edited, and performed a unique comedy special titled Inside. Without a crew or audience, he recorded variety of songs and sketches about Burnham's day-to-day life indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Throughout the special, he acknowledged he wasn't sure how long he would film or what he was going for. Critics felt the same way, noting found the special incorporated a variety of art forms including music, stand-up comedy bits, and meta-commentary, describing it as some combination of comedy, drama, documentary, and theater. The humor of the special mingled with various social topics through jokes and songs. Ultimately, what became a throughline for the special's narrative was the striking aspect of Burnham documenting his deteriorating mental health. As a result, the special sees Burnham, who had to give up stand-up comedy due to increased panic attacks while performing live, break the comfortable barrier between himself and the audience, commenting on performativity and his relationship with the Internet that has allowed him to keep reaching the audience.
In any case, the special was a massive win for Burnham who not only received Emmy Awards for Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special, Outstanding Music Direction, and Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special, but also won a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media for his song "All Eyes on Me". Appropriate Grammy win given the raw nature of the special, one that Burnham seems avid to celebrate for the one-year anniversary of the special by releasing The Inside Outtakes late yesterday. Containing an hour-long video of footage, original songs, and alternate versions of Inside songs that did not make the final cut, the footage further reveals just how far Burnham was willing to divulge his inner turmoil. Check out the extra footage below:
With this released footage, it's been announced a deluxe album entitled Inside (Deluxe), containing songs from the original special and the outtakes, will be released on streaming services on June 3rd. So for those who wish to further unpack the clearly infinite layers of a landmark comedy special, the journey is not quite over. Stay tuned!