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This Is Bo, Who’s Putting New Beats In New Places. You Should Meet Him

Filed by KOSU News in Science.
December 25, 2013

Every so often … and it isn’t often, because while I’m always looking, always hoping, it’s so rare to find … but this week it happened. A friend sent me an email that said, “You’ve got to check out this video.”

I did. And what I saw was somebody doing something new in the world, something deeply beautiful, which is what I love. And the nicest part is, he pulled it off so gracefully, like Charlie Chaplin in his bowler hat, casually swinging his cane.

What you’re going to see is a young guy on a mostly bare stage. In this scene (which comes at the end of an hour-long comedy special), he doesn’t speak. He listens. What he’s listening to isn’t nice. There are people in the dark saying nasty things, and after a spell, he looks over at those people — who aren’t really there, we just hear them, and one by one, he points at them. That’s all. He just takes his finger, levels it at the guy speaking, and all of a sudden he’s in control, he can make them start, stop, repeat. He gives them beats, gives them melody, makes them sing, and once they’re singing, they’re still saying nasty things, but the words don’t hurt any more; instead he’s dancing to their words, and he’s getting free, and he’s making me feel a kind of wild happiness and it’s … it’s … you know what? You should just see this. I shouldn’t tell it. You should watch it.

So, here’s Bo Burnham, comedian. He’s 23. He’s from Boston. Apparently, he’s famous, but I’d never seen him until this. That’s all I know.

(Please be advised, there are some not-so-nice words in this clip, and if you don’t like that sort of thing … don’t watch.) [Copyright 2013 NPR]

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