YouTube sensation Bo Burnham performs in Student Center

Anthony Dominic

Bo Burnham has never been able to figure out exactly what “funny” is.

“I think, in the end, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion as to what is funny,” the 20-year-old comedian said. “But if people are laughing, you can’t argue with that.”

A sold-out crowd of 900 could not argue with Burnham’s take on funny when he performed in the Student Center Ballroom Thursday night.

“The show was so much more than I expected,” said J.J. Fecik, a sophomore fashion design major. “I’m just used to his songs and videos on the Internet and had no idea how good he was at standup too.”

Burnham’s hour-long set included his signature satirical music numbers, interlaced with skits and standup comedy.

“Mixing it up keeps me from getting bored,” Burnham said. “Comedy is about getting something you didn’t expect you’d be getting.”

Burnham said he only started playing piano his freshman year of high school, and started writing and posting songs on YouTube not long after. Several years and millions of video hits later, he has found himself on stage, a transition he called “easy.”

“All of my videos were done in one take, on the spot, in my room,” Burnham said. “So I never really used the Internet as a crutch anyways.”

Burnham said high school theater experience and being comfortable in his own skin has helped to deal with any nervousness on stage.

“I think (the material) is funny and it’s cool, so that works for me,” Burnham said. “I’ve never went out and desperately tried to win over an audience.”

Dylan Sonderman, sophomore English major, said he was floored by Burnham’s clever humor.

“I think some of the jokes were so incredibly witty and may have even went over some people’s heads,” Sonderman said. “I really hope to see this guy go far.”

Burnham said despite his growing success, he doesn’t care about fame and just focuses on maintaining a normal existence.

“I still live at home and still have the same friends I had in high school,” Burnham said. “If things ever got too convoluted or too uncomfortable for me, I just wouldn’t do it anymore.”

Contact Anthony Dominic at [email protected].