It’s been 365 days since Bo Burnham — comedian, singer, white man, problematic suburbanite — released Inside, a special visual album created during the pandemic from a single, two-windowed room.
Inside was the artistic documentation of humans confined to their homes, minds unravelling, existential crises mounting, boredom deafening. And we lapped it up.
So, the kind-hearted soul that he is, Burnham has given us the rest. Announcing the new release on Twitter, prefaced with a simple “Stand by…” Burnham wrote: “a year ago today, I released a special called Inside. I’ve spent the last two months editing together material that I shot for the special but didn’t end up using. It will be on my YouTube channel in one hour. I hope you enjoy it.”
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This is an erratic amalgamation of clips of the process that went in to making Inside, Burnham’s experiments with lighting – “is this cool or fucking stupid?” – interspersed with songs that didn’t make the final cut, snippets of stand-up comedy, behind the scenes shots of behind the scenes, and even a podcast episode.
It feels cluttered, hectic, and is a testament to the sheer volume of content that Burnham was testing out, binning, re-doing, further capturing the messiness of the process that went into Inside. It makes the emergence of Inside even more impressive, that Burnham managed to untangle this enormous ball of matted thoughts and clips to distil them into the masterpiece that is Inside.
Whereas Inside was released on Netflix, Burnham has released The Outtakes on YouTube, so it comes complete with faux adverts and pop-ups that you catch yourself from trying to close when the joke finally clicks. This is the inescapable, inexhaustible presence of The Internet.