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Bring the tissues. Bo Burnham’s Netflix special ‘Inside’ is heading to theaters

A strip of light illuminating the face of a man with shaggy hair
Comedian and filmmaker Bo Burnham in Netflix’s “Bo Burnham: Inside.”
(Netflix)

Will you venture outside to see Bo Burnham’s “Inside”?

On Saturday, the comedian and filmmaker announced that his buzzy Netflix special — which captured the soul-sucking effects of pandemic-induced isolation through comedy and music — is getting a limited theatrical release.

Burnham’s critically acclaimed quarantine masterpiece, which struck an emotional chord with viewers similarly languishing in their homes during the public health crisis, was originally set to open in theaters only on July 22.

But after tickets sold “much faster than expected,” Burnham promised on Twitter to add “more screenings and theaters soon.”

Written, directed and shot by Burnham, “Inside” premiered at the end of May, prompting rave reviews and rampant conversation on social media — which it ironically critiques at length through satirical musical numbers such as “Welcome to the Internet” and “White Woman’s Instagram.”

Whether it’s Weird Al or Lonely Island, even the best comedy-rock presents a challenge: Does it stand up to repeated listens? Enter one-man-band Bo Burnham.

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While the film is available in full on Netflix, the soundtrack is available to stream on major music platforms, including Spotify. The album, “Inside (The Songs),” has spent four consecutive weeks atop Billboard’s comedy chart.

Burnham’s songwriting is “as sharp as anything by such respected social satirists as Randy Newman or Father John Misty,” wrote Mikael Wood, The Times’ pop music critic.

“And that’s before Burnham has even gotten to the end of the verse in question, where he rhymes ‘“Carpool Karaoke,” Steve Aoki, Logan Paul’ with ‘A gift shop at the gun range, a mass shooting at the mall.’ Hilarious, right?”

After rising quickly through the comedy ranks as a pioneering YouTube star of the early 2000s, Burnham has recently emerged as a respected filmmaker whose 2018 feature directorial debut, “Eighth Grade,” was nominated for four Indie Spirit Awards.

There are a lot of videos on YouTube — like, a lot — like 300-hours-of-video-uploaded-every-minute a lot.

Burnham also dabbles as an actor: He recently starred opposite Carey Mulligan in up-and-coming writer-director Emerald Fennell’s Oscar-winning thriller, “Promising Young Woman.”

“Inside” marks Netflix’s third comedy special directed by Burnham, who previously helmed “Make Happy,” in which he starred, and “Tamborine,” starring Chris Rock.

Tickets for July 22 screenings of “Inside” — showing at various theaters across Los Angeles, San Francisco and other major U.S. cities — are available at boburnhaminside.com.


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