Two podcast hosts, both played by Bo Burnham, talk in microphones in split-screen

Bo Burnham’s ‘Inside Outtakes’ Includes a Spectacular Joe Rogan Takedown

A year ago, Bo Burnham emotionally destroyed all of us with the release of his “comedy” special Inside. Written, directed, shot, and edited by Burnham, the special was peak pandemic artistry. Now, on the one-year anniversary of its release, Burnham surprised us with a gift in the form of Inside Outtakes, an hour of material that didn’t make it into the original. Incredibly (if unsurprisingly), it’s just as devastating and bleakly hilarious as the original.

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Like Inside, Inside Outtakes is arranged as a series of sketches, songs, and reflections. There are plenty of highlights within the special, but near the top is a brutal takedown of “cancel culture” comedians and presumably Joe Rogan specifically.

“The Podcast” gives us Bo Burnham’s Inside the Podcast with Bo Burnham and Bo Burnham, featuring Burnham talking with his co-host (himself) in split-screen. The Burnhams declare themselves to be “two comedians who are talking shit, no filter, not giving a fuck what anybody thinks and not apologizing for it.”

The two decry the rise of “PC culture,” which they call “exhausting” and “out of control.” Bo #1 moans that “our culture has been taken over by a radical group of SJW feminist freaks, who hate comedians, who are anti-comedy and anti-joke,” as Bo #2 enthusiastically agrees by repeating key words and phrases back to him in aggressive cross-talk.

“And it sucks because these people, they don’t understand comedy. We’re joking. They’re jokes, okay?” Bo #1 says. “It’s not that serious, guys!” Bo #2 chimes in.

And then, in a perfect impression of comedians who want to have the freedom to tell lazy, hack jokes about marginalized people because they’re “just jokes!” while also demanding reverence, Bo #1 says nearly in the same breath, “And, also, we as comedians are philosophers.”

“Comedy is an art form,” Bo #1 says as an ad for “Manstuff’s Dick Spray” comes on the bottom of the screen. “It’s an art form, and it’s important because it’s one of the only art forms that is not …”

“Gay,” Bo #2 chimes in as his co-host pauses.

“No!” Bo 1 cuts in quickly before hedging, “Well, we can’t say that. But, um, yeah, gay. Now, they’re gonna come after us, right? We’re gonna get ‘canceled’ for saying this. We’re not being homophobic when we say that. If there was another word that meant ‘gay’ that wasn’t ‘gay,’ we’d use that. But there isn’t one, so it’s ‘gay.’

This sort of anti-“wokeness” rant that is really just thinly or not at-at-all veiled bigotry is a pretty obvious impression of Rogan, who regularly does this exact thing for his massive Spotify audience. Just in case there was any doubt of the target, though, the scene abruptly ends with Bo mentioning a conversation with his “sparring partner”—seemingly a reference to Rogan’s past as an MMA fighter.

It’s always a delight when the best takedown possible is just essentially repeating a bigot’s own words and general ethos verbatim.

You can watch the entire special on Burnham’s YouTube page. The Rogan bit starts around the 18 1/2-minute mark but trust me, you’ll want to watch the whole thing.

(image: screencap)


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Author
Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.