The Chanticleer

A Conversation with Comedian Bill Burr


Rebekah Hawkins, Associate Editor

He’s been called “a cynic who never paid heed to political correctness” by the Montreal Gazette and “one of the funniest, most distinctive voices in the country for years” by the New York Times. Some might call him a celebrity, but he just says he’s “more notoriety than celebrity”.

Bill Burr (photo via

Whatever he’s called, or calls himself, comedian Bill Burr has made a name for himself. The 49-year old from Canton, Mass. relies on his black comedy and often very honest humor, and although he may seem brash he says that people know what they’re getting from him.

Burr is set to perform at the Alabama Theater on Sept. 9 and says that he’s been through the state several times to do shows, and that it’s actually one of his favorite places to go.

“Everyone always trashes Alabama. Like you go to Georgia and everyone there thinks they’re some kind of scholar,” Burr said. “I’ve just got this thing. Living in New York, everyone thought people from New Jersey were a bunch of animals. You guys are all the same freaking people. Plus it’s a beautiful state, houses are cheap. College football is crazy out there, the whole Auburn, Alabama thing. I have a great time.”

He says that he can’t come to Alabama and not take in a game, so he’s making a trip to Tuscaloosa to see Alabama’s match-up with Fresno State before his show Saturday night.

“Now that I’ve seen Alabama though, I’ve got to get to Auburn. Because I want to see the War Eagle and all that,” He said. “One of my goals is to go to the Alabama and Auburn game.”

Burr’s comedy draws from current events, his opinions and what he calls “messing up in my personal life”. He says that something entertaining could happen like someone falling down stairs and he can make a note that says, “stairs” in a notebook, then later go back and recall the story. He says it’s much like remembering a funny story in everyday life.

His comedy is a prominent staple on Netflix, currently Burr has three of his five comedy specials on the streaming site including one that released this year.

“They stream it, it’s out there. It’s totally uncensored, which goes with my style.”

He is also the co-creator of the Netflix animated comedy “F is for Family”, which is loosely based on his childhood in the seventies. He says that he’s setting up a college campus comedy tour next year to promote the show.

“The show has a lot of heart,” Burr said. “People really seem to like it.”

Burr says that he took his inspiration from comedians like George Carlin and Richard Pryor when he was younger. He thought there was no way he could do comedy and, although he always wanted to try, it seemed unavailable to him. But he was determined to have no regrets, and now he has performed comedy shows around the world and has a successful Netflix show.

Perhaps “more notoriety than celebrity” doesn’t quite cover it.

Tickets are still available for Burr’s September 9 performance at the Alabama Theatre. His Netflix show “F is for Family” has been renewed for a third season and will premiere sometime next year.

Comedian Bill Burr poses for a photo. (photo courtesy of Koury Angelo)