PHOTO: NETFLIX | BY COREY ALLEN TATE
Stand-up comedy is an art form that is purely based on freedom of speech and personal point of view. Bill Burr has never held back either of these qualities and his refusal to do so has landed him a concrete spot as one of the world’s funniest, most honest and intelligent comedians. On Tuesday, September 10th, Bill Burr will release his brand new, fire-hot comedy special, Paper Tiger, on Netflix. Comedy Hype caught up with Bill Burr to get an exclusive scoop on ‘Paper Tiger’, plus more!
CH: As of today, your brand new special, Paper Tiger is now available on Netflix. This will serve as your followup to your 2017 Netflix special, ‘Walk Your Way Out’. What was the deciding factor in wanting to release a new comedy special?
BB: After I released ‘Walk Your Way Out’, I wasn’t sure when I wanted to do the next special. I felt like I did a new special every two years and I was getting tired of that pattern. Then in 2017, I did a one-night-only show in London at Royal Albert Hall. The energy was amazing and it was one of the most beautiful venues in the world. I couldn’t get past the fact that I was standing on that stage when I thought about how historic it was. I mean, Led Zeppelin played there, so it was sort of an out of body experience for me to be there. Later on, I was hanging out with Mike Binder who was a director on a film I did with Kevin Costner, called Black or White. Mike was very adamant about shooting the special with me and had it all mapped out. The results look amazing and I would say it’s the best looking special that I’ve ever done.
CH: As far as the reception of the material, did you see a difference between the London audiences and the typical American audiences?
BB: Not really. Aside from slight cultural differences, I think there is a major through-line in people being similar; everyone wants to find love, everyone wants to feel safe, everyone wants a sandwich, you know? We all want the same things, so the material didn’t need to be deciphered very much.
CH: You’ve never been afraid to tell the truth. But now, it seems that there’s this new cancel culture that’s out to get everyone. For example, there were a lot of people in an uproar over Dave Chappelle’s special, ‘Sticks and Stones’. In this day and age, is it becoming increasingly difficult to tell the truth and know that you might upset someone?
BB: I’m just telling my version of what I think is funny. As far as people being outraged by comedy specials, there’s always going to be someone that people are mad at. There’s a new person targeted every week. The reality is that most people aren’t outraged. A comedy special isn’t going to stop you from living your life. I can name 3 times in history where society felt glum and it was justified; when Trump won, the 2008 Meltdown and September 11th, 2001. Those are real tragedies. Being outraged over a stand-up joke is so small when you look at it on that scale.
CH: You’re the co-founder of the ‘All Things Comedy Network’ along with Al Madrigal. ATC is an amazing place to find original comedy content such as podcasts, web series and many other things. Did you create the ‘All Things Comedy Network’ because you felt like there was a lack of good comedy content?
BB: We created the All Things Comedy Network because we didn’t want to get screwed. We saw the podcast world exploding and businessmen were coming in trying to make money off it. I respect businessmen because they’ve figured out ways to make money, but what I don’t like is how artists always end up getting the short end of the stick in business deals. We started our network to protect ourselves and other artists.
CH: Another project of yours that people love, is your Netflix animation show, F is for Family. Currently, we’re all waiting for season 4 of the show. What can we expect from season 4 of ‘F is for Family’?
BB: Season 4 will be the Murphy family progressing in their usually dysfunctional ways. I don’t want to get too much into it, because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but I’m excited about the new season. One thing I do want to say though, is that F is for Family has an amazing writer’s room and we couldn’t do this without them.
CH: Your new Netflix special, ‘Paper Tiger’ is available as of today, but we’re sure this isn’t the only thing you have in the works – what else is coming up for Bill Burr?
BB: I have a small part in the new Jon Favreau Star Wars show, The Mandalorian. People who are familiar with my stand up thinks it’s hilarious that I’m in a Star Wars project and so does Jon, which is why I think he put me in it. This is another project I have to hold back on revealing details, but it’s going to be a fun project and I can’t wait for people to see it.
Bill Burr’s Paper Tiger is now available on Netflix.