Bill Burr: Walk Your Way Out currently available on Netflix
If you’ve ever listened to Bill Burr’s Monday Morning Podcast, you know that Bill Burr thrives most when aimlessly exploring the strangest crannies of his mind. When Burr leaves his filters off, he’s not sloppy and directionless: he’s unpredictable and at the top of his game. Unlike most comics, his comedy doesn’t become polished with practice. Calculation makes Burr lose his shine, and it’s never been more clear than in this special.
There are several moments in Burr’s Walk Your Way Out that feel a bit off. His bit about fat people, which features the punchline that the special is named after, feels too easy and obvious. His line about Caitlyn Jenner that refers to the former Olympian as “Bruce” and “he” is more anticlimactic and callous than funny. His closer seems more like an afterthought than a finale. His once topical material about the election falls victim to the current tense political
climate. But worst of all, the Nashville crowd is tepid and reluctant to jump on board with Burr’s more unconventional ideas, so they drag the hour down at the exact moments that it needs galvanizing.
Having said all that, Burr’s new special has its strengths. In Walk Your Way Out, the LA comic from Boston pushes beyond the boundaries of his usual delivery and involves sound effects, new voices, and physical humour in his act in engrossing ways. His extensive plan to fix overpopulation and his bit about Hitler being recognized more than Stalin were smart and edgy.
Similarly, his bit about a gorilla learning sign language was engaging and complex, especially when it led him to make an uncharacteristically dramatic move and play dead on the floor. Overall, Walk Your Way Out is worth a watch, but it’s a noticeable drop in quality from I’m Sorry You Feel That Way. Burr is one of the best comics of his generation, but he should have recorded his latest special while his material was fresher.