Hailed as a “comedian’s comedian” by the US stand-up comedy circuit, loose canon Bill Burr is unashamed, unapologetic, and about to hit Hong Kong with one hell of a bang at his sold-out gig The Punchline Comedy Club on February 7. We caught up with the American comedian, actor, and podcaster ahead of the show to find out what all the fuss is about.
LOCALIIZ: What’s so great about doing stand-up, apart from “being able to go to the movies whenever the f*** you want to!”?
BURR: I love making people laugh and I love not having a boss. Stand-up is the perfect job for me.
LOCALIIZ: How did you get into stand-up comedy?
BURR: I was working in a warehouse with someone who also wanted to do stand-up. He told me one day that he was going to sign up for a local open mic. Seeing that he could do it made me feel like I could too. So I entered a talent competition and I have been doing stand-up ever since.
LOCALIIZ: Is comedy a universal language or do you have to change your stand-up to suit different audiences across the globe?
BURR: I’ve traveled quite a bit with my job and I’ve learned that all people kind of want the same thing: They want to find love. They want food. They want a home. And they want to know that everything is going to be OK. There is a lot of comedy that comes from trying to attain all of those things. It is relatable to all.
LOCALIIZ: You’ve been referred to as a “comedian’s comedian” but who is your favourite funny man/woman?
BURR: My favorite of all time was Richard Pryor. I don’t have a current favorite. There are too many comedians that inspire me and make me laugh. I discover new comics every month that I think are going to be great. I’m hoping to meet some more on this tour.
LOCALIIZ: What’s more of a buzz? Doing stand-up, podcasting, or acting?
BURR: No buzz is greater than trying out a new bit and having it kill. It’s just as exciting today as it was 20 years ago when I started.
LOCALIIZ: You’ve appeared in quite a lot of movies as well as the hit series Breaking Bad. What was your experience of working on the big screen?
BURR: It took me some time to get used to the pace of shooting a movie or TV show. Stand-up is easy. If you are supposed to do an hour, it only takes you an hour to do it. With the acting jobs, it takes forever. But I’ve learned to enjoy the process. It always takes me a couple of days to settle into a shoot. Once I get into actor mode, it’s smooth sailing.
LOCALIIZ: Do you have any future plans to be in more movies or TV shows?
BURR: I always have plans to be in more movies but the powers that be have to pick me to be in them. I basically act whenever Hollywood lets me! I have a movie coming out soon called Black or White with Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer. And I just did a few days on a new Mark Wahlberg/Will Ferrell movie called Daddy’s Home.
LOCALIIZ: Who would play you in a movie and why?
BURR: I like to play dirtbags and weak people. I relate to both.
LOCALIIZ: Which actor would you most like to work with?
BURR: There are a lot of great actors out there that I’d love to work with. Ed Norton, Jeremy Renner, Sam Rockwell, Joequin Phoenix, and about 200 others.
LOCALIIZ: What can the audience in Hong Kong expect from your show?
BURR: I’ve written a brand new hour of material since I taped my last special. So the crowd can expect to hear new jokes and to see a comedian blown away that he is standing on a stage in Hong Kong.