Here’s the thing about Bo Burnham.
I pride myself on my intellectual abilities. I was always top of my class; I graduated with honors; I never had to worry about doing well on standardized tests.
But Bo is scary smart. My wife and I have watched both of his specials, and one of the things we have talked about after watching and laughing at his performances is this premature intelligence that is blended with an emotional self-knowledge that is rare in someone so young. I know I didn’t have it when I was his age. I doubt I have it now.
He has time to grow into it, and I think this book of poems, “Egghead,” may be showing some of what he may look like as a mature artist.
Egghead intersperses poems that are on the surface easy – meter, unchallenging rhyme schemes, with fun pictures that tend towards the dirty. The poems tend that way too. One included in the volume, which was read in the special, extol the virtues of women with little virtue. I can’t print the title here.
He stands poems like that – sophomoric, juvenile, what have you – with some deep and wise ones. There is a poem about women’s body images that knocked me flat. I won’t quote it here because it is short and you need to take that journey yourself.
I can’t wait for whatever Bo has in store for us next, no matter what the medium.