No, Bill Burr cannot talk about whether he’ll appear in the “Breaking Bad” movie or in the upcoming season of “Better Call Saul” (“I’m not allowed to comment on any of that s—“), but the “Paper Tiger” comic is happy to talk all things stand-up comedy — and we were happy to indulge him.
Let’s begin at the end: TheWrap asked Burr about his philosophy on closers or the final joke of a comedian’s set. What came out of that question was a pretty interesting revelation about this latest Netflix special.
“I’ve never really thought about it, but I just know a closer when I hear it coming out of my mouth. I’m like, ‘This is something I can close with,’” Burr said. “I’ll be honest with you: I had a different closer for this hour almost right until the night we taped. I called an audible because the joke was about my daughter being born and me feeling some crazy feelings, and I just thought it would hurt her feelings if she ever saw it. It was more my issue, but I was just worried she wouldn’t process it that way. And I would never want to hurt her, so I was just like, ‘I don’t need to do that.’”
You see Philly, Burr — who is sporting less red fur up top than he did during his legendary 2006 takedown of the entire City of Brotherly Love — is actually harmless. A “paper tiger,” if you will.
We asked Burr why he named his new special, taped in London’s Royal Albert Hall, after the literal English translation of the Chinese phrase “zhilaohu.”
“It’s poking fun at how so many things nowadays that are made out to be this big thing that aren’t, while these other things are walking around and for some reason, they’re being ignored,” he explained.
For readers who didn’t get the reference to Burr’s infamous (in comedian circles, at least) Philadelphia incident, allow us to take you back 13 years:
We asked Burr how much he attributes that one YouTube clip’s popularity to him going from a relatively unknown “Chappelle’s Show” writer to an actor with “Breaking Bad” and the upcoming “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian” on his resume.
“It was never one thing. And I don’t think there is ‘one thing’ anymore unless you’re like the gorgeous, hot chick who moves to Hollywood,” Burr, who was already an established and respected stand-up comedian at the time of his infamous set, said.
“It got me a lot of respect from other comics, which was probably the greatest thing that came out of that,” he continued. “The other side of it was it made people want to boo me because they wanted to hear me trash their town.”
“So I had to deal with that for a couple weekends,” the “F Is for Family” creator and star said.
For you “F Is for Family” fans: Burr told us that he’s currently “editing” and “punching up” the next season, which he hopes will air next year “earlier rather than later.”
“Netflix will let us know,” he said.
We will let you know that Burr’s special “Paper Tiger” is now streaming on Netflix.