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How This Comedian’s New Special Explores Mental Illness Through a Year of COVID-19 Isolation

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Before I begin, a question for you: does a comedy about mental illness and the COVID-19 lockdowns have to be laugh-out-loud funny in an entertaining and uplifting way in order to be validating?

And what about if you add ironic and biting songs to the comedy? Your answers to these questions probably reveal how validating or appealing you will find Bo Burnham’s brilliant, raw, and comic Netflix special, “Bo Burnham: Inside.” Burnham — who wrote, directed, shot, edited and performed in the special — uses his own experience as a comedian with a mental illness to interrogate and even castigate the value of comedy during a world crisis such as the pandemic.

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