Bill Burr has made a name for himself by being a cranky dude.
The 44-year-old Massachusetts-based comic has been grinding away for the past 20 years, establishing himself as a "comic's-comic." Over the past few years, Burr has seen his fan base jump thanks to a unique Netflix-first model of releasing his latest special, a hugely successful weekly podcast, and a role on a little show called Breaking Bad. But at the end of the day, he's still the same angry guy. This week, Burr roles into town for two shows at the State Theatre that are guaranteed to have his signature gives-no-fucks attitude.
Before he steamrolls our fair city, we managed to sit down with the comedian to talk about the Juicy Lucy, Minnesota Wild hockey, and the end of Breaking Bad.
Hey Bill. Thanks so much for talking with us.
Tell me about this Juicy Lucy.
Juicy Lucy. I keep hearing about it. What is it?
It's two burger patties with cheese in the middle.
Okay. And two places out there claimed they invented it, right? So one of them is lying.
I think they both believe they were first.
Fine. So which one do I go to?
I like Matt's Bar, but 5-8 Club is good too.
Alright so I'll go to Matt's Bar. How long should I wait before I bite in?
I'd say at least five minutes if you don't want to burn your mouth, but there's no way you'll be able to hold out that long. Wait, am I being interviewed?
I can do five minutes. You're sure I won't burn my mouth?
Not 100 percent.
Okay, but I'm still going to wait five minutes. So what do you want to talk about?
Alright, let's get this out of the way. You play the role of a henchman on Breaking Bad. How is the show going to end?
I'll tell you how it ends. One person who you think Walt killed in the first couple of seasons shows back up. It's actually someone from the plane crash who you've never met before. So anyways, that guy comes into the bathroom when Walt's in there, drags him out, and cuffs him to a new Winnebago. Then he tells him he has to cook meth again. Then Hank shows up and is like, 'You're busted!' and Walt goes, 'I'm sorry!' and Hank goes, 'I forgive you.' And then Walt looks straight into the camera and goes 'That's all folks!' while the Looney Tunes music plays.
I've never been so disappointed in an answer.
I have no fucking clue how it ends.
That's good. Anyways, you just released a special back in the fall. Are you touring to get ready for something new?
I'm always getting ready for something, but I'm not getting ready to do another special. Honestly, I won't release another one for at least two years. I could definitely tape a new hour right now, but I like to improve my comedy and get to that next level before I put something out. With me, I like to take that first year and create new shit. Then I take that next year to clean it up and make it better. That's the thing with me; I don't feel pressure to do anything.
Is your new material different than the material you did on the last special?
I'm still the same guy. I'm not changing my sound for anything. Remember when Garth Brooks did that thing where he grew a goatee and started singing falsetto? It really pissed everyone off. I'm not trying to be Garth Brooks; except for the goatee part, I guess.
You've managed to gain a lot of traction over the past couple years. Do you feel like you're ready to move up to the next level of your career?
Honestly, if you keep wanting more you'll never be happy. I've got a nice little life; it's fucking great. I spent 20 years in clubs, now I'm doing two nights in a theater. I've got a cult following, but I can still walk down the street. My career is fucking perfect.
So you don't want to do a TV show or anything like that?
Fuck no. Those people work 12 hours a day. I don't want that. Seriously though, I don't want to do a TV show because I don't have a good idea for a show. What am I going to do? "Bill
at 8 p.m. on NBC!" Who wants to watch that? I'm not saying I wouldn't do a TV show, but I don't feel like I need to do one.
After the jump: Burr's thoughts on the Wild's jerseys, and on reading his own interviews.
Unrelated to comedy, you're a big hockey fan. What do you think about the shortened season?
It's great for the fans, but it probably sucks for the players having to play every other night. Hockey is something that brings me a lot of joy; I love it. I also love that it's the fourth sport. I like when people don't understand the game or the fighting or anything else. You don't get it? Fucking great. Go watch the Super Bowl and talk through the game and watch the commercials.
As long as I'm thinking about it; I love the Wild's third jerseys. I think the third jersey should be the first jersey, and the first two should be fucking burned.
Not a fan huh?
Hell no. But that that third jersey is awesome. Seriously, that brown color that "Minnesota" is written in? They should make matching Timberland boots in that color. All of a sudden hockey would become fucking dope. Jay-Z would be wearing hockey jerseys and shit.
That's an amazing idea.
I started out with Patrice O'Neil, so anything I know about being dope and what black guys will wear is all thanks to him.
Back to the shows this weekend, how does it feel to be selling out theaters?
It's unbelievable. When you sell out a theater, you know those people are there to see you and not just 'a comedy show' like people who go to the clubs. In the club, you get people who don't know who the fuck you are. In theaters, they know you. But that brings a whole other set of expectations and pressures. In clubs, you have low expectations but higher chances of having people yell shit at you. In theaters, it's like 'you better be good or I'm going to trash you on the internet.' I look at doing theater shows as a responsibility to be better and give people my best.
Since we're wrapping up, I'm just curious; do you ever read your own interviews when they come out?
No. It's not healthy. I don't watch myself on TV either. Think about it like this: If you and your friend have a conversation, would you want to go back later and read what you guys talked about? Okay; I guess if you sue me over something I said I probably would. But otherwise no.
7 & 10 p.m.