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Look who’s inside again: ‘The Inside Outtakes’ gives a deeper look

Look who’s inside again: ‘The Inside Outtakes’ gives a deeper look

Look who’s inside again: ‘The Inside Outtakes’ gives a deeper look
June 18
12:00 2022

One year after the premiere of the Netflix  comedy special “Bo Burnham: Inside,” the comedian is giving audiences a closer look behind the scenes.

Similar to the original award-winning production, “The Inside Outtakes” was a sudden surprise to many. Burnham announced the footage’s release on May 30, just one hour before it was uploaded to YouTube. The hour-long video includes footage filmed between March 2020 and May 2021, further documenting the special’s production.

While 2021’s “Inside” was made up of sporadic storytelling, the outtakes still may not make much sense if you haven’t already seen the special. Although still an interesting watch, the chronicling of Burnham’s production is much more entertaining and coherent if you’re familiar with the songs and acts it features.

Released alongside a deluxe version of the album “Inside,” the outtakes show aspects both old and new to the audience. Several fan-favorite songs, like “Welcome to the Internet,” are given dedicated sections showing original lyrics and retakes. Other numbers, including “All Eyes on Me,” show complete alternate versions and sets.

Although still familiar, these slight variations in Burnham’s look and sound offer a view into how different “Inside” could have been. Through seeing his creative process, audiences can picture how different the special could have been and why Burnham chose a different direction.

The upload also includes several scrapped skits, like “The Dump” and “The Perfect Peanut Butter Sandwich.” These numbers offer new characters and commentary from Burnham, while staying coherent with the themes of “Inside.” Out of all of the video’s content, these parts are what seem most similar to bonus footage you’d find on a deluxe DVD. Seeing them separately doesn’t lessen the final product of “Inside, but does leave viewers with a few “what ifs” knowing they could have been included.

Some of the most hard-hitting aspects of the outtakes are left for the end of the video. “Goodbye Alt” and its darker ending illustrate how Burnham could have left the special on a much more disturbing note. Similarly, the narrative explored in “The Chicken,” a previously unreleased song, adds more nuance and personal connection to Burnham’s work. The footage continues to demonstrate the full extent of Burnham’s talent beyond “Inside.”

To better fit the outtakes’ platform, Burnham edited the upload to match YouTube’s format, similar to what was done for the Netflix special. Subtle features, like false advertisements and “skip ad” graphics, are incorporated to look like a made-for-YouTube video. Aside from being humorous pop-ups, these additions stress that Burnham always planned for this upload to appear on YouTube. It serves as a nice homage to the platform where he first rose to fame.

Much like clips intentionally left in the original “Inside,” the YouTube footage includes many camera adjustments, light tests and trial runs of performances. These snippets give the audience a more intimate perspective on what went into the special’s creation. It allows viewers to better understand the artist’s processes, from songwriting to staging. This forms a stronger appreciation for Burnham’s dedication to his craft.

A year later, “Inside” is undoubtedly a timepiece. Many viewers remember relating to Burnham’s existential exploration during a period of lockdowns and quarantines. His craft allowed isolated feelings to be put into words. 

Despite these time-stamped themes, “This Inside Outtakes” demonstrates the special’s lasting impact on viewers the following year. Fans of the original production once again find themselves uniting over appreciation for Burnham. With the upload of the outtakes, Burnham seems to be paying the same respects to his audience. Although considered scrap footage, it’s obvious Burnham still put time and effort into carefully composing the YouTube video as a tribute to last year’s success.

While a lot has changed since the release of “Inside,” one thing remains the same —  Bo Burnham is an artist who knows what he’s doing. One can only hope we continue to see more engaging content from the creative as he continues his career

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Samantha Thornfelt

Samantha Thornfelt

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