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Bill Burr: Cancel Culture Made Me a Better Stand-up Comedian

The fair and balanced comic shreds 'unfunny' scolds telling us the 'right' jokes to tell

Bill Burr famously took on the PC police in his blistering 2019 special “Paper Tiger.”

Here’s a tiny sample:

“Someday, there’s going to be the first female president, which means there’s going to be the first male First Lady,” he says. “And you wait, you f—ing wait… The first time that dude opens his mouth about some political s—, you watch all these feminists: ‘You shut the f— up! It is her time now. She was elected, not you. Go pick out some plates, b—.’ He’s going to get treated like Tom Arnold when he was with Roseanne.”

His recent “Saturday Night Live” monologue proved he wasn’t finished with the topic.

Bill Burr Stand-Up Monologue - SNL

You know, how stupid is that “canceled” thing? They’re literally running out of people to cancel. They’re going after dead people now. They’re trying to cancel John Wayne. It’s like, “Yeah, dude, God did that 40 years ago.” They’re all up in arms. They’re like, “Did you hear what he said in that interview in Playboy in 1970? Can you believe that?” It’s like, yeah, he was born in 1907. That’s what these people sounded like.”

Now, talking to stand-up legend Dennis Miller, Burr is back to bashing how the PC Police stifle comic inspiration. The comics brought up Cancel Culture and its deleterious effect on their craft, but Burr shared something about it many may not have expected.

There’s a tiny upside to the Thought Police, at least as far as Burr is concerned.

“I really think the Cancel Culture and all that has made me a better comic,” Burr told Miller on the latter’s latest podcast episode.

Earlier, the duo discussed Burr’s recent “SNL” monologue and what annoyed Burr about the critical reaction to it.

“I didn’t look at any of the reviews until like a month later… of course they were trashing me, right? At one point they were talking about that white women bit. They tried to say the reason why it worked was because I called myself out for being a toxic white male.

“That’s not why it worked. It worked because it’s true, and people of color are laughing at the beginning of the joke. Me calling myself out as a toxic white male is so a liberal person like [the critics] can come along for the joke. That’s what it’s for,” Burr said.

“You have to provide them with covering fire,” Miller cracked.

Still, the pressure Cancel Culture applies to the creative spirit can be maddening, to hear Burr tell it.

“Some of the most unfunny people I’ve ever met in my life are telling comedians what they can and can’t say. It’s like a tone-deaf person telling a musician what chords they can play and what they can’t. And it’s causing me to go even harder on stage, and I’ve actually become, I think, a better comic.”

RELATED: What Is Cancel Culture, And Why Comics Should Fear It

The irony, Burr notes, is that his “controversial” monologue on “SNL” wasn’t full strength material. 

“That was like the Lawrence Welk version of what i usually say when I go up there [on stage],” Burr said.

Like Ricky Gervais and John Cleese, Burr isn’t a conservative. His politics are tough to tease out, while the aforementioned Brits are men of the Left.

Still, his philosophy remains pure. Go where the comedy is, be it the Left or the Right.

“I’m a big fan of trashing them both. That’s what I love about ‘South Park,'” Burr said of the fair and balanced series. 

Like most stand-up comics, Burr has been sidelined due to the pandemic. He’s about to play some Texas-based gigs, though, and he’s got his approach all figured out.

“My game plan is in Dallas and Houston is I make fun of Trump, then I go to Austin and I trash Joe Biden. Then I call it a tour,” Burr said. 

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