Egghead: Or, You Can't Survive on Ideas Alone by Bo Burnham

Like a lost, twisted work of Shel Silverstein, EGGHEAD is an aggressively charming, hilarious and absurd book from one of today's most popular young comedians.

Bo Burnham was a precocious teenager living in his parents' attic in Massachusetts when he started posting funny songs to YouTube. More than 100 million people viewed those videos, turning Bo into an online sensation with a huge and dedicated following. Writer/producer Judd Apatow championed the young comedian, and Bo taped his first Comedy Central special at age 18, the youngest in the channel's history. 

Now Bo is a rising star in the comedy world, revered for his utterly original and highly intelligent voice. In EGGHEAD, his first book, Bo brings his brand of brainy comedy to the page in the form of off-kilter writings, thoughts, poems, and more. Teaming up with his longtime friend--artist and illustrator Chance Bone (real name)--Bo takes on everything from painful breakups to bald barbers. This weird and witty collection will have readers and fans laughing out loud and/or giggling quietly.


My brother gave me this book for Christmas, because he read and liked it. If you knew my brother, you would know what a big deal that is. He was the type while in school who pretty much avoided reading the assigned books like the plague. I wouldn't say he hates to read, but he really only does it when he has to. Knowing this about him and the fact that he wanted to share it with me, certainly made me curious about this book. 

I had never heard of Bo Burnham and did a little research on him before diving into this book. He's a young comedian with a unique act. He combines comedy, satire, music, singing, and performance art to create something that I have never seen before. I found some of his material funny, and while I found his material to often be interesting, witty and quirky, I don't know if he's exactly my cup of tea.

I felt the same way about his poetry. It is creative, witty, and quirky. I found some of it to be humorous, but certainly not anywhere near side splitting. I thought the illustrations were interesting, but I don't know if they really added anything to the poems. Sometimes they didn't seem to go together at all. But maybe that was the point? I liked a few of the poems, but for the most part I wasn't crazy about them. 

Beware that this book does contain a lot of crude language and profanity. This wasn't necessarily a strike against it in my book. I don't believe that writers/artists should censor themselves for fear of offending others. It's just something that stood out to me and feel it's something that other potential readers may wish to know.

The work did have a Shel Silverstein-like feel to it (which it has often been compared to), insomuch as there was a poem accompanied by an illustration. There's a lightness to the poems and they were often about seemingly random things, which is also reminiscent of Shel's style. However, I think that Bo's poetry falls short of matching Shel's genius. While it wasn't my favorite, I can appreciate that Bo Burnham is a talented individual. Overall, this was just okay for me.

2015 Reading Challenge: A funny book  

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