A History of "Bo Burnham watches INSIDE"
Updated: Sep 16
In all the excitement of the midterms election last week and my trip to NYC to see James Acaster (SO funny!), I wanted to highlight a Bo-related video edit on YouTube that you might have missed: Bo Burnham watches INSIDE
While it might not be obvious, ravenhpltc24 and I were working on this project for many months (even before the 1-year anniversary!). In fact, because of how long the process took, I wanted to provide a historical overview of the concept, the research, and the execution for those curious.
Let's dive in!
I had watched the H3 podcast in which Bo was interviewed by Ethan Klein a number of times prior to the release of Inside (I fell down the rabbit hole of Bo content in 2019, so I devoured anything related to him at that time), but I saw a specific video opportunity after 5/30/21—Bo's reaction to the hot dogs and peaches guy was strikingly similar to people's reactions to his newest masterpiece.
For those who don't know the backstory: Bo told Ethan that his favorite YouTube video is of a man cooking peaches and sausages (yes, the guy uses "hot dogs" and "sausages" interchangeably, much to Bo's chagrin haha).
Here's a wonderful video essay about masaokis that explains the odd appeal of this man making meals in his garbage-covered house.
The peaches and hot dogs video was his debut and led to his rise in YouTube stardom and, as Bo always keeps his finger on the pulse of pop culture trends, he of course watched and loved this somewhat disturbing video.
Rather than seeing masaokis as a poor soul who deserves to be mocked, Bo is entirely empathetic and can see the beauty in this man sharing his experiences and knowledge with the world.
He's so enthusiastic about how incredible this video is that he and Ethan spend a good 10 minutes of the 2018 interview just watching and discussing the man cooking (and subsequently lighting things on fire).
Bo also mentions a claw machine kid's video to Ethan, which I am guessing is this one (please let me know if it's wrong).
Even better than the original interview, H3 decided to highlight this section in a separate video, which has since accumulated over 1 million views. Damn!
And with that new video came new comments. While earlier YouTube messages were focused on how annoying Ethan is, after the release of Inside, the comments shifted to people claiming this segment helps to explain Bo's desire to show the world his pandemic experience.
One of the most popular messages (2.5K likes) is from intrusive thot on YouTube:
Bo Then: "I want more of this, a sad depressed man."
Bo Now: makes Inside
From these common sentiments, I came up with what I considered to be a pretty genius video edit idea—rather than Bo and Ethan watching the Peaches and Hot Dogs guy, it would be fascinating to apply their analysis to footage from Inside. In particular, I thought the trash on the floor and Bo lying on the ground in a blanket would work wonderfully with Bo talking about the production designer being the best ever if the footage were fake.
Once I got this notion of a humorous and insightful Inside video in my head, I simply could not get it out. As such, I decided to do some research in the same manner that I write my deep-dive threads.
The first step I took was to watch the H3 video in its entirety multiple times so that I had a good grasp as to which quotes would work best. I then wrote down the time stamps for these comments so that whomever I found who was willing to help me with this project would have all of the information they needed.
Next, I watched Inside again (not a rare occasion since I've seen it hundreds of times by now) and kept an eye out for sequences that would lend themselves to a sad and depressed man cooking in his kitchen.
Once I had this documentation, I then matched up the time stamps with basic ideas of what could relate to the special. For example, one concept I always wanted to see was the Social Brand Consultant (my favorite bit since I work in marketing) when Bo talks about masaokis being "brand loyal" since he has Tostitos packages everywhere.
Anyway, after I had created this list, I knew I'd have to find someone to help me with the execution. As I tell everyone, I know how to edit words, not videos!
First, I put out a request on Twitter to see if anyone was interested in working with me on this project.
After receiving no responses, in May of 2022, I sent a Reddit dm to ravenhpltc24, my FAVORITE editor [Ed. note: You can read more about Alicia's videos and her process here].
Her video of Bo doing stand-up routines and cracking jokes during the Eighth Grade press tour was delightful, and I even chose her unofficial Inside trailer as my second favorite piece of Inside-related content on YouTube.
As such, I knew her superior editing skills were exactly what I needed for this project to be completed successfully.
After receiving a positive response back from ravenhpltc24, I was thrilled that my idea might actually come to fruition.
Around this same time, however, I was just starting to build up my Bo Burnham Historian Twitter account and plan my fan website.
And then one "controversial" Twitter comment almost brought everything crashing down.
I am a huge fan of Promising Young Woman (especially Bo's portrayal of Dr. Ryan Cooper), but the fandom seems to be split on the film and Bo's involvement.
When I tweeted that Ryan is ridiculously attractive, I wouldn't kick him out of bed, and he didn't technically rape anyone in the movie (which is factually accurate—he is complicit of course, but he's just an onlooker who suffers no real repercussions for his involvement in the rape of Nina), certain Twitter fans went crazy on me and told me to delete my post (I did) and apologize. I said I would do more research (which you can read here), but after that awful experience, people were badmouthing my account and saying I condone sexual assault (SO not true).
This online bullying intensified, and I was consumed with the idea that I had to scrap everything because no one liked me or wanted to read my thoughts. The bullies also messaged my followers, telling them to unfollow my account.
They even made up an Inside anniversary hashtag to compete against mine (how petty) and stole a photo from my website while claiming they had no idea where it came from!
Anyway, since my growing clout had taken a hit, I was concerned no one would want to work with me for fear of online abuse, including ravenhpltc24.
So I messaged her again and told her the recent circumstances. I said I completely understand if she no longer wants to work with me because of the collateral damage.
While ravenhpltc24 said she would still like to help me out, she let me know she was busy with her work and other projects, so maybe it would be best if I asked someone else.
I suggested instead that we both hold off until the fall (I had plenty of other things on my plate, including my website and deep-dive threads about Bo's comedic influences), so we jointly decided to postpone our collaboration for a few months.
And it was definitely serendipitous that we did because the fandom had NO idea Bo was about to drop an hourlong outtakes special. Nor did we realize how BEAUTIFULLY certain sequences would match up with the source video (the perfect peanut butter sandwich, anyone?!).
After Bo uploaded the Inside Outtakes on his YouTube channel, we both quickly realized that we'd have to scrap all of our previous plans and start afresh.
So, throughout the summer, I would do the same research as before when I had any free time (e.g., watching Bo and Ethan, keeping in mind the new clips while doing so, and writing out time stamps and ideas for BOTH specials).
After being satisfied that I'd covered everything I wanted the video to include, I sent a reminder email to ravenhpltc24 about the project before the first day of autumn.
While there were multiple points throughout the process when I felt like everything would fall apart, luckily she was much more interested in editing again and said she "was itching to work on the hot dogs & peaches video" (phew!).
We next worked together on video drafts. Ravenhpltc24 told me that the current list of time stamps would be too long for a good-sized video (3 minutes should be the max), and that I was probably making it too serious in my clip choices.
She was totally right, and I gave ravenhpltc24 full creative control over which segments should be included.
Another issue she pointed out was that the man's loud accented English (he lives in Montreal) was causing audio issues:
Last time I worked on the video I was feeling annoyed that I couldn't get the Quebecois guy's voice out of the background, which adds a weird element to the whole thing. I think with enough background music I can drown it out a little, plus I guess it's expected that the audio can't be perfect in a fan edit.
The effect was like 3 voices at once, not unlike Content Con ("This Feeling"), but so jumbled you couldn't discern the comments from Bo and Ethan, the Inside clips, and masaokis attempting to blend an entire hot dog with peaches.
The first draft that she sent in late October had clean edits, some fun gags (loved the volume going up for Bezos I and the bathroom joke), but it still didn't feel right. For one thing, there was no clear ending. I provided a few suggestions (end it the same way Ethan did in the original H3 video or with a montage).
Okay, I watched the Peaches video again, and I have two ideas for the ending
1. Use the same one as on H3
(Stranger than fiction as they say); maybe end on Bo saying he's done or something
2. I really like the part where Bo says you have to take the whole thing as a package..it's 7:13 in approximately
Can you create an ending out of that quote (maybe a quick montage to match?)
I also reminded her of two items I would appreciate having in the final edit—the "brand loyal" joke and the PB sandwich (which truly seems tailormade for this video haha).
The last draft was nearly perfect, but it still did not have the hoarder guy's voice extricated, which made it difficult to distinguish who was talking and WTFIGO lol.
Finally, while on my way up to New York City via Amtrak, I saw that there was a brand-new video from ravenhpltc24 in my YouTube queue. I immediately opened it and, lo and behold, our video was up and running!
I was ECSTATIC to see the exact idea I had brainstormed more than a year ago come to fruition, and I'm so thrilled with the results. Ravenhpltc24 captured all of the best quotes from the interview AND placed the most wonderful and weird clips to match with those quotes.
She also told me that she finally cracked the voice issue (woo-hoo!), which made everything easier to hear and understand.
All I did was provide a clever concept that I could not shake after watching Inside—to then see that idea appear in its full form on my phone while heading up to New York was one of the best experiences of my life, and I owe it all to ravenhpltc24's hard work and tenacity.
Please make sure to check out this video along with her other fantastic ones. The One Year In(side) video edit is particularly precious to me because it includes a picture of my son and me with his own Socko.
I also provided the idea for the ending—a simple sentiment that surrounds everything I do on this website:
Thank you, Bo.
Thanks for reading this brief history, and stay tuned for more!