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An Interview with cavecibum, Creator of Make Happy Embroidery

One of the areas of Bo's fanart that I find SO impressive is the embroidery that people have made since Inside came out in 2021.

The only sewing-like thing I've ever done successfully was some basic cross-stitching. As such, I was especially excited to see someone tackle one of my favorite images of Bo—Can't Handle This from Make Happy.

This part of the special is when I realized Bo is an ARTIST, not just a comedian, so to see it immortalized in art makes me so happy.

The glitter representing the back light, Bo hunched over and pouring his heart out, and the wonderful lyrics all work together to create one of my favorite pieces of Bo-related art, so I knew I needed to find out more about its creation.

Luckily, I am on the same Discord as cavecibum (her real name is Pam), and she was more than willing to answer my questions.

Here's my interview with Pam, which has been edited and condensed for clarity purposes.

Bo Burnham Historian: Hi, Pam! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me.

Pam: It's my pleasure!

BBH: Great! So to get started, can you please provide some background details about yourself?

Pam: Sure! I am a librarian who lives in the Boston area.

BBH: Nice...close to where Bo grew up in Hamilton, MA. (He's representing the people from the 01982 yo lol)

When did you get started with your art? Are you formally trained?

Pam: I've been doing embroidery for about 13 years—I picked it up as a cheap hobby when I was unemployed after grad school.

I've done all kinds of pieces, but I often get inspiration from tv, movies, and (of course) music.

BBH: Nice! What led to you making art specifically about Bo? And what is your general process from concept to the final product?

Pam: My Bo piece was the first embroidery I had done in a few years. Inside was the first of his specials I saw (having only previously seen Eighth Grade and Promising Young Woman), and I fell deep down the rabbit hole after that.

I have since watched everything I could find. Zach Stone was a pleasant surprise!

When I finally watched Make Happy, I was a few weeks away from my 40th birthday and not having an easy time with things, so many of the themes of the show (and also Inside and the Outtakes) were really resonating with me.

Can't Handle This got firmly stuck in my head, and I often find that stabbing something a million times into fabric can loosen it from my brain.

For this piece, I traced a still of Bo from Can't Handle This and put that paper on my fabric. Then I used glitter glue around it to create his outline and the effect of the light behind him.

I couldn't use my regular transfer methods because the fabric is black, which led to the last line being a little wonky.

I used a whipped backstitch for the lettering (I find that stitch makes a cleaner line, especially on cursive fonts).

This is the only piece of Bo art I’ve made, although I have another one brewing if I can get my act together.

BBH: Wow, that sounds like you put a lot of effort into making it. Fantastic job!

What's your favorite Bo song/special? You can name more than one.

Pam: Can’t Handle This is definitely my favorite of his songs. I first heard it at a time in my life when it really resonated with me, and I think it will stay with me and continue to be special to me because of that. 

BBH: Absolutely! It's such an emotionally powerful song and performance.

Do you have any upcoming projects?

Pam: After having Inside on rotation for months, I listened to Florence & the Machine's new album, and I just as quickly became obsessed with that.

My next piece is from one of their songs. I think Inside and Dance Fever share a lot of themes, so it makes sense in my mind that this is the progression for my stuff.

BBH: Ooh, can't wait to see how that turns out!

Can you tell me a fun fact about yourself? Do you enjoy any particular hobbies? I noticed you were a food blogger. Are you a big gourmand?

Pam: I don't blog anymore, which is why I didn't mention it. I'm a much better baker than I am at cooking, and I'm known for my cookies. Besides embroidery, I love reading, gaming, and watching far too much tv.

BBH: I'm guilty of the latter as well regarding watching a ton of tv (as Homer Simpson said: it's my teacher, mother, and secret lover).

You should do a cookie blog! I'm always up for learning new recipes (Snickerdoodles are all I bake currently).

How can fans best support you? Are any of your pieces for sale? And do you have social media that you'd like to plug?

Pam: I don’t sell any of my work, but I do sometimes post stuff on Instagram @cavecibum (although mostly it’s food, books, and my cat).

BBH: I see NOTHING wrong with that content being the majority of your Instagram...especially the cat one!

Thanks for speaking with me, Pam, and good luck with your embroidery!

Pam: It's no trouble at all!

49 views2 comments


Jennifer Johnson
Jennifer Johnson
Feb 08, 2023

Really cool interview!!

Stand-Up Comedy Historian
Stand-Up Comedy Historian
Feb 08, 2023
Replying to

Thanks so much, Jenkins! 🥰

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