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  • Writer's pictureStand-Up Comedy Historian

An Interview with CowEye, the Bo Burnham DDR Master

Updated: Oct 14, 2023

Have you ever seen people busting a move on Dance Dance Revolution and thought, "What would a Bo Burnham song look like on that game?" Well, YouTuber and DDR aficionado CowEye has created an incredible chart for Bo's peppiest ode to depression, Shit. And he nails every single step!

You can check out his amazing dance moves here.

After watching this particular video multiple times and being blown away by each viewing, I knew that I needed to learn more about how CowEye creates these charts and what compels him to master DDR dances.

Luckily, he was more than accommodating and had no problem answering my questions despite being my third international interviewee!

Here is my interview with CowEye, which has been edited and condensed for clarity purposes.

Stand-Up Comedy Historian: Hi, CowEye! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me about your DDR videos.

CowEye: No problem!

SUCH: Great. First, please provide some details about yourself.

CowEye: Hi. My Name is CowEye. I'm 30 years old, currently living in Seoul, South Korea. I work as a doctor in a cosmetic clinic.

SUCH: That's impressive that you're a doctor at your age—congrats!

So when did you become a fan of Bo? Have you known about him for a long time, or did you discover him through Inside?

CowEye: One day, my wife (girlfriend at that time) showed me this Netflix program called Inside to me. We watched it together.

To be honest, when I finished watching it, my rating for Inside was like 3.5/5.0, which is 'It's good enough.' But after a few months, suddenly songs from the show kept playing in my head. (Especially Shit and Welcome to the Internet). And I found myself listening to those songs over and over especially while I'm taking a shower. And I guess that's how I became a fan of Bo.

SUCH: Yeah, Bo's songs are certainly earworms!

One of my friends says it's like he added crack or some other highly addictive substance to each one for maximum catchiness lol.

So what inspired you to make this dance? And what is your general process from concept to the final product?

CowEye: I make DDR charts whenever I get inspired while listening. I don't usually set the final concept of dance.

I just create and refine the chart as I get some ideas to improve the chart while playing it.

SUCH: Fascinating! So why did you choose Shit out of all of Bo's songs? Did the tune lend itself to dance because of its high energy?

CowEye: Because Shit is one of my favorite songs from Bo. Also, the song length is short and the BPM (Editor's note: beats per minute) is constant compared to other songs by Bo that I like, such as Welcome to the Internet, which makes it super helpful to make a DDR chart.

I also enjoyed the rhythm of the song. It really inspired me to dance.

SUCH: Yes, you're a very talented dancer!

How did you get started with Dance Dance Revolution? Do you ever go to arcades to play/show off your skills? Haha

CowEye: I've been playing Dance Dance Revolution since I was 14 years old.

When I was 14, I lived in Michigan, USA for one year as an exchange student. There was a small local health center that had a Playstation with a DDR pad and the game. It seemed like a really fun game and way to exercise.

I came back to Korea after one year, and I kept playing DDR until now. I've only played DDR in an arcade 2~3 times in my entire life, mainly because I like playing DDR at home.

More exactly, I like playing 'Stepmania,' which is technically not DDR but a DDR simulator.

With DDR, you can only play authorized songs by KONAMI (Japanese company who owns DDR).

But with 'Stepmania', you can play all the unofficial custom charts that other people have made. You can also make your own charts (which is exactly what I did this time).

And also I think of DDR as a workout.

SUCH: Definitely. That's cool that you were a foreign exchange student—your English is wonderful, by the way.

And I'm sure you are getting a lot of exercise doing these dances!

Speaking of which, when did you begin creating your own charts? How many have you made? And do you post them anywhere for others to use? I know there are people itching to try out your Shit chart lol.

CowEye: I've been making my own charts since 2019, and I have made 41 charts including Shit.

I upload my charts online here.

Anyone can download and play all the charts that I have made from there.

SUCH: That's awesome that you've made 41!

And thanks for sharing your charts with the public. That's so kind of you and reminds me of what the Internet was supposed to be haha.

Do you use a particular type of software to create your charts? How difficult was it to learn how to do?

CowEye: I mainly use the software called 'Arrow Vortex' to make my charts. It's quite easy to learn to make charts, but actually quite hard to make GOOD charts.

There are Google docs available on how to make a good chart.

SUCH: Ooh, thanks for that resource! Looks really useful for beginners.

Will you be doing more songs by Bo in the future, or is this a one-and-done deal?

I'd love to see you tackle Welcome to the Internet with all of its shifts in speed!

CowEye: I'm thinking about making a chart of Welcome to the Internet, another awesome song from Bo.

But the problem is that it has crazy BPM changes. For songs that have constant BPM, all I have to do is click a few buttons and the program automatically calculates the exact BPM.

But songs that have BPM changes, I cannot use this method, which makes it super hard to make a chart. But I might try it in the future, because it seems like a challenge.

SUCH: Yeah, that does sound difficult. Good luck with it!

UPDATE: CowEye uploaded a YouTube Short of himself dancing to the quick section of the song ("See a man beheaded...") recently. Awesome as always!

In the videos you've posted on YouTube, you appear to have an exercise equipment setup with your DDR game.

How did that come about? Do you prefer dance games like this to traditional exercise?

CowEye: For me, playing DDR is one of the many ways I do cardio and lower body workouts.

I also do other exercises including weighted pull ups and some others using a dumbell for my upper body workout.

I would say playing DDR is definitely my favorite way of working out in general. It's quite fun.

SUCH: I bet! You look like you're having a blast while doing those moves (and masterfully hitting the marks, might I add!).

So, what's your favorite chart that you've made? Least favorite?

CowEye: My favorite chart is 'Golden Dump (The Trump Hump) - Klemen Slakonja'. I've been trying to make DDR charts that encourage players to actually DANCE, and I think this chart is my best attempt so far.

My least favorite chart would be 'Heartbass - Friday Night Funkin' The Date Week'. I made this chart not because I super loved the song, but because I wanted to get some views from the Friday Night Funkin' fandom. But it didn't turn out well.

Ever since then, I try to make charts only if I really like the song.

SUCH: Oh, I've definitely experienced the pains of chasing trends for views. It typically never works out as well as you'd hoped.

Doing things that you actually enjoy is the best way to create.

Like Bo says, you should work hard to make good stuff and then worry about self-promotion and followers after, not vice versa.

It's also nice to see SOMETHING positive come from American politics with your Trump Hump video heh.

Please tell me one fun fact about yourself. Do you have any specific hobbies or interests people don't know about?

CowEye: Pretty sure I'm the doctor with the weirdest hobbies in Korea. Most of my friend's hobbies are tennis, golf, or something fancy like that. Literally no one plays DDR and makes charts like this.

Other than DDR I like ridge climbing, canyoning, and hiking in general. Lately, I have also liked escape rooms. I think I really enjoy activities that use my body and my mind.

SUCH: Nice! Those are wonderful hobbies (and very active ones!).

I am currently interviewing a guy who created an Inside-themed escape room simulator. You can play it on Steam here (it's SO fun, and the tiny details he's captured from Bo's masterpiece are astounding...more to come on that game soon haha).

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

CowEye: I would say Welcome to the Internet, White Woman's Instagram, Jeff Bezos [Ed. note: He means Bezos I], and Shit are my favorite songs.

SUCH: All fantastic choices! And based on those titles, I would say Inside is your favorite special (mine too!).

Do you have any upcoming projects currently? New videos in the works?

CowEye: I don't have any inspiration for now. I guess I will keep doing what I've always been doing.

Upload videos of me playing DDR/PIU on my Youtube channel and sometimes make charts when I get inspiration. That's pretty much it.

SUCH: Sounds good!

How can fans best support you? Do you have any social media that you'd like to plug?

CowEye: I guess just try watching my videos, or my Twitch stream and, if you like, subscribe?

You can also check out my YouTube channel.

SUCH: Awesome! Thanks for the info, and thanks again for discussing your incredible DDR videos. Best of luck to you!

CowEye: It's my pleasure!

UPDATE: I'm thrilled to add to this interview that CowEye now has over 1 MILLION subscribers as of 10/12/23.

Congratulations, CowEye—You did it! 🥳

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