top of page
  • Writer's pictureStand-Up Comedy Historian

The History of Bo Burnham Historian

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

Since my conversation with Stucks is now available on his YouTube channel, I thought it would be helpful to provide a basic history of why I had created the Bo Burnham Historian and what led to me switching my focus and becoming the Stand-Up Comedy Historian (or SUCH).



Yes, this is going to be very egotistical and self-indulgent...but I think having it all written down will be a nice companion piece for the interview, which is now up as a Novel Conversations episode with Quentin. I'm number 8 like Bo and Jerrod's first collaboration—how serendipitous!




Let's go!


The Origin


While I have always loved comedy and started attending live stand-up shows since I was in college, I was not able to go to them as frequently when my kids were babies. As my daughter and son grew older and became more independent, I began to realize I was tired of being just a wife and mom and wanted to focus my attention on something else (yes, I am the Chicken from Bo's song lol).



What I had decided on January 1, 2019 was that I would run a parody Twitter account to exercise my writing muscles again. Thus, Rocko's Thoughts was born.



The premise was simple—take whatever nonsense Twitter holiday it was for that day and say you're afraid of it in the manner of the anxious wallaby on Rocko's Modern Life. For example, "National Cheese Day is a very dangerous day."



Each morning in 2019, I would send out a single tweet in this manner. While I'd started with just text, I had soon learned more people were interested if you included a picture or GIF. I also began adding related hashtags while remaining in character the whole time (I followed only one other account—the Australian tourism one).


Please note: My daughter has since deleted some of these tweets and changed the profile picture and username. Here's what the profile pic was before.




I had also used the release of the new Rocko special to help promote my account, even retweeting Carlos Alazraqui's post (I am too shy and would NEVER interact with celebs in real life, but I felt like I could as Rocko).




Thus, I learned how to market my Twitter account and, by the end of 2019, I had amassed a meager following of 23 people.



The most bizarre thing about my Rocko account is that one of my biggest fans was a RWNJ named Terri who is most definitely into Qanon and harassing school boards now. What it was about Rocko I'll never know, but she liked engaging with an account that never replied back...and no, I was NOT following her crazy ass! Haha



On January 1, 2020, I abandoned the entire project and never tweeted again from that account.


At the same time that I was running this parody account, I was going down the rabbit hole of Bo Burnham content.


I had actually first encountered Bo when I saw him as Diz on Kroll Show (I thought he was hot and British) and later as CJ in The Big Sick (I thought he was hot and gay). I did not, however, realize this was the same person for many years!



Then, in 2018, I watched the Wisecrack video about the Philosophy of Bo and how he's deconstructing comedy in his three specials. While the video piqued my interest, I didn't start truly obsessing over Bo until I saw his directorial debut.


I remember first hearing about Eighth Grade from one of my favorite writers, Rich Juzwiak. As a senior writer for Jezebel, Rich had interviewed Elsie Fisher and the other kids in the film, and I remember watching the trailer and being sold at the "It's gonna be LIT" line (so condescending and hysterical!). However, my husband hates indie movies (watching Kumail's film was like pulling teeth with him), so I decided to wait to see it once it was available on a streaming platform.


I finally got a chance to watch Eighth Grade in January because of its massive acclaim during awards season (I found out from Reddit that Amazon had it available for free, so I watched it that night), and I immediately fell in love with Bo's mind and how it works. How could he know and perfectly depict my lonely middle school years as a quiet introvert with no friends? It was astonishing to me that a man could be so in tune with his feminine side, and I needed to see what this YouTube sensation had done prior.


After being amazed by his directorial debut (at the age of 27...so young!), I then went on Netflix and watched Make Happy. [Ed. note: I had never noticed the little Bo on his shirt in this image until a few weeks ago...prelude to the Projection shirt? Haha]



It immediately became my favorite comedy special ever, and I remember thinking this is just like my boys Bret and Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords mixed with the clever wordplay of Demetri Martin. I also recall being floored by the amazing lighting in Can't Handle This...I was like this is true ART.



In short, I was hooked on Bo and could not get enough.


After being blown away by Make Happy, I moved on to what. and then bought Words Words Words digitally so that I could see his full series of comedy specials. I also bought Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous on Amazon and purchased Egghead (both the paperback and audiobook versions).


In June 2019, I took the plunge into more social media and joined Reddit. I absolutely needed to discuss my new favorite comic with someone, and my husband was not nearly as enamored with Bo as I was (he thought Bo was funny and liked Pandering a lot, but he didn't get my obsession).


At this time, I had been reading older interviews with Bo online, and there was one byVox in which Bo says he'd explicitly ripped off Stephen Lynch and FotC on his first album, Bo Fo Sho.



Now, as I'd mentioned previously, I am an ENORMOUS fan of musical comedy (I grew up listening to Weird Al), and I knew both of those acts quite well. For Stephen Lynch's style of singing, I immediately thought Sunday School sounds like his type of music—apparently sincere until he hits you with the misdirection.


Stephen Lynch


Rhys Darby, Jemaine Clement, and Bret McKenzie


But what could be the FotC ripoff? I knew the discography of the Kiwi duo like the back of my hand, having seen them perform most recently in 2016. I'd realized there were two likely options that Bo could be referencing: 3.14 Apple Pi sounds an awful lot like the Hiphopopotomus vs. the Rhymenoceros, and High School Party has the same basic plot as the Most Beautiful Girl (in the Room).


So I posted for the first time in the Bo Burnham subreddit (r/boburnham) about my conundrum. What did Bo fans think of his assessment of his music ripping off Flight of the Conchords? Through this post, I had interacted with a few like-minded individuals and felt at ease being a member there (I'm typically a huge lurker).



As time went on, I became a frequent commenter on the subreddit, offering my opinions on Bo to a small but loyal group of fans. While I didn't get a lot of views or upvotes, everyone in the community was very kind and positive on there and I felt welcomed.


The subreddit was particularly abuzz in 2019 with news of Bo acting in a new film and signing up to write the music for Sesame Street.


All of Bo's tweets once I became a fan prior to Inside


I purposefully read as little as possible about Promising Young Woman and his role, only watching the trailer once so that I would be nearly completely unspoiled when it premiered in April 2020 (because of his glasses, I thought Ryan was Cassie's teacher! Lol). My plan was to go to my local independent movie theater and see it by myself (as I'd said before, my husband hates indie films and had NO interest in watching it with me).




I had also read that Bo had been PERFORMING at the Largo unannounced and had a show planned for around the time of the film's premiere. So exciting, and maybe he'd want to tour again if it went well (fingers crossed)?


That amusing bio had to have been written by Bo, right? Lol


In addition to this fantastic news, I was very optimistic at the start of 2020, having had an incredible time seeing my boy Demetri again in Atlantic City in February.



And then...the funniest thing happened.


The Obsession


With the world essentially shutting down in the middle of March 2020, I had a LOT of time on my hands, and I filled it by consuming everything Bo-related. Any video essay, interview, podcast...I even purchased some knockoff merch from Redbubble and Teepublic since his store was no longer stocked with items.



While I had gotten into Bo's music in 2019 (I distinctly remember humming Channel 5 News at my office and buying a Rubik's cube for my desk at work), the pandemic meant I was working from home for the foreseeable future and could blast Bo's songs while I edited.


It's funny that the only music I could listen to at the time while proofreading was classical and Bo. So I listened to his albums every day while working in addition to watching his specials every couple of weeks. I also had tried to recruit more fans, but my husband's best friend had no interest in watching Make Happy, and I did not have friends of my own to ask.


During my free time, I'd devoted many hours to watching interviews and podcast episodes from when he was promoting Eighth Grade. While I had fallen for Bo when he was decidedly AGAINST social media, I quickly realized he had been incredibly active the year before and would likely never be as popular again (I know, I know...I was naïve!).


Nevertheless, I had absorbed all of Bo's lessons on performing online and decided to start cutting down significantly on my own use of social media. Another component to that decision was watching The Social Dilemma and realizing those supposedly "helpful" notifications weren't even used by their creators and were just exacerbating my anxiety.



So by this time, I was starting to widdle down my apps, beginning with Facebook in 2020, which I was barely using anymore. I had also stopped posting as many photos of my kids on Instagram and eventually dumped that app altogether in August 2021 along with WhatsApp.


Then there was Twitter. I'd rarely tweeted to begin with, but now I was following all of these Bo Burnham fan accounts (and the man himself, obviously), so anyone following me was getting a deluge of Bo content—and it was only going to get worse haha.


This all came to a head in April 2021, when Bo was simultaneously featured at the Academy Awards (he didn't attend but there was a clip from the film that aired...the coffee cup scene!) and later that week announced that he'd have a new special out soon.



First, he had posted a cryptic image the next day on his Instagram (which I still followed at the time). The picture of a door slightly ajar had all of the fandom racing to espouse their theories on what it could possibly signify, and I was hopeful it meant he was coming back to comedy.



Two days later, he tweeted a message for the first time since 2019 that included a short trailer and a note that he had a new special about quarantine that would be out soon.


The fandom was EXPLODING with the news, and we all had our theories on what this would entail (also...Bo has long hair and a BEARD now? Surely that must be a joke too!).



I watched the trailer every single day, eagerly anticipating a BRAND-NEW Bo special. With the pandemic seemingly behind us since Biden had won and people were beginning to get vaccinated (I had gotten my J&J COVID-19 shot in March that year), there was optimism in the air and it made sense to look back on the insanity of 2020.


On May 30th, my husband helpfully woke me up at 4 a.m. to watch Inside, which had premiered an hour earlier on the East coast. I remember being absolutely enthralled by the first half and stunned by the second half (I seriously thought he was going to cut himself with that knife...thanks for the suicide warning, Netflix!).



The line during the get your hands up song (there were no titles for the music at that point, so we had to guess) about Bo considering performing again KILLED me, and I remember finishing the special and then immediately watching it again. It was so entertaining and fun and brilliant that I simply could not get enough. Every song was delightful (I particularly loved Socko, who seemed like a character out of Wonder Showzen, and everything about Welcome to the Internet), and Bo was railing on social media and online performativity yet again to delightful effect (the floor scene).



I remember my first BIG belly laugh was during the Social Brand Consultant bit (particularly the JPMorgan line).



I have worked in marketing since 2017, so I know advertising-speak VERY well and have seen items worded in exactly the same way as how Bo's character says them (No joke—I have legitimately read proposals that said "to effect positive social change" about national brands!).


Anyway, Inside instantly became my new favorite comedy special—I watched it every night for months—and I wanted to explore everything about it. Bo's masterpiece was so impressive (how the hell did he create that on his own?) and, like a dense novel, I wanted to dissect and analyze every single hidden joke, Easter egg, and song lyric.



I had decided early on as well that I would be documenting anything I saw about the special. Every award, positive tweet, trending topic, ranking, etc., I would screenshot for posterity because this felt monumental.


The world was finally waking up to the genius of Bo Burnham, and I was taking notes.


Items from the first few weeks, including my tweet, Bo trending at no. 5 at 7:23 AM on the day the special premiered, and Inside being in the Top Ten on Netflix on June 8, 2021


My first deep-dive thread was on my private account and was about Bo's clothes that he had repurposed in Inside.


This idea was based on a Reddit post I had seen where someone had pointed out that Bo is wearing the same green striped shirt in White Woman's Instagram that he wore to the San Francisco Film Festival in 2018. This comparison immediately piqued my interest, and I went about seeing if I could find any other examples.


I came up with a handful of reused clothes, so I sent them in a chat to my good friend and fellow Bo enthusiast Kinja. We had met in July 2021 at the screening of Inside at the Ritz in Philly and had become fast friends.


Kinja and me meeting on Reddit and posing in front of the "BO BURNHAM" sign at the screening


Kinja thought the photos were interesting, but I'd realized I wanted to share my discovery with more people. Rather than post on Reddit (which is not great for side-by-side comparisons), I had decided to post about the repurposed clothes on Twitter in October 2021.


This was the start of everything.



My one tweet had amassed over 100 likes in less than a month, which was a huge jump from the typical 1-2 likes on my posts.


Fun fact: my good friend Nicole actually commented on the post before I had met her in person in February 2022!


Nicole meeting Kinja and me at the Rothaniel taping and with her Bo painting


With the success of that first deep dive, I'd decided to add on some examples of Bo's favorite gray hoodie that he's had since Words Words Words and that appears throughout his career.



That addition also did well, so now I was focused on writing more deep dives, including on the disco ball (my favorite!), his sunglasses, Bo's jewelry in his works, and finally the instruments he's played.


I had a great deal of fun penning these Twitter threads, and I began to gain some followers on my private account.


But I could tell my family, particularly my husband, was getting irritated that I was mixing my kids' photos with Bo fandom stuff, so I made the decision to start a brand-new, completely separate fan account.


The Account


With Bo's explosion in popularity after Inside, I had created a fan account to tweet about him whenever I wanted: thus, the Bo Burnham Historian was born on March 6, 2022.


I had started out my time as BBH by just correcting errors about Bo on social media and providing links for people discussing his songs. My concept of the historian persona was someone who is a know-it-all and wants to show off how knowledgeable they are at every opportunity.


This is definitely based on my own personality (I'm a grammar Nazi who loves to correct people's mistakes and my job is to find errors in ads), but I ramped it up to insufferable, thinking it would be funnier.


A pretty useless mask I bought early on in 2020, but the sentiment is perfect for me


What I found, however, is that people were NOT interested in being corrected online and actually got somewhat irritated about it, so I dropped that aspect and just focused on analysis and deep dives.


For the name of the account itself, I decided on using a moniker given to me by Kinja. In my deep-dive thread about Bo's glasses and sunglasses in Inside, Kinja had replied with "Bo historian," which I loved and quickly adopted as my official title.



With my fan account, I got my first taste of fame on Twitter. Having an official-sounding name and complete anonymity led to people addressing me as an authority figure, which was SO much fun!



The serendipitous meeting of Andrew Garfield and Bo at the DGAs on March 12 was a huge deal online, and I spent many days explaining their height difference to anyone asking how tall IS Bo anyway. Plus, I had come up with a killer comparison tweet about Andrew saying he'd like to hang out with Bo haha.



And the last week of March was very special for me because I had written my first weekly theme about Jerrod Carmichael to celebrate the one-two punch of his special premiering on 4/1 and his first time hosting SNL on 4/2.




After Jerrod was so memorable on SNL, I remember jumping on a growing tweet about his fantastic monologue and posting my primer for people who wanted to find out more about the rising comedian.



All in all, the theme was a really fun experiment on writing about someone who isn't Bo (Jerrod is clearly Bo-adjacent though), I had gained lots of new followers who became interested in Jerrod after seeing Rothaniel, and it felt like my account was really beginning to take off.


Jerrod in Bo's Faces merch


The combination of my new historian persona plus the success of Jerrod Carmichael Week helped to solidify my growing presence as an authority figure on all things Bo Burnham. I quickly became friendly with the other folks on botwt (Bo-focused Twitter), even inviting a person I had met online to my house to watch the Grammys.


Everything was going great and, by the end of the month, I had over 200 followers.



I also had my most successful tweet ever about Bo being halfway to an EGOT!



Then the fallout began.


You can read about it here, but essentially what happened is that I was condemned by botwt for saying Ryan Cooper didn't rape anyone and I wouldn't kick him out of bed. They had claimed I was a rape apologist (um...no) and that I support sexual assault if I find Ryan to be attractive (I mean...it's Bo in his prime in my opinion. I'm going to find him hot). They made me remove my post (which I did) and then explicitly told people to unfollow me because I support rape.



This was the lowest point in my time as a Bo fan. I felt betrayed by everyone and had decided I wasn't going to post anymore. However, a very kind woman named Alexandra messaged me privately and gave me the courage to fight against these trolls who were shutting me down due to their own immaturity and insecurities.



I later learned that these trolls were harassing another Bo fan on Twitter for a similar "crime."



What I found out after this traumatic experience is that the public really didn't seem to care outside of botwt. I lost about 15 followers from that earlier interaction, and I quickly gained more once I'd admitted to myself that these cyberbullies were NOT going to take away everything I'd worked hard for over the past month.


At this point, however, I started to consider getting off of Twitter entirely and putting all of my long deep-dive posts that I'd penned in a new location—my very own website.


The Website


Starting in late April, I began discussing with my husband the idea of building my own fan site to house all of my writing. He was keen on the idea (he knew how toxic Twitter had been for me with the whole Ryan Cooper thing), so I decided to buy the web domain boburnhamhistorian.com (this is now available again if anyone wants it!) and create a brand-new website through Wix.


I had only ever managed one fan site in my life prior to this: my "Now or Never" Duncan Sheik Tripod website that I had set up in high school circa 2000. I had even quoted him AND included the URL in my yearbook entry (so lame)!


Thanks for preserving my teenage stupidity, the Wayback Machine!


I had also learned how to use CMS and basic HTML for a variety of jobs, including while proofreading an online newspaper called the Broad Street Review (you can see my old bio and the three pop culture articles I'd written about BoJack Horseman, Orange Is the New Black, and Mr. Robot here) and posting articles on Huff Post, Inc, and Forbes for a local small-business journalist.


Anyway, after getting a good, memorable URL secured, I started copying and pasting my old Twitter threads so that they would be new articles on my site. The process was a bit tedious, but I devoted every weekend in May to building up as many posts as possible before launching on the 30th, the one-year anniversary of Inside.


At the same time I was setting up my website, I'd happened to come across a YouTube spoof of Bo's special that was mind-blowingly amazing. I remember watching Still Inside and having so many questions about how it was made and what inspired the content creator to make a shot-for-shot parody with original songs.


When I had noticed that Sean Himmelberg himself had posted about it on the Bo subreddit, I knew I would have an easy means to reach out to him and see if I could set up an email interview.



I had been interested in journalism in high school, but after a discouraging internship at a local paper, I gave up entirely and just focused on publishing. The aspect that I had found most difficult about being a journalist was having to talk to people in person—I'm very shy and awkward around groups, and I am not good at extemporaneous speaking.


I am, however, adept at writing down compelling questions, so when I realized after interacting with Jesse David Fox about the Rothaniel taping that journalists today are able to do everything via email (not a real option in 2001), I came to the conclusion that an email interview would work well with my strengths as a writer.


I also came up with a system of interviewing that is useful for both parties:


  1. Email a list of questions to the creator being interviewed.

  2. After getting back their replies, format the interview properly on Wix. I try to incorporate transitions and write an introduction at this time as well as add pictures that will work with the subject matter. If the creator sends me more than just a pic to use as the thumbnail on my site, then include those photos too.

  3. Next, send the text-only version of the interview via email to the creator for their input. I'm a copy editor, so I'm used to editing text, correcting errors, and rewording items to make them easier to read. At this point, I ask the person I'm interviewing if they want me to make any changes or if anything I wrote is inaccurate so that I can fix it before publication.

  4. Once everything looks good and is satisfactory for both of us, give them the date the interview will be published (usually on the weekend for maximum views).

  5. Finally, let them know the interview has been published and provide a link so that they can share it on social media or with friends and family.


So that's my process that I had initially established with Sean and have refined over the past year.


On May 30, 2022, I officially launched my website, complete with an interview with Sean and lots of posts on Twitter about the brilliance of Still Inside. I was also very lucky to have Kinja over that night to watch Inside together since we were able to view and record our first reactions to The Inside Outtakes (so much fun!). This brand-new content from Bo gave me LOTS to write about, so it was helpful in that respect as well as having some of my favorite new songs (I love The Future, Microwave Popcorn, and I am basically the Chicken in real life haha).


Even Bo knew I needed new content to analyze apparently haha


I really wanted my website to act as a repository for ALL of the amazing art Bo has helped bring into the world, and I've since spoken to artists, writers, YouTubers, and even Rothaniel audience members. I also wrote some song parodies (my friend Kiki covered my one about turning 40!) and attended a few comedy shows.


I had a blip in my Twitter coverage, however, when I opened up the app on June 8 and found out my account was inaccessible!



While I was really irritated at first (my bio said it's a fan account and that I have no affiliation with Bo), I quickly decided to add "Unofficial" to my profile name so I could get back my account.


The name change worked, and UBBH was born. I was nervous, however, that my website and my Twitter account no longer matched exactly and my great moniker was losing its perspicacity (haha).


My next exciting venture was my new series, Bo and his comedic heroes. I had been reading about which comics share Bo's interests, and I'd stumbled across this 2010 Facebook note he'd posted that provided a short blurb and video clip of each influential comedian, 12 in total. This seemed like a wonderful jumping-off point to write about how each comic affected Bo and, for the younger ones, vice versa (especially after almost universal rave reviews poured in from the comedy community for Inside!). I began with George Carlin and Steve Martin, and then I'd decided to analyze two female comedians Bo loves to even things out genderwise and finish the month.


The most significant moment in my time with the UBBH account occurred in late July. After seeing Maria Bamford perform to a packed comedy club in Philly on July 21st, I had written about my experience at the end of my Bo and Maria deep dive—and she LIKED my post! 💗



I was riding high, and more people were following me by the day. In fact, at the height of my popularity in November of 2022, I had 700 followers! 🤯



However, the looming threat of Elon Musk taking over and my growing disdain for Twitter in general led me to rethink everything. Ever since Musk had gained more stake in Twitter, eventually buying the damn thing outright, I had little hope of the site returning to its former glory and began to plan my departure.



I'd grown disillusioned by how vitriolic people were online (I'd read multiple death threats to Bo each day as well as people erroneously claiming he is antisemetic and racist), and I'd decided to get off of that social media platform immediately after Musk allowed Trump back on in November.


When I mentioned that I was planning to delete my Twitter account, I got some really nice replies, like this one from Felix.



After officially leaving Twitter on November 26—the one-year anniversary of Bo uploading That Funny Feeling—I did get some messages that people missed me on there. In particular, Katie, a nurse and Bo fan who had followed my account for many months, wrote a very sweet note that my good friend Jenkins had sent along to me.



What I had decided to do instead was create a BBH account and build up my list of followers on both Mastodon and Tumblr. The former was the anti-Twitter that many were flocking to (I've since abandoned it), and I only knew about the latter site because Bo had a blog on there while promoting Egghead and Zach Stone. However, Jenkins told me it was easy to use and helped me set up a new account.



I was starting from scratch, yet again, but I began my time on Tumblr following anyone who had liked or mentioned Bo in their posts (except for the botwt fans). Once those accounts were set up properly, I was ready to rebuild my audience by posting my sporadic thoughts and deep-dive articles like my popular Bo Burnham primer. I found that I really enjoyed the community on Tumblr (less arguing and more fun than the bird app!) and ended up creating 4 accounts on there in total.


Despite the shift from Twitter to Tumblr, I came to realize that I was also beginning to struggle to connect everything I wanted to write about with Bo. Sometimes I just felt like posting about another comedian I like, but I felt beholden to focus solely on Bo...how could his historian lose interest in the person to whom they've devoted their studies?


While I did pen a few more deep dives—including ones about Jerrod and his clothing choices and the release of Inside Deluxe—and conducted many more interviews, I was feeling stifled as a writer and having trouble coming up with exciting topics related to Bo.


It was time for a change.


The Switch to SUCH


The largest impetus to me dropping Bo Burnham Historian as my identity was the final show of Kate.


When tickets for the winter encore were announced in the late fall, I'd jumped on the opportunity and ordered two front row seats for the last night of the play. I had already seen it twice (9/3 and 10/4), but it's an incredible experience and Kate's such a wonderful performer that I knew it would be great fun to watch again.


Plus, I had recalled Bo taking LOTS of photos with fans on October 8, the final night of the first run. I felt like this could be my chance to fix my awkward mistake at Rothaniel and let him know how thankful I am for his amazing creations.


I had even written up what I had planned to say to Bo if I got another chance to meet him in person, but so far I had struck out twice (he had raced out both times after the performances in September and October sigh). This was my last and best chance to meet Bo and say something...anything...to the man I'd devoted all of my free time to for the past three years.


However, nothing worked out the way I had meticulously planned. Jenkins' father was ill and in the hospital, so they couldn't attend with me. Kinja had stepped in to use the train ticket and show ticket, which was a great help, and we stayed at Nicole's apartment so I didn't have to pay for a hotel. Another positive was that I did get to chat with Kate herself on February 10 (SHE had stayed after to see her fans, unlike Bo who had disappeared immediately again after we saw him talking to someone near the stage before the show).


Anyway, while I had a wonderful experience—and Kate even kindly signed my program!—I couldn't shake my growing disappointment.


Jessica Thank you! 💗 Kate Berlant


I had spent that whole weekend distraught over missing Bo for a third time, and I started really considering WHY I was doing any of this. Had I thought being his historian would get me an in and he'd be appreciative of my hard work? That was just delusional and parasocial, and I know Bo doesn't owe me anything.


But when looking back over my time as BBH, I began to realize that of all the comedy shows I had attended in the past year, my best experiences in terms of interaction were most definitely with female comics. I was able to tell both Maria and Kate in person how much I've enjoyed their works, and I came to realize none of the male comedians I had seen had reached out to fans in that same manner.


Why was I wasting all of this time (and money!) focusing on Bo when these two women provided more fulfilling interactions than any of the four times I'd seen him in person? Again, I know Bo does not owe me, but you would think he'd realize so much of the audience that night was made up of HIS fans (including all of botwt...which definitely made me nervous as well). I was hoping for a group pic at the very least since it was the largest gathering of die-hard Bo fans ever, but I was left thoroughly disappointed (especially when I found out he had chatted with people I know from the online fandom the DAY before ugh).


All in all, by February 13, I'd made the decision to assume a new moniker that better describes my interests: the Stand-Up Comedy Historian or SUCH.


This name gave me a lot more freedom to write and analyze things that were NOT related to Bo, and I spent most of that month conceiving my next project and diving into the world of Childish Gambino's Because the Internet (something I had wanted to do for a long time, but felt like I had to focus solely on Bo and his music. Yes, I know this is illogical, but it's just how my brain works).


Anyway, while I had a new concept in mind, I quickly realized I'd have to maintain my BBH moniker until the end of the month. I was in the middle of a Fanart February theme, so I thought it made sense to hold off on switching over to SUCH until my new interview with DDR master CowEye came out on March 1.


During this time, I had set up a secondary Tumblr account and began researching how to change my domain name (I was NOT interested in BBH anymore and wanted to expand my interests to include many more of my favorite comics).



In addition to my new account, I was building and retooling my website to meet my changing needs. First, I secured the URL standupcomedyhistorian.com and transferred all of the BBH content to that new site. I also had to create some new categories (e.g., break up comics by name instead of as "Bo's Influences") and recategorize every item about Bo so that one could still access all of those posts if desired—I'd promised people I wasn't going to just blow up my work like I've done in the past.


Second, I had reached out to two very talented artists that I had previously interviewed about making an official SUCH header for me. I had actually planned to do a Bo eras header initially in a manner similar to the photo of 3 eras of George Carlin. The idea was Bo's early years (pic of Bo in his Towelie shirt), Ryan Cooper (a nod to my trolls lol), and finally TFF Bo.



However, with the switch to SUCH, I had determined it was best for all of us to change tack and start completely from scratch.


Both Kat (Lomleyo) and Renn (PharLap Cartoonist) had expressed interest in the commissioned project, but I had come to realize each had their specific strengths and it made more sense to have Kat work on a logo since she was developing carpal tunnel and couldn't draw a ton without being in pain.


Plus, Renn already had plenty of experience making large Tumblr headers.


Renn's amazing header for Pseudonympls and her fanfiction


So you might be asking yourself the following: why was I so set on commissioning a new header and logo that would be expressly mine and no one else's? Simple answer: because I had been stealing Bo photos for the past year.


It's true! First I had grabbed an image of Bo at a piano from the 2013 photoshoot with Tim Gray as my Twitter profile pic and then a screenshot of Bo with the disco ball after The Inside Outtakes had premiered. On my site, I had a large photo of Bo from that same photoshoot (see the thumbnail above) as well as Bo smiling at Socko. For my Tumblr, I'd used the same disco ball screenshot plus a large billboard advertising Inside, and my SUCH one had a photo of Jerrod's set for Rothaniel (taken by Nicole) as well as a Bitmoji of me in my outfit from the taping with a sign saying "Is this thing on?".


Because of the sketchy legality of swiping people's photos for my own use, I was wracked with guilt that I would get into trouble. From this realization, I had decided my best course of action would be to have my very own artwork that I can use however I want with no strings attached.


As such, I had Renn design my new header that features my favorite comedians, including my top 5, Jerrod, Maria, Kate, Garfunkel and Oates, George Carlin, Steve Martin, and Donald Glover. She first sent me black-and-white sketches and then she colored them in and added her own touches like the flowers and a disco ball (which I had asked for her specifically to draw, knowing how talented of an artist she is).


Renn was even able to keep my controversial favorite Ryan Cooper in the mix!



And for the logo, Kat sent me a bunch of options, but I fell hard for the glasses one.


We had decided the image should be similar in looks to the logos on sites like Grammar Girl—a mix of academic but fun and inviting.



The final result definitely looks like me (long brown hair, a smile with my mouth closed, my blue sweater from Rothaniel and my standard comedy show jewelry since 2020—black heart necklace and hoop earrings). I appear to be scholarly and knowledgeable, but my smirk shows it's all in good fun.


My black heart necklace

My silver hoop earrings


My new header and site redesign went live on May 30, two years after the premiere of Bo's masterpiece and the one-year anniversary of my original fan website and the Outtakes. I had already started using the logo by then for my fourth Tumblr account (the third was a testing blog and this was a brand-new primary blog), which I officially had launched earlier that month. My website and social media were finally aligned again!


From that point on, I left BBH in the dust and fully embraced my new name and look.


While my view counts on Tumblr and my website have never reached the heights of my peak Twitter days, I feel much more fulfilled writing long-form content that will hopefully help future comedy scholars better understand the massive influence Bo (Inside), Jerrod (Rothaniel), and Kate (Cinnamon in the Wind) among many others have had on modern stand-up comedy.


Plus the whole Phoebe/Bo timeline racked up some crazy impressive numbers, which has been utterly insane for me.


Thanks, Keith Urban, for being oblivious and sending my post to the stratosphere!



And thank you, dear reader, for learning the full story of BBH, and stay tuned for more fun with me, the Stand-Up Comedy Historian! ✌🏼

Recent Posts

See All

Commentaires


bottom of page