Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why The Bartender From Hall Pass Looks So Familiar

One great aspect of Netflix is that it allows new audiences to find movies they may have overlooked when they first came out. As of recently, that certainly seems to be the case for the 2011 comedy "Hall Pass." The film has quickly entered the platform's Top 10 Movies, with plenty of people likely laughing themselves silly at the antics of Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis. 

Those are just two names out of the extremely long list of funny people who made it into the movie. Some of the familiar faces you'll recognize if you cue up the film next include Jenna Fischer, Stephen Merchant, and the incomparably funny Bo Burnham in one of his first film roles. He's Bo, yo, and he's the greatest rapper ever, and he'll weather your weather whether you think he's clever or not. 

Burnham has enjoyed a bit of a resurgence as of late thanks to his recent Netflix special, "Inside." Audio from the comedy special has blown up on TikTok. It's hard to believe that just 10 short years ago, he had a one-off role in a raunchy R-rated comedy that didn't involve singing. Here's where else you've likely seen him before.

He predicted society's reliance on technology with Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous

Bo Burnham is in a unique position to discuss technology. He became famous thanks to a series of videos he uploaded to YouTube, which would go on to spawn a career in film, TV, and comedy. He knows what it's like to come of age under the microscope of a video camera where you and everyone you know upload your every thought onto the internet. That's what made him the perfect person to co-create and star in the short-lived MTV series "Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous." 

Burnham plays the titular Zach Stone, who goes to increasingly disturbed lengths to kick off a career via social media. While it's insanely funny, even if it went largely unappreciated when it came out, it also proved to be predictive on a "Simpsons"-level scale. One episode sees Zach trying to become a pop sensation, where he realizes that all he has to do is release a short segment of a song rather than a whole song or even an album. It's not dissimilar from what's become of pop music since the rise of TikTok. Leave it to Burnham to have his finger on the pulse of online culture.

Bo Burnham starred in the critically-acclaimed Promising Young Woman

For whatever reason, funny people also seem to excel in dramatic roles, too. Bo Burnham is mainly known for his quick wit and stellar wordplay, but he showed a different side of himself in the 2020 critical darling, "Promising Young Woman." He plays Ryan Cooper, a former classmate of Cassie's (Casey Mulligan), who rekindles their friendship into a romantic outing. Of course, Cassie has trouble balancing her newfound feelings for her new beau as she's hell-bent on a revenge mission to prevent men from hurting women, just like her best friend was hurt so many years ago.

In an interview with Collider, Burnham spoke about how he approached the role in an unusual fashion: "For most of my role, it really was just pleasant rom-com stuff. Like we're just going on a day, we're doing this stuff. So it really was very basic ... I just wanted it to feel real and grounded between Carrie and I, so it just felt like human and safe." It was a successful gambit. At the end of the film, Ryan's revelation was one of the strongest gut-punches audiences could feel out of any 2020 movie.

Bo Burnham welcomed us to the internet with Inside

Bo Burnham has several comedy specials to his name, but none have truly resonated with the zeitgeist in a way that "Inside" did. It was a surprise announcement with a trailer coming out just a few weeks before it was set to come out. When the 90-minute special finally did release, it was unlike anything the comedian had done before. He wrote, directed, and shot the entire thing himself, and he's the only person you'll find throughout its runtime. 

There are certainly plenty of jokes in "Inside," but for the most part, the special's a reflection on the modern human condition and how we interact with one another through online mediums. It was the piece of pandemic entertainment no one realized they needed until it came out, and the internet's been appropriately obsessed with it since it debuted. 

What's your favorite song from "Inside?" "Welcome to the Internet?" "Bezos II?" Seeing how they've all pretty much been turned into memes on TikTok, there's no wrong answer.