During our chat, Burr made it abundantly clear that there will be a full hour of new material under the tent this Sunday in Newport. "To me, repeating the same material someone saw you do on TV is the kiss of death," he said. "I take a lot of pride in what I do and I take this very seriously, so it wouldn't be fair to people who come out and pay to see me perform.
"You gotta give people their money's worth," he continued, "and that's how you build a following."
Burr's Monday MorningPodcast is a weekly treat as he basically runs through his bullet-point notes, answers emailed questions, and hosts occasional appearances from friends like Paul Virzi and Dom Irrera. A couple of choice rants: " 'Shout At the Devil'? A fucking five-year-old could write that on a xylophone!" "Remember Blackie Lawless throwing raw meat into the crowd? That Lady Gaga covering her clam with fucking pastrami — it's like, 'Ehhhh, it's been done already!' " But the email segment is the star of the show. One of the best came recently when Burr, an admitted conspiracy theorist, tackled a fan's "Pick One" — banging the smoking-hot chick of his choice or receiving documented proof of a major government coverup.
His relationship advice is impassioned and priceless; I had to ask if he has felt the wrath of the laaadies! (as he often yells in a daffy Jerry Lewis impersonation).
"Five minutes in and most women can usually see right through my bullshit," he said laughing. "You know, deep down inside I'm like every other guy — a little boy who needs a really big hug!"
Fast approaching his mid-40s, Burr was genuinely reflective of his recent major-league achievements, which led to bringing up close friend and fellow comedian Patrice O'Neal, who recently passed away after suffering a stroke. "It's just crazy to think that the day I met him all those years ago, that he was already halfway through his life," he said, followed by a long pause. "I just . . . I appreciate every day that I have. Life is a blessing, man."
Burr requested that we give O'Neal's final (and outstanding) album a plug ($9.99 at patriceoneal.com). "The proceeds go to helping out his mother," Burr said.
Here are a few more quality, off-the-cuff gems from Burr from our conversation. Prepare for some serious laffs in Newport.
YOU'RE A DIEHARD NEW ENGLAND SPORTS GUY. ANY THOUGHTS ON THE SOX BEING IN LAST PLACE? Yeah, how about we go back to boring teams with no superstars winning championships? Let's lose the pink Sox hats and the mascot and all that silly shit. But I feel good about the Pats this year — Coach Bill will have that defense ready to play!
WERE YOU NERVOUS WORKING WITH PACINO AND WALKEN? It's the same feeling you get just like the first time you walk onstage to perform, like, "Why would I put myself through this?" But you gotta learn how to take that fear and detach yourself from it. But both of those guys were so goddamn nice. Walken is hilarious and Pacino is the warmest guy. It's not even a bucket list thing, it's fucking surreal.
I WOULD IMAGINE THE SAME APPLIES TOBREAKING BAD? I've been a fan of that show since Day One. I'm such a fan that I don't know what happens this season, and I don't want to know. I would stay and watch scenes being filmed just to learn and get better at my craft.
BILL BURR | Sunday, July 15 @ 7:30 pm | Newport Yachting Center, 4 Commercial Wharf | $32.50 | 800.745.3000 | newportcomedy.com