Named by Rolling Stone as “the undisputed heavyweight champ of rage-fueled humor,” Bill Burr has parlayed his many frustrations with everyday life into a career as one of the top comics in America today. Standing up to a world gone mad with political correctness, he has proudly laid claim to being “the dude, bro guy” who loudly admits his cynicism toward the world around him, and become regarded as one of the main heirs to the style of comedic righteous indignation pioneered by George Carlin and Richard Pryor.
One sure sign of his explosive rise is the fact that just two years after headlining shows at Pasadena’s Ice House comedy club, Burr is making the leap on Saturday night to performing at the 3,000-seat Pasadena Civic Auditorium. Building off his wildly successful “Monday Morning Podcast,” in which he delivers an hour-long dose of outrage for the week, as well as his five Netflix specials and the Netflix animated series “F Is For Family,” he should draw a packed house of devoted disciples.
A 50-year-old Massachusetts native, Burr studied radio at Emerson College in Boston, which has also produced numerous other comedy stars, including Jay Leno, Denis Leary and Dane Cook. He developed his working-class attitude from a string of blue-collar day jobs at the start of his comedy career, including work as a forklift operator in a warehouse. He quickly became admired among many other comedy stars for his unbelievably direct aim at all manner of societal targets, and after making the rounds of podcasts with superstars, including Adam Carolla, Marc Maron and Joe Rogan, he decided to take control of the medium and launched the “All Things Comedy” podcast network with Al Madrigal. Home to 67 podcasts from 93 comedians, ATC began as a podcast network but is continually growing to include all forms of content, including videos, comedy specials and records.
Burr has also been slowly but surely growing a reputation as a terrific comedic actor as well, playing a key role in the Kevin Costner drama “Black and White” while also recurring as Patrick Kuby in two seasons of “Breaking Bad,” and one of the Miami Herald reporters who brought down 1988 Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart in last fall’s film “The Front Runner.”
His passion remains firmly rooted in performing standup, however. Despite his onstage vitriol, his personal life has become much happier via his marriage to producer, director and screenwriter Nia Hill and becoming a father two years ago to his daughter, Lola.
“There’s a lot of drama in my life. If you’re a comedian, everything you do all day is silly, but comedians make everything dramatic in their life funny. Believe me,” Burr says. “I fail a lot in my personal life, and then I talk about it. Or certain things bug me. I don’t like this about myself, but I’m very easily agitated and I have a temper which is something I’m working on. It’s great for my comedy, but not in any other area of my life.“
Bill Burr performs at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena. Tickets are $50. Visit ticketmaster.com.