“That Funny Feeling” by Bo Burnham
To some listeners Bo Burnham’s “That Funny Feeling” may seem disjointed, like a bunch of random musings with, considering the vocalist and all, a comedic foundation. But in combining the apparent scatterbrained-ness of it all lies a point underneath. And that would obviously be something like the vocalist being overwhelmed by the plethora of media he is ingesting.
Indeed almost all of the observations that he makes can be, in some way, shape or form, traced back to internet usage. And in this case, we can say that the world wide web is symbolic of popular media at large.
Such is how Bo would be most-expeditiously cognizant of any of the following:
- what “Robert Iger’s face” looks like or that there’s a “live-action Lion King”
- or “the traffic laws in Grand Theft Auto V”
- or that there has been “a mass shooting at the mall”
Female Colonel Sanders
And in addition to these kinds of factual reflections there is also some ideological thrown in, such as the media’s espousement of unisexualization, if you will. This is alluded to via a reference to a “female Colonel Sanders”.
There is only one statement Burnham makes in the verses which reads purely internal. And that is when he apparently points to himself being “full agoraphobic”. That most simply means that he has a very strong aversion to going out in public.
And all lyrics considered, said affliction would also point back to the internet, i.e. his overreliance on pop media instead of actual face-to-face interactions.
On both the internal and external tips, Burnham gives a shoutout to a condition called “derealization”. In the overall context of the song, we can also presume this condition was brought about as the result of consuming too much media.
Or look at it like this – they don’t call it tele-vision for nothing. Taking in all types of different content also means you’re taking in ideas and ‘visions’ from various sources. And yes, we have to logically presume that such can make us, to some degree, lose awareness of our very selves.
And conclusively, we know that Bo Burnham considers the world wide web as being a bit too ubiquitous due to another track, “Welcome to the Internet“, he released concurrently with “That Funny Feeling”.
But it isn’t as if he is criticizing the internet in and of itself as opposed to the sheer plethora of information it tends to bombard users with on a daily basis. And to some people, like the vocalist, this onslaught of media which is part and parcel of living in the modern world could result in them developing “that funny feeling”.
And said “feeling” would be one of not only being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of this content but also much of it being useless or negative in nature.
Burnham has grabbed a sizeable following throughout the years, such as 1,000,000 subscribers on Instagram. However, as of the writing of this post, it would seem that it’s only now, in mid-2021, that Burnham is really making headlines.
And whereas he is primarily a comedian by profession, said headlines are being garnered via his related musical pursuits and more specifically the release of fourth standard album, Inside (The Songs).
Said undertaking is part of an overall project, a Netflix special actually, entitled Bo Burnham: Inside (2021). And it is from said album, which was released on 10 June 2021, that this song is derived.
Inside (The Songs) does not seem to be backed by Netflix. Rather it appears as something that Burnham may have released himself.
Burnham got his start as a YouTube comedian during his mid-teens. Initially his goal was just to create content for his family to enjoy. But being on social media and all, other people got a gander of it also, and he went on to be well-received. In fact as of the writing of this post, his YouTube channel boasts of a commercially-healthy subscriber count of approximately 2,000,000 people.
Even from the onset, Burnham’s comedy was largely musically-based. And as time progressed and he rose in popularity, he began releasing musical-comedy albums, directly under Comedy Central itself, a network upon which he was able to greatly buttress his celebrity. In fact Bo went on to release three full-length albums backed by Comedy Central Records – Bo Burnham (2009), Words Words Words (2010) and What (2013).
The term “derealization” kinda went viral due to Bo Burnham utilizing it in this song.
There was in fact a “female Colonel Sanders”, i.e. the famous KFC icon, introduced to the world in 2018, who was portrayed by country music singer Reba McEntire.