In his spare time, Burr plays the drums. He enjoys heavy metal music and is a fan of AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Pantera, Slayer, Iron Maiden, and Meshuggah. Burr cites the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham and Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo as his inspi...
He is a licensed helicopter pilot and enjoys smoking cigars.
Favorite pre-comedy job
He worked in warehouses before starting his comedy career, later stating that he enjoyed the freedom of the job: "If my boss gave me a rough time, I could just get on a forklift and just, like, drive away."
In the pilot when Bill is up in the tree and the big kids are throwing stuff at him. That happened to me and my best friend, minus the fireworks. We were hanging on and crying. That was just such a regular day back then. No supervision, no cameras, didn't even dawn on me to tell my mom what happened. There's also a scene when Kevin sneaks out of the house w/ his amp and guitar, and he falls on his face to save his gear. That was my friend Dave Kushner, it happened to him. He does all the music for F is for Family. He was the rhythm guitarist for Velvet Revolver, I can't believe I even know the guy! He landed face first and knocked all his teeth out. The next morning he drank a 40 through a s...
I always loved stand up but didn't think it was possible. Hollywood seemed a zillion miles away. It wasn't until I was working at a warehouse and I met a guy who was on my level in stand up, we used to go out drinking and get a buzz going and watch stand up in the clubs together. He said to me one night, "Bill we're funnier than a lot of these guys." And he said one day he'd take a shot of Jack and get up on the stage and do it. And I thought if he could do that, I could too. I was emotionally beat down in my life at that point and just couldn't imagine it. But thank god he said that. I went after it and learned to speak up, instead of keeping quiet.
Get as much help as you possibly can. Relatives, a night nurse, anything you can afford. Doing it yourself is hard on everyone. Every other country seems to do it. You don't have to do it just the two of you. You're gonna be fine. Your natural instinct will kick in. Be selective in listening to other parents, don't listen to the negative ones, doom and gloom. It's a little rough the first three months but all worth it. Your kid will be a jerk if you let your kid be a jerk. It doesn't have to be as hard as all the assholes say it will.
I think moving to LA was huge for my career. For those young people, eventually you go to either NY or LA. Listen to your gut. If you're in NY and think it's where you should be, you should be there. Don't believe the crap about NY. LA isn't full of plastic or phony people. I've met some of the best people in LA. If you hang in and work your ass off, you'll one day pick your head up and have made progress.
It was incredible. I have a movie coming out called The King of Staten Island. Steve plays my superior in a fire house. He was such a nice guy. We were trying to be respectful but eventually asked him a ton of questions about Reservoir Dogs. He's just one of those guys that can raise half an eyebrow and steal the whole scene. I've seen everything he's ever done. He's had one of the greatest careers in Hollywood. Amount of work and level of quality.
All time, Richard Pryor. That would be because he introduced me to a level of performance that was unlike anything I had seen or heard before. Specifically his albums. His voices and stories blew my mind. When I think about his bits, I think about his characters because I know what they all look like in my head. Because of him, whenever an artist like that comes along, I gravitate towards it. When Biggie Smalls's first album came out, I remember I felt like his music was like movies. There's a through-line to that level of genius in sports, movies, everything.
Too many to list. Just depends on what part of my life. When I was a kid it was war movies and westerns. Clint Eastwood. Was a big Lee Marvin fan. In the modern era, post-Goodfellas, I would say No Country For Old Men. I think that's a perfect movie and I was not confused by the ending. I think Javier Bardem's character was a ghost, he was chasing the past. "You never saw me..."
I like a milder cheese. You go deeper into the woods it becomes obnoxious. Like if cheese was a person it'd be a hipster. Avoid that cheese. Recently, the Cadillac! the king cheese! is parm or shredded mozzarella. It that cheese was a person it'd be like a good shit and it'd help you pack boxes and move.
The US had a huge head start and we have all these cultures in our cities thrown together. There's something about that. And the whole way this country was built. People have a romanticized version or the horrific truth of it. We're sort of like Poltergeist the country.
It's been a priceless experience with the people I've met in the writer's room, and that I learned how to write a script. It's just great to finally have something where I can actually write the lines. As you work your way up, you think to yourself (or lie to yourself) that you could write it better. And now I get to do that. It's been great.
Billy Joe Dupree. Preston Pearson. Robert Newhouse. I liked all of those guys. I also liked the Cardiac Kids. I liked the New England Patriots growing up. Running back that wasn't on my team was Earl Campbell.
Man, an easier question is what city don't you like. I love em all. I like to perform in what people label B and C cities. I like to go to places I've never been before. Meet locals, find out good spots to eat, what people like to do. Seattle, Vancouver, Portland are all great. Been trying to do a gig in Eureka, CA. I love the south. Texas. East coast is where I'm from. Midwest. Montana was amazing. Old cars in people's back yards. I saw a couple of cab over engine trucks. But it's all great. I love it all.
Confession of an Economic Hitman
Kicking Through the Ashes
Feed The Beast
The Chitlin' Circuit
Callus On My Soul
Cheat: A Man's Guide to Infidelity
Among the Thugs
The Count of Monte Cristo
Sweet Child of Mine: How I Lost My Son to Guns N' Roses
My Appetite for Destruction: Sex & Drugs & Guns N' Roses
Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN
Becoming Richard Pryor
Flag of Our Fathers
I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of getting out of my comfort zone. I think that’s what you should do. I understand the temptation if you’re an alternative comic to just do alternative rooms. Or if you were a club comic to just do club rooms. Or if you’re a white comic just to do white rooms. It’s because bombing is so humiliating that you want to avoid it. But humiliation is where the growth is. This is also like why I enjoy drinking and I don’t like pot. I feel like with drinking you have to earn it. You gotta get those drinks down.
I would let that bad feeling drag me down to the bottom of the lake and I’d lay down there. The only thing that would pull me out of it would be getting a new chunk of material. And to get a new chunk of material you have to go out into the world. But when you’re in that funk you don’t want to go out and then you get writer’s block. When I was younger I even used to think all that clichéd sad-clown shit. Now I don’t want to fucking be that guy. I want to be the happy guy, which believe it or not, I am.
People say, “You’re going to get married, and you’re going to have a kid, and then you’re going to be happy and you’re not going to have any material.” I’ve been telling guys that what really happens is, once you get that happiness there’s this whole new fear that you’re going to lose it. Stephen King cannot fuck with the things that you think could happen to your kids. I’ve learned how to deal with those thoughts, and I know the tricks to get me out of depression: playing drums, working out, playing with my daughter, trying something new.
...About ten years ago when the bankers tanked the economy I was living here in L.A., and I started thinking, What if the whole economy collapsed and this city went crazy. How would I get out of here? You can’t get out of this city even when it works. Up and out was the only way. So I learned how to fly a helicopter. Now of course I know how to fly one, but I don’t own one.
But you took the first step. I did. I took a major step. But the funny thing is when you watch those zombie movies and they start a helicopter up and they fly away — that’s not how a helicopter works. At least the ones I fly. There’s a whole process of starting the fucking thing up. Those zombies are going to be eating y...
But I also had this thing where, when I was growing up, I got picked on a lot and I also beat some kids up. [Laughs.] I had a nice balance. I also felt like a freak because of how I looked. And I thought that if I became a comedian, people would see me on stage and go, “Oh, he’s a great, funny guy,” and then everyone would stop fucking with me. I thought that becoming a comic was going to fix these other problems. Of course, it didn’t. I just believed that it would for 15 years.