Bill Burr’s opening monologue received mixed reactions from “Saturday Night Live” viewers last weekend, but many of the comedian’s fans weren’t surprised when he discussed what viewers deemed controversial topics.
Burr hosted the NBC show for the first time Saturday, cracking jokes about actor Rick Moranis getting “sucker punched,” cancel culture, performative activism from white women and gay pride month.
His comments elicited both positive and negative feedback on Twitter, with some “SNL” fans interpreting his jokes as “insensitive” and “offensive,” while others praising Burr for what he’s known for: blunt humor and social critiques.
The 52-year-old stand-up comedian began his monologue by addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, appreciating those who wore face coverings and joking about those who refuse.
“I like people who wear masks. It’s good,” he said. “And then if you don’t wear a mask, it doesn’t bug me either. Take out your grandparents, you know? Take out your weak cousin with the asthma, I don’t care! There’s too many people, it’s a dream come true.”
But in 2014, he made a similar joke with a “pro-swine flu” stance in his Netflix special, “Bill Burr: I’m Sorry You Feel That Way,” adding that “we need a plague.”
“It’s only gonna kill the weak, you know? Seriously, put on a sweater. Take some vitamins. You’re gonna be fine. You gotta let mother nature do her thing, man.”
Immediately after this joke, he even acknowledged that his provocative style of comedy might not be for everybody.
“People aren’t even, like, asking questions. They just look at you weird. Just like, ‘So you’re just gonna tell jokes? Talk about disease and wish it on people?'”
Another topic from the “SNL” monologue that stirred conversation was his criticism of “complaining” white women who “somehow hijacked the woke movement.”
“‘My life is so hard. My SUV and my heated seats. You have no idea what it’s like to be me,'” Burr jokingly quoted an imaginary woman as saying.
Some viewers were shocked, while others appreciated his stance. But it was typical of Burr’s social commentary. In his 2019 Netflix special, “Paper Tiger,” he sarcastically said he “had no idea how difficult it was to be a white woman in the United States of America. Evidently, it’s really difficult. Did they not chill your rosé? Was the trolley not running down at the mall?”
In another special from 2010, he poked fun at Oprah Winfrey for saying that “being a mother is the most difficult job on the planet,” and instead argued that playing hide and seek as an adult sounds like “living the dream.”
“Oh yeah, all those mothers who die every year form black lung from inhaling all that coal dust… What would you rather be doing, drilling to the center of the earth shaking hands with the devil every time there’s a rumble in the ground… or would you rather be up in the sunshine running around with a couple of toddlers that you can send to bed anytime you want?”
Burr also has been unafraid to get political. While he didn’t address the upcoming presidential election, he compared the 2016 contest to “the first week of American Idol” in “Bill Burr: Walk Your Way Out.”
“You know it’s like ‘really, this is what I got?” he asked the audience, calling Donald Trump “a racist dope” and Hilary Clinton “the devil.”
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