Internet star Bo Burnham is Edinburgh hit

By Steven Brocklehurst
BBC Scotland news website

image captionBo Burnham is the youngest comedian to be nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Awards

You know you are getting older when the comedians are getting younger.

Bo Burnham turned 20 during his run at the Edinburgh Fringe.

He ended a sell-out month with critical acclaim and a nomination for the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards.

Burnham, from Massachusetts in the US, got his first success posting comedy songs on Youtube at the age of 15.

His first was entitled My Whole Family Thinks I'm Gay.

His various "politically incorrect" online offerings have been watched about 60 million times in total.

Although Burnham claims that the internet numbers can be "misleading" about his level of success and fame.

However, there is no denying he has had a good run in Edinburgh, culminating in being the youngest nominee for the top comedy award in its 30-year history.

Burnham said the internet had allowed him to fast-track his development.

"I think because of the internet I was able to study comedy from quite a young age and watch a lot of comedy.

"I think that has sped up the learning process a little bit."

The comedians Burnham watched on the internet all seemed to be Edinburgh favourites.

He cites Tim Minchin, Bill Bailey, Hans Teeuwen, Tim Vine and David O'Doherty as influences.

Burnham said this was why he wanted to perform at the Fringe.

"So many of my heroes got their start here," he said.

"I knew I was going to be a better comic if I came here.

"I thought I had more of a European sense of humour than the average American comic."

Burnham said this his first Edinburgh shows had quite a young audience but as the run progressed it began to fill with a "regular" festival crowd.

He said it was "refreshing to get a older audience".

At 6ft 5in (1.98m) the young American is already a towering figure but the future looks even brighter.

He is waiting to hear if his plans for a "anti-High School musical" with top Hollywood producer Judd Apatow will be made in to a movie.

He also has masses of TV and touring work lined up.

He describes his comedy as "anti-saying something".

"It is nihilism," he said.

"The message is silliness and nothingness."

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