Published Jun 29, 2016Exclaim! is reviewing every standup comedy special currently available on Netflix Canada, including this one. You can find a complete list of reviews so far here.
Released in 2010, Let It Go captures a more benign version of Bill Burr: angry as usual, but too young to attempt his now-trademark contrarian forays into touchy subjects like racism and hitting women. Packed with rants that are as fiery as his youthful red hair, as well as a few moments of contemplation, Burr's Let It Go is a passionate special that delivers as many laughs as his recent material, just with a little less edginess.
From the beginning, it's abundantly clear why the special got its name: Burr can never let anything go. Shortly after the thunderous opening applause dies down, Burr recounts seeing a stranger wipe her excess food on a bag with such fury and disgust that you'd think she'd smeared her mouth on the pages of his favourite book. Such is Burr's simultaneous blessing and curse: he notices the tiniest things, and he is perennially aggravated by most of them.
Burr's inability to let things roll off his back quickly becomes the special's main theme. His story about a fast food chain that asked him to put the mayonnaise on his sandwich himself tailspins into him yelling "I just gave you 100 percent of the money to make 100 percent of the sandwich!" and daydreaming about choking the head of their company. Similarly, his annoyance with Oprah declaring that motherhood is the most difficult job snowballs into him belittling stay-at-home moms, and his impatience with self checkout machines devolves into him justifying robbing grocery stores.
Having said that, not all of the Boston-born comic's humour stems from his wrath. Burr's narrative about getting a rescue dog has moments of genuine joy, while his bit about considering having a kid is surprisingly hopeful. Nonetheless, his abrasiveness is ultimately what delivers the hardest laughs. Filled with unsettling facial contortions, relentless railing against the quiet horror of trapped marriages, and persistent yelling, Burr's closer about deteriorating old men simultaneously epitomized his unmistakable style and provides the icing on the cake for this consistently hilarious special.