Massachusetts native Bo Burnham is a musical comedian who rose to fame as a teenager after posting videos on YouTube. During his 2016 Make Happy standup tour, Burnham had panic attacks onstage, forcing him to stop performing live. On May 30, 2021 he surprised fans by releasing Bo Burnham: Inside via Netflix, his first comedy special in five years. This rap/sung hybrid finds Burnham in serious mode as he reflects on his mental health, the pros and cons of being an entertainer, and the world outside.
During the song's spoken section, Burnham talks about how he stepped away from live comedy because of anxiety issues. By January 2020, his mental health had improved enough for him to "re-enter the world" and start performing again. Then "the funniest thing happened" and the COVID lockdown delayed his plans.
Burnham shot Inside in his LA home's guest house during the pandemic without an audience. Written, directed, filmed, and edited solely by the comic musician, the album explores topics like online culture, the coronavirus lockdown, and Burnham's depression and anxiety issues. This song finds him simulating a faux performance with a pre-recorded track of an audience.
Burnham released "All Eyes On Me - Song Only" as a single on July 2, 2021. The edited version omits his spoken-word segment about panic attacks and subsequent recovery.
Inside (The Songs) was the first comedy album to land in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 since 2015. It remained there for six non-consecutive weeks.
Bo Burnham Inside received Emmy Awards for Outstanding Music Direction, Outstanding Writing, and Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special.
This won for Best Song Written For Visual Media at the Grammy Awards in 2022.