Sept. 12--BILL BURR will perform at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19 at the WVU Creative Arts Center. Tickets are available at the Mountainlair and Creative Arts Center box offices, online at ticketmaster.com, or by calling 304-293-SHOW (7469) or 1-800-745-3000. Tickets range from $28.75-$52.75, depending on seat location. WVU students get $10 off all seating levels at the campus box offices. One discounted ticket per valid WVU ID.
Bill Burr, a comic known for his unflinching candor when it comes to essentially everything, weighs his words carefully on one subject: The upcoming indie film "Black and White."
Burr recently wrapped shooting his part as a lawyer in the drama starring Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer and Anthony Mackie. The roughly month-long job splintered his stand-up tour, which comes to WVU's Creative Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19.
"I don't want to jinx it ... but I have a good feeling about it," he said.
The sports fan, who grew up just outside Boston, knows a thing or two about superstition, but it didn't stop him from praising the low-budget project, shot in 27 days in New Orleans.
"The way they shot it, lit it, it looked amazing," he said. "It was an unbelievable cast. I tried to hang in there with them. It was fun. I was busy. I didn't have a lot of sitting around time. It really flew by."
The hectic pace didn't stop the comic from performing at various spots in The Big Easy.
"I made sure I did a lot of stand-up," he said. "I make sure to keep the act tight. It's how I put Fruit Loops on the table. ... As a stand-up, I work when I want to work. As an actor, I work when they let me" -- which happens to be frequently.
Burr's made appearances in films such as "Date Night," "Stand Up Guys" and "The Heat." On the small screen, earlier this year, he was also in an episode of "New Girl." And fans of AMC's critically acclaimed "Breaking Bad" will recognize him as Kuby, one half of the pair of henchmen character Saul Goodman calls upon in his dealings with protagonist Walter White.
Burr credits his time on the drama as opening doors for him to take on more serious roles.
"Vince [Gilligan] giving me a shot on 'Breaking Bad' ... I could never repay him.
"Because I'm a comedian, people think you can't do a drama role. I understand that as a stand-up comic all they see is you being funny. But I've had my heart broken. I've wanted to kill somebody. Somebody's wanted to kill me. Living life without drama is impossible. ... That's what's great about 'Breaking Bad,' it's given me a chance to show that side."
Those familiar with Burr's three recorded specials know plenty about the drama, and the high points, in the comedian's life. He often mines material from his up-bringing and his relationship, and discusses his life on his "Monday Morning" podcast.
"I share what I want to share," he said. "People know I drive a Prius and have a pit bull. All the great guys I watched coming up ... I knew Bill Cosby's wife's name, his kids' names. Richard Pryor, I knew about his pet monkey. I like guys like that."
Burr's new hour took months to perfect, a process which involves club shows where Burr intersperses new material with jokes from the previous tour.
"I have the other hour to fall back on," he said. "Once you record a special, it doesn't come out from a good four to six months. So I'm still doing that act and pulling out jokes from that hour and putting new ones in their place. If that bit doesn't work, I go to another one. It's as simple as that. It's like pulling bricks out of the wall."
So, how does he know when the new stuff is ready to hit the road, in theaters, without the security of old standbys?
"I don't now how to verbalize it," he said. "You feel it. Certain things in life -- you find the person you're supposed to be with, the job or the place you're supposed to live -- you get that feeling. It's the same thing with your hour, 'This feels right. This is what I should be doing.' "
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