Home > Celebrities, Rants and Raves > I was ignored by a celebrity wannabe and all I got was this lousy blog post

I was ignored by a celebrity wannabe and all I got was this lousy blog post

During my career as a writer, I’ve had more than my fair share of interviews, photos and general run-ins with celebrities. I know, lucky me, right?

Bo Burnham Press Photo

I could drop a big list of names here, but I won’t. Firstly, I don’t care. Secondly, I probably can’t remember most of them anymore. I mention a few as examples below.

Being a celebrity, I’ve discovered, seems to create three different types of people. The first is the open and genuinely nice. Ron Perlman, of Hellboy fame, is one of those kinds of guys. He’s funny, he’s interactive—he’s just like anyone else. When I met Perlman, I was completely impressed with his personality. I wish more people, not just celebrities, were like him.

Another kind of celebrity is the ones who just want to get the chance to be normal people. When I lived in Alaska, I had the fortune of meeting both Tiger Woods (no, he didn’t try to sleep with me) and Karl Malone. While the latter was very much like Perlman, the former was nice, but guarded. He signed a Nike hat for me, which was cool, but for the most part he just wanted to keep a low profile. And, honestly, I hate to sound like I grew up in the middle of the backwoods in rural Michigan, but it’s kind of hard for people like Woods and Malone to just blend in with the folks in Alaska.

The third kind of celebrity is the jerk. This is the celebrity that pretends like they somehow rise above the little people. They stick their nose in the air and push past everyone, on their way to far more important things. As a fan of theirs, you likely feel completely swept aside and disappointed. I’ve only run into a few of these types who hate to be bothered by the people who have made them famous. One of them was William Shatner, who couldn’t wait to get people away from him. Another was Jeff Daniels. I’m sure these people have their redeeming moments. Unfortunately, they weren’t showcased while around me.

The reason I bring this up is because a pseudo-celebrity gave me the brush off last week and, to be completely honest, I’m a bit irked by it (despite the fact I know better). His name is Bo Burnham and he was an Internet sensation back when he was in high school and he made up funny songs and played them on YouTube.

I admit I have a few favorites and when I found out he was coming to the local university, I was pretty impressed. He’d come up in the world. Now was the time to take note.

Being a freelance writer, you take every opportunity you can get to expand your offerings. Getting a story about Burnham’s rise to fame and shopping it around at this stage in his career probably isn’t the worse idea in the world.

The difficulty, I discovered, was getting anyone to even speak to me. I contacted all three of his representatives from his website, emailed him through his YouTube channel and even sent him two twitters.

The response I received? Zero. Zilch. Nada. (Editor’s note: To be fair, Burnham has since responded to this post and has explained his hectic schedule prevented him from personally responding to the requests. He noted he wished the author would have come to the show and he would have granted the interview.)

So Burnham’s show came and went and I honestly have no idea how it went. It was probably jammed packed full of college kids and the other little people. The local newspaper, I noted, didn’t have a story, either. I’m guessing requests for interviews were ignored from them, too.

So whereas I used to enjoy Burnham’s music and comedy, I’ve decided to ignore his very existence. In truth, I was looking forward to the chance at meeting him and seeing if he was as funny in person. Instead, he lost a fan and the chance to expand his fan base through the medium that has still proven to be effective for the stars—public relations and press coverage.

So, to Bo Burnham and his entire team of representatives: Screw you. (The author has retracted this statement, see comments section.- The Editorial Team) You obviously are destined to have your 15 minutes of fame, but like those who have come before you (Pauly ‘The Weasel’ Shore, Carson Daly, Tara Reid, Andrew Dice Clay, Zachary Ty Bryan, Dustin Diamond and, yes, Gary Coleman) I suspect you’ll burn out and be nothing but the occasional punch line in someone else’s joke.

But, on the other hand, I should thank Bo, too. He stopped me from making one of those mistakes that you can’t seem to shake as a writer—like every time someone brings up the fact that I said something positive about the XFL in print once.

Brr! I shiver just to think about it.

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  1. Bo Burnham
    March 22, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Whoa. Dude.
    This is Bo.
    I’m sorry but I have been extremely busy on the road and not able to check every one of my YouTube messages/work email. My representatives are busy as well. And I’m sorry that we didn’t see your requests.
    But to make a sweeping generality about the way I’m handling myself and my character is fucking idiotic. if you had come to the show, you would have met me and gotten your interview, as I meet anyone who wants to stick around after the show.
    But shit happens. Email and Twitter is a clusterfuck.
    And I found this post because I do try to keep up with everything and stay in touch with everyone.
    But next time, you might want to do more research than “he didn’t answer my emails” to come to the headline “bo is an asshole.” yeah, “research” – it’s one of the thing “writers” do.

    So screw you.

    • seggleston
      March 22, 2010 at 2:41 pm

      Even though there is no way of knowing if this is “Bo’ Fo’ Sho'”, I will respond as though it is.

      What other research would you have me do? All contact information on your official website indicates that contacting your representatives is my only avenue. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my handy-dandy phone-numbers-of-everyone-alive application on my iPhone or, honestly, I would have just given you a ring.

      I’ll do what I would normally avoid doing and I’ll say “I’m sorry,” but only to the real Bo Burnham. You’re right. I shouldn’t make sweeping generalizations about who you are. Up until this past week, I was convinced that you were an A-plus personality. Hilarious music, outright applaud-worthy presentation and even the youngest guy ever to do a Comedy Central Presents. I was more than impressed.

      As a fan I was completely aware that you can’t respond to everyone who Twitters and emails you. As you stated, and correctly, it’s a “clusterfuck.” But as a writer who wanted to give you some time in print, I was disappointed in your team’s lack of being able to get back to me. Six emails, not including the one’s sent to you, to your representatives over the course of several weeks. I came to assume that there, simply, was no interest and this was the brush off your guys give the “little people.”

      So, I retract my earlier statement. Don’t screw Bo Burnham. But still screw the professionals who get paid to represent him. A simple ‘no thanks’ or ‘we’ll get back to you’ would have made a world of difference here. It’s the least they could do.

      As for why I didn’t show up to your show? Well, frankly, freelance work isn’t lucrative, it isn’t glamorous and it isn’t easy. But it is time consuming. While I would have, as a fan, loved to watch you live (I’m guessing Klan Cookout was a hit around here), I can’t afford to spend the money and I definitely can’t gamble on several hours with the hopes of getting an interview. Instead of clearing $10 an hour on that deal, had it turned south, I would have been minus money.

      So, if this is the real Bo Burnham, you have my apology and a retraction. I admit my gaff of making a judgement and not actually getting the chance for you to define yourself in person. But, for the record, I hardly said “Bo is an asshole.” I said you were a jerk. And, for now, I’ll let you and your career prove you to either be one or not. Let’s hope for the latter.

      Of course, if you want to do an interview, I’ve got time on my schedule later this week. Just drop me a phone number. I never turn down the chance to give someone a second chance to make a first impression.

  2. Kurt
    March 22, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    I still don’t know who Bo Burnham is. But I feel as if I’m not missing anything.

    • seggleston
      March 22, 2010 at 3:20 pm

      He’s actually a pretty funny guy, Kurt. For being in high school as he was when he started his career, he was, as he stated in one of his songs, “a lyrical poet.” It was good stuff. I have one of his CDs here.

      Here’s his YouTube channel.

  3. Bakerman
    March 22, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Sorry to hear this Sam. His show was really good, no clan cookout though, which would have been a big hit here most likely. Hopefully you get that interview.

    • seggleston
      March 22, 2010 at 4:58 pm

      Oh, I’m sure it was. Too bad he didn’t pull out the Klan Cookout though… God knows it would have brightened a few Klan members’ days around here.

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