Comic-Actor Bill Burr on Why He'd Rather Be in Singapore and the Reason He'll Always Love Philly
“Bill Burr is the only person who can make me cry laughing with a text message,” veteran comic Dom Irrera says about Burr, who has become one of the most respected stand-ups in the business — The “Chappelle’s Show” alum became a viral hero a decade ago when he destroyed a hostile crowd that heckled his pal Irrera. Here, Burr, who created the Netflix series “F is for Family,” shares why an eye-opening vacation in Asia turned out to be his favorite travel experience and his favorite cities in America.
What’s the best trip you’ve ever taken?
Any time I leave the country, I’m on an amazing trip. Going to Europe, where I have ancestors, is really cool. What was really amazing was my first run of dates in Asia. I went to Singapore, Hong Kong and India. Seeing the other side of the world is amazing. There weren’t a bunch of white people running s**t and that was great to see. That’s why I loved that trip. Go to Northern Europe, which is beautiful, but you’ll see white people running s**t. It’s so different than Asia, since I wasn’t around white people.
How did that make you feel?
It was an eye-opening experience being the minority. The food was amazing in Asia and so is the architecture.
What was the worst trip you’ve ever taken?
A bad trip can still be pretty good. That’s a tough one. The worst trip was this year. I went to a big college football game [in October]. It was Florida against LSU but the game was cancelled [postponed due to Hurricane Matthew]. That was really disappointing but I got over it. I like to go to games if I can when I travel. That one just didn’t work out.
Which American cities are your favorite?
I like Philly because being a sports fan, they have Mitchell and Ness, an incredible store known for reissuing all of these classic jerseys from the ‘80s, which is my wheelhouse. I’m a big Celtics fan and when they were going up against the 76ers, it was one of the all-time greatest rivalries during the ‘80s. I kicked myself for not buying an early ‘80s Sixers warm-up years ago, but you can get that stuff at Mitchell and Ness.
Speaking of Philly, just across the river in Camden is where you defended your friend and Philadelphia native Dom Irrera, who was inexplicably booed during Opie & Anthony’s “Travelling Virus” tour in 2006. Your incendiary defense of Irrera catapulted you to another echelon professionally.
It was one of those nights. It was a perfect storm. When that tour started, everybody knew one of those nights was on the horizon and it happened in Camden. They booed the first guy (comic Jimmy Shubert) off the stage. When they booed Dom off the stage, I was ready to go. I went after them. I told them that I wished Donovan McNabb would tear both ACLs. I told them that they’re so racist in Philadelphia that they honor a fictitious boxer, Rocky Balboa, and ignore their own living boxing legend, Joe Frazier. I said ‘F**k the Liberty Bell.’ It was payback time. I did it for Dom, who is one of the greatest ballbusters of all time. Also, I wasn’t going after everyone there. I’m not anti-Philadelphia. There are great comedy fans there who get it. That night there was a minority of guys who went too far and were just ridiculous.
Are you a points guy?
Yes, when you travel like I do, you build up points and miles.
Got any packing tips?
Just take what you need.
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