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Bill Burr on overdrive as he mixes F1, stand-up show

The last time I spoke with Bill Burr was about a decade ago. The conversation started with a confession. It ended with me binge-watching “Breaking Bad.”

That conversation started with me telling the great stand-up, “I confess, I’m the one person who hasn’t seen ‘Breaking Bad.’” And Burr answered, “That doesn’t make you a bad person.”

That night I began started watching the series, in which Burr was cast, ending the following night.

“Yeah, see?” Burr says in our latest chat, which landed on Halloween. “I did a little reverse psychology on you.”

Burr’s breaking back to Las Vegas this weekend, headlining at Dolby Live at 10 p.m. Friday. His show is a comic interlude for Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Burr loves the series (he also loves the MotoGP motorcycle series), and wanted to perform in the heat of the action in F1’s Vegas premiere.

“I’m an F1 fan, and to watch those cars come flying down the Strip it’s going to be sick,” Burr says. “And it’s at night. It will be really cool.”

Burr has what sounds like F1 material, ready for the stage.

“I’ll be in the grandstand, and I like hearing the cars and being with the fans,” he says. “What’s really funny to me is the level of sophistication going on in the pits versus the animals in the crowd screaming, ‘Go faster! Go Faster!’ and the guys in the pits are dealing with physics on an Einstein level.”

Burr has been headlining Las Vegas for two decades, including a run at Mirage Theater, the Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan and currently Dolby Live.

Burr has starred in seven Netflix comedy specials, most recently “Live At Red Rocks” in 2022. He’s among the headliners who order phones locked, o “pouched,” in his live appearances. It’s because of those meddling kids on social media.

“These kids, either they do it on purpose or they don’t, but they just slice up your jokes because they’re trying to get hits,” the 55-year-old Burr says. “They’ve become like CNN and Fox News, where it’s just sensational (B.S.) that they’re doing. They pretend they like it’s a big deal, what I’m saying, and there’ so much stuff going on in the world. You’ll have a story about our food supply being poisoned by a corporation, but ignore that and it’s, Did you hear what so-and-so-said at Treasure Island!’ It’s so stupid.”

A convincing actor, Burr co-stars in, and co-wrote, “Old Dads,” released last month on Netflix. Burr is one of three friends sell their company to a millennial and struggle to figure out the new culture of culture, career and fatherhood. He’s also voicing a lead character in Adam Sandler’s animated musical-comedy film “Leo,” which premiers Tuesday. Sandler plays Leo, a lizard. Burr is cast as his turtle best friend.

Burr seems forever fueled by angst. But he’s a pretty content individual. He’s in Vegas for F1, free to chirp about whatever he likes without any viral butchering of his act.

“I’m actually having the most fun I’ve ever had, I think, since I’ve been doing stand-up,” Burr says. “I don’t really have any pressure to do a stand-up special right now. So I’m just having fun, I’ve got a a beautiful wife two beautiful kids. What am I going to complain about?”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on X, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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