Hello everyone, thanks for taking the time. Ask me anything other than that stupid duck/horse question.

Proof: https://i.redd.it/cuubqrakrid11.jpg

UPDATE: Thank you for your time and questions. I gotta run now. I hope you see the movie if you get a chance. Have a good summer.

Comments: 7159 • Responses: 63  • Date: 

anthemstoambivalence12745 karma

Hello Bo, I’m an intern at a mayonnaise company in Hamilton, Massachusetts by the name of Raif’s Wholesome Mayo. We have an interesting idea for a commercial in which models hold the mayo in their hands without the jars, and you seem like a good candidate for that. We’ve done extensive research to conclude that your hands are an estimated 9.1 inches long from your scaphoid to the distal phalanx of your middle finger. With that, you must be able to hold tons of our mayonnaise, which is a nice contrast to the children who have signed up to model. May we ask, how much would you say you’re able to hold? Just as an estimate, if you want to do so yourself then be our guest, but keep it at about room temperature (68-77°F/20-25°C). If you could get back to us soon, as you didn’t reply to the email, that’d be fantastic. Thank you! Arnold Haley Raif’s Wholesome Mayo 669-221-6251

boburnhamAMA8080 karma


TomTheTacticalTurtle8453 karma

Would you ever consider composing a “World on fire Pt. 2”?

boburnhamAMA24491 karma

Part two is actually a real-life performance art instillation piece that is playing out on the national political stage as we speak.

mackenzie5497211 karma

Can't wait to see the movie Bo, but maybe selfishly I love your stand up specials and would love to see more.

Do you reckon we'll ever see another? Many thanks :)

boburnhamAMA14365 karma

I hope so. I was having a lot trouble doing stand up (panic attacks on stage and such) -- but doing this movie helped my anxiety a lot and I'd love to do something on stage again. I would just need to have something I really want to say up there. Appreciate the support, though. Means a lot.

dft_ba5027 karma

How has your opinion of kids/teens changed during the process of making this movie (from before you started writing to after doing research online to working with them in person)? Did anything surprise you?

boburnhamAMA11524 karma

I found out what I had hoped which is that young people are a lot more self-aware and sort of in on the joke of themselves than people think. Like when you're 13, you know that you're a mess, and you're joking around about the fact that you're a mess. A lot of people warned me that working with kids would be impossible but I really found it to be a total joy. It makes sense that a generation of kids that self-documents is actually pretty comfortable on camera. And kids are ready to act naturally and be themselves if you give them permission to just be and don't freak them out by making them feel like they have to be in a movie. Hope that answers your question.

fuck_red4626 karma

How's your dog?

boburnhamAMA8066 karma

The best boy that ever lived.

harrison21944216 karma

Hey Bo, how tired are you from promoting the shit out of this movie? On another note- I hope more theatres in Canada are able to show it, I really want to see it. Love your work, stay classy

boburnhamAMA7456 karma

Honestly, I care about this movie so much and it's such a small, weird movie with no stars about a girl and her phone that I feel just feel lucky. It's insane that a movie like this of this size about this subject matter is playing everywhere so I'll fucking talk about it until the I'm dead. Thanks for the kind words. Be well.

Dchox4213 karma

Hey Bo!

Was there ever a single point in your career that you thought "I've made it" as an actor/comedian? Was it before or after you decided to turn down Harvard to pursue your dream? Thanks!

Also, Make Happy is still my all time favourite comedy special. Can't wait to see Eighth Grade.

boburnhamAMA9659 karma

You know, that was a problem for me for a long time. Believing that I hadn't MADE it yet or I wasn't a REAL COMEDIAN. I think its especially prevalent for people that makes things online. That making youtube videos isn't REAL. It took me a long time to realize that I'd been real the whole time, and the thing that I am pursuing was the thing I was pursuing doing theater in sixth grade. Do you write? You're a writer. Do you act? You're an actor. I'd say don't wait to get some arbitrary version of success or attention for you to believe that you are doing the thing. You really can start enjoying it right away. You don't have to wait to be good. The process of doing it is the process of becoming better not being good. I am now looking at your question and realizing you never asked for advice. Am I psychotic? Perhaps!

btempp4112 karma

What do you think of the MPAA rating Eighth Grade R? Are you worried that part of your target audience will miss out on seeing it?

boburnhamAMA13829 karma

It's a bummer but honestly it's fine. And the target audience, for me, is really anybody who feels weird about living now. I didn't write this movie for kids, I wrote this movie for me. But yeah, it's weird that trying to honestly portray what 13 year olds are going through means that 13 year olds can't see it. As if they've never heard the word fuck before. But when I was 13, I was always able to sneak in to any R rated movie I wanted. So go see Mamma Mia 2 kids! WINK

barbeermann953378 karma

What was your favorite scene of the movie and why?

boburnhamAMA5560 karma

I love the scene where she sings karaoke. That one means a lot to me, personally. Pretending to be confident. Not being able to be brave without being scared.

iheardacrimego3223 karma

How do you balance work with being a mom?

boburnhamAMA3788 karma


J1zzzz3205 karma

Can the sequel be called 9th grade?

boburnhamAMA10580 karma

I want a Lord of the Flies style 5th grade centering on a boy's laser tag birthday party.

tpotoma3160 karma

Old, low-quality pic, but I've been told many, many times I look like you. One time I even convinced a drunk college kid that I was actually you.

Have you ever convinced anyone that you were actually me?


boburnhamAMA2647 karma


alcaraf3095 karma

Where do you get your sense of humour from? Any specific inspiration?

boburnhamAMA7867 karma

Mostly my family. My family is very funny. Where do you get your pretentious spelling of the word humor? jkjkjk

awardingceremony2513 karma

will Eighth Grade be shown in rural theatres in the future?

boburnhamAMA6675 karma

Yes it should be showing this weekend in EXTREMELY rural theaters. Hay bails. Good ol boys. Projected onto the sides of barns.

zomofo2355 karma

How do you know exactly what it's like to be a 13 year old girl?!? Saw the movie and loved it, congrats. I cried. A lot!

boburnhamAMA3316 karma

The good thing about this generation is they are posting everything about themselves online. So if there’s any truth in the movie, it’s authored by actual kids living it. I wanted to make a movie about being young that wasn’t nostalgic and wasn’t a memory. So i had to just humble myself and do my research and try to walk eighth grade with her for the first time. And also the truth is really provided moment to moment by elsie. My job was just to support her and create a safe environment where she could be free and expressive.

CorporalButtermilk2320 karma

Have you ever actually burned a ham or is your last name meaningless?

boburnhamAMA6180 karma

Have you buttered milk fuckface?

dft_ba2235 karma

Funniest moment on set?

boburnhamAMA8515 karma

I made a kid do nine belly flops in the pool scene and then cut it from the film. Sorry!

Decooker112226 karma

Hey Bo! First off, I have to say that you are truly an inspiration to me for a multitude of reasons. So thank you for pouring yourself into your craft and for not conforming to anyone's style. Eighth Grade is truly revolutionary and Its easy to tell, once again, that you have really drawn from your own personal feelings to help send it along. And the fire scene in the backyard got the waterworks flowing, knowing I have often asked myself those same questions and not gotten resolution to them. That was excellent, as was the entirety of Elsie's performance.

A concept you breached with a throwaway line on the what. CD was the idea of Parasocial relationships, the whole idea that consumers feel like they know a performer or that they're friends with them when in reality they will probably never interact. It almost seemed as if Kayla was trapped in some sort of paradox where she was subjected to a parasocial relationship with the people she actually interacted with on an everyday basis. That could be baseless but it's something I chewed on after the first viewing. PSI is such an interesting concept as a fan, but how do you deal with it? Maybe not just PSI but just fandom in general. Do you ever feel constrained, especially now as your fame grows?

Semi-related follow up question: Do you accept fan mail? Hope that's not off putting. Just wanted to thank you in a more formal and personal way without it looking like I'm blowing smoke.

Edit: Holy shit I can't believe I got gold! Especially before Mayonnaise guy! Thank you anonymous citizen! What I can believe is the incredible responses we got from Bo. You're the best!

boburnhamAMA3547 karma

Wow thank you for the kind words, truly. I think you make a great point about Kayla treating the people in her life parasocially. That was a sort of huge realization for me when I made MAKE HAPPY (my last netflix special). I had thought for a long time that my anxieties and issues were completely connected to my specific circumstance in life - being a young comedian literally performing for a literal audience. But as I talked about what I was going through on stage, I would talk to people after the show who said they felt like I did. Even though they didn't have an audience and weren't literally performing. And I realized that the sort of shitty, meta problems I was having as a D-list celebrity had been democratized and given to an entire generation. Now EVERYONE gets to feel like their own publicists with their own brands, navigating the world with the sort of Proper Noun version of their own name. And that realization directly lead to the movie. Me realizing that my problems and worries were NOT my own. And that a 13 year old girl was honestly going through something just as deep and interesting as I was. If I was being honest with myself, I didn't want to believe my problems were shared. I wanted my anxiety to be unrelatable. But it wasn't. I was not unique. Which was a bummer. But I also wasn't alone -- which saved me and helped me immensely. So I feel constrained and weirded out in the way I'm sure anyone does who feels similarly to me. But speaking it out loud helps. This was long and rambly and apologies if there are spelling/grammar mistakes. And I don't really have a place to send actual mail but you can hit me up in instagram DMs or on twitter. I try to read things but it gets hard. Be well.

NoahMendell1916 karma

How do you like and dislike to be approached by fans, if at all?

If I were to ever meet you, I would love to say hi, but I would hate to offend or overwhelm you because you are a person, just like all of us.

Been a fan for a long time and I think Eighth Grade is absolutely moving and inspirational, just the same as everything you've done before. As a songwriter myself, you have my undying respect as an artist.

boburnhamAMA2400 karma

95% of people that come up to me are super chill and nice. I’m happy to have someone say hey and take a picture or whatever. It’s only weird when it’s aggressively weird but even that’s fine. And appreciate the kind words, good luck with the songwriting!

PlasticJesters1883 karma

Where do you keep your awards?

boburnhamAMA4779 karma

On the shelf that's strapped to the front of my assistant.

imgabrielcaldas1798 karma

Hey, bo! I'm a biiig fan of yours. I tatto'd "goodbye sadness, hello jokes" on my arm. Proof: https://imgur.com/a/XHdxO . QUESTION: I'm from Brazil, how can I watch Eighth Grade in a legal way?

boburnhamAMA3452 karma

Wow. Thank you this is an honor. I hope the film gets there legally, but you have more than earned the right to watch it illegally if it doesn't.

EnriqueMuller1577 karma

Are you slightly surprised about the overwhelmingly positive reception to the movie?

boburnhamAMA2671 karma

Incredibly. I honestly thought I might be completely fucked. But this is very lovely and insane.

AlexVsPredator1547 karma

Hi Bo! Did you get any pushback from the studio when you cast people that ACTUALLY look like they’d be in 8th grade? Did they want to cast 20-something’s or were they open to the idea of younger actors?

boburnhamAMA3075 karma

The studio was A24 who are incredible and were very on board with the vision of the movie. So they were totally cool with real 13 year olds. The issue is that child labor laws make it so you can only film 9 hours a day which the crew loved but it made it difficult to get everything every day. Simplified the coverage which I think helped the movie in the long run. I support the laws of children!

bluebellfob1434 karma

Hi Bo! Is there any chance Eighth Grade will be released worldwide?

boburnhamAMA3581 karma

We hope so. We haven't had international distribution yet but if domestic goes well, hopefully. If not, I'm sure you can download it off LimeWire which is definitely still a thing.

dft_ba1370 karma

Has Mr. Donia responded to you calling him out and/or explained why Elsie wasn’t cast in her school play?

boburnhamAMA2156 karma

Yes, I've connected with Mr. Donia and made our peace. I took the calling out of him a little over the edge, probably, he's a good man. And it was right to not cast her to keep her humble. I'M SORRY DONIA YOU DIDN'T ASK FOR THIS.

Katurian421096 karma

Have you considered writing a Broadway musical?

boburnhamAMA2051 karma

I would love to. It's a giant, scary, multi-year endeavor but I would love to at some point. I would need a co-composer, orchestrator though because my musical knowledge is very limited.

AceRockefeller1016 karma

You ever kissed a dude?

boburnhamAMA2604 karma

Don't you ever call him a dude again.

Buttergenie749 karma

Hello Bo! How long did the writing process for Eighth Grade take, from the original idea to the final draft?

boburnhamAMA1463 karma

Wrote the script in early 2014 pretty quickly. Like the first draft was two weeks which is not how I usually write. But I would return to the script every few months while I was struggling to get the money together to make it, just to update the internet stuff b/c that shit changes so quickly.

jonrsinn681 karma

How did directing Jerrod Carmichael’ “8” and Chris Rock’s “Tamborine” prepare you for directing “Eighth Grade?” Would you drop everything if Eddie Murphy asked you to direct his comeback standup special?

boburnhamAMA904 karma

OF COURSE. Eddie's a legend. Directing specials is interesting because it is NOT a director's medium. Your job is just to serve the person on camera which is a very good thing to learn for directing films. And also with specials, you're trying to set ONE LOOK that can be filmed for an hour, so you try to be as versatile and simple as possible visually -- so that helps with a film to learn the skill of getting as much out of a location as possible.

Gingerbreadvan13622 karma

What’s your favorite joke you’ve ever written? I have too many of favorites of yours to pick one, myself

boburnhamAMA1566 karma

What’s poopy and smelly? Shit. Just wrote it.

YellowFlickerBeat583 karma

How applicable do you feel that the themes of Eighth Grade will be going forward? I've seen you describe it as kind of a "snapshot" of being in Eighth Grade right now, but do you think it will stay relevant for years to come?

boburnhamAMA1293 karma

I hope so. A lot of people don't want to portray the internet on screen because they think it ages like milk, which is true. But hopefully if you portray it honestly it won't matter. If in ten years no one knows what snapchat is, they will still know what she's doing on it. It's not about the specific reference, it's about the emotions tied up in it. We can still watch Barry Lyndon write a letter by candlelight and feel something even though we don't do that anymore. Who knows though!

burnerxxxburner557 karma

is there anything you regret about starting your stand up career as a teenager?

boburnhamAMA1509 karma

No. I believe in the butterfly effect and I worry that if I changed anything I would not be here today and I'm very grateful for where I am. Some of it (most of it) is embarrassing but I think it's nice to have my growth as a writer documented. But please don't fire me for my old shit, I disavow everything I did before last Tuesday.

fuzzbus501 karma

Hey Bo! As someone who struggles with anxiety I am curious if you have any advice on how to deal with it?

boburnhamAMA1368 karma

Drink water, exercise. So much of it is physical, not mental, and I found that trying to think my way out of it doesn’t work. Just speak it out loud and go for a run. And maybe therapy. I’m working on it too though, I don’t have it figured out. But maybe it’s not meant to be figured out.

cortexiphans476 karma

How did you decide on Enya's Orinoco Flow to play while Kayla scrolls on her phone? It is one of my favorite uses of the song in a movie, the other being in David Fincher's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

boburnhamAMA1024 karma

Thanks! I knew the sequence of her surfing the web was going to be very important. And I wanted to show a kid online in a way that didn't feel like the sort of cheesy, 80s "hacking sequences" that I normally see in movies. To show being online as something deeper and more emotional and almost spiritual. And enya just has that sound. Her music sounds warm and human and alien and electronic and acoustic and just deep and weird and beautiful. I had to write a letter to her to get her to sign off on using the song. And I assumed I would have to attach a letter to a salmon and put it in the euphrates. She is a true mystery.

brandonsamd6354 karma

Hi Bo! I loved Eight Grade! Saw it at the Alamo Drafthouse in Brooklyn last weekend. Will Make Happy ever get a CD/Vinyl release like what?

boburnhamAMA574 karma

Thank you! Unfortunately not, part of the deal with netflix was no CD release :-/

jerry-springer352 karma

Hey Bo, my fiancé and I bonded over your songs when we first met. Many thanks to you for bringing us such joy.

Do you have more movies in the works/plans to write more?

What’s your dog been up to these days?

boburnhamAMA598 karma

That's so nice. Please don't let me rip you two apart eventually. Nothing in the works right now, I'm not a great multi-tasker. But once this movie is out I'll go hide away again and start working. And Bruce is being an adorable piece of shit as always.

CarlitoAvalito350 karma

did you like kanye's recent 7 track albums? if so, what was one of your favorite songs?

boburnhamAMA737 karma

I liked KSG best. Still listening to it.

_benvan347 karma

Hey Bo, I was able to catch Eighth Grade last night. I’m really loving the soundtrack. How was the collaboration process with Anna Meredith, and what role did you play in the development of the soundtrack?

boburnhamAMA574 karma

Thank you, Anna is absolutely brilliant. Like a capital G Genius if there ever was one. She came on pretty late to the process and scored the movie fairly quickly. I was able to go out to her studio in London and work with her for a week - or really just sit in the back, slack-jawed and watch her work. I'd give her thoughts on a piece and would go take a walk for an hour and i'd come back and she'd have a mind-blowing three minute track composed from scratch. You should check out her solo stuff if you get a chance. She's absolutely brilliant.

squishyfisheyes340 karma

Has David Foster Wallace been an influence on your movie-making ideals? Like showing super authentic to go against a Deadpool-saturated market?

boburnhamAMA625 karma

Yes his short story FOREVER OVERHEAD is one of my favorite pieces of writing ever and inspired this movie hugely. It’s twenty pages about a 13 year old boy jumping off the diving board at a public pool. It’s a tiny experience that feels immense in the story. That’s a lot of what the movie is trying to do.

Ktmack23310 karma

Would you ever do a sequel or a spin off to Zach Stone Is Gonna Be famous? That show was absolutely brilliant

boburnhamAMA551 karma

I'd love to check in on Zach when he's 35. It would be sad and that would be fun.

Sahmwell293 karma

What was the most challenging/unexpected obstacle in the creation of the film?

boburnhamAMA1318 karma

I anticipated it being insane and impossible which it was. The hardest was the actual logistic problems — like making sure the kids didn’t drown during the pool party. And we finished with 23 alive out of 26 which I’m very happy with.

rachmeg217274 karma

Loved your poetry book!! Any advice for aspiring poets?

boburnhamAMA640 karma

If you’re writing poems you’re a poet! No need to aspire!

PlasticJesters259 karma

I'm a big fan of Adventures in the Sin Bin. I put off watching it for the longest time, cos I thought it was going to be an American Pie retread, but it ended up being so much more than that. It seems to have been the beginning of a long lasting working relationship between you and Christopher Storer. Did you guys just really hit it off while working on Sin Bin? How did you come to be cast in it in the first place?

boburnhamAMA317 karma

Awesome! I tell Chris. I just got cast randomly in that from sending in a tape. But yeah I met Chris on that and have had a close relationship personally and professionally with him ever since. He's one of my best friends and someone I've relied on creatively for years. I feel very lucky to have met him.

puncreator259 karma

Why shouldn't Josh Hamilton win an Oscar for Eighth Grade? I can't think of a single reason.

boburnhamAMA561 karma

Politics. He is a STAUNCH Jill Stein supporter.

absoluteplain227 karma

What do you hope teens will get out of this movie?

boburnhamAMA588 karma

I just hope they feel seen and not pandered to. We weren’t trying to make something FOR teens as much as ABOUT them.

seguesRweird224 karma

Hey Bo!

What Kayla asks he dad @ the bonfire is so heartbreaking and you wrote it so beautifully. How did you come up with that dialogue? Where did the inspiration come from? Also, Loved the use of Orinoco Flow! It worked so well!

boburnhamAMA389 karma

A lot of that came from my mother and how she’s helped me when I’m feeling anxious. Giving context to my life. Not understanding me in the moment but understanding the bigger me across time better than I could. I think that’s what good parents can do: give context for your emotions because they knew you before you could remember. And thanks! Enya is the shit.

Daveed84201 karma

Do you ever participate on reddit (or even just lurk) using an alt account that nobody knows about?

boburnhamAMA506 karma

I lurk constantly.

egasseMneddiH188 karma

How does it feel having a movie in the "mainstream" and have many people watching with no idea who you are? Is it a hopeful feeling of room to grow, or is it slightly irritating?

boburnhamAMA315 karma

It’s wonderful! I think it’s ideal to not know who made a movie while you’re watching it. They can just watch it and take it in. Unknown actors and an unknown director. Love that.

Waffle2006185 karma

What is your favorite movie released this year so far?

boburnhamAMA262 karma

First Reformed.

theatregeek96174 karma

Hey Bo! How are you?

boburnhamAMA252 karma

I’m good!

agentlongball164 karma

Who’s the greatest rapper in the world?

boburnhamAMA547 karma

Del the Funky Homosapien

RedBloodedNinja161 karma

Bo, when are you gonna kick it with Reviewbrah?

boburnhamAMA224 karma

Whenever he’ll have me.

burnerxxxburner140 karma

do you consider having fans a positive or negative experience/influence?

boburnhamAMA241 karma

It’s lovely to have people watch and connect to my work. It’s my choice as to how much they “influence.” It’s good to have a dialogue with an audience and to understand how things are registering - but also important to not just make product for a customer while you’re making art. I don’t know, honestly, it’s a balance. Constantly learning/adjusting/growing.

DanDaBruh100 karma

what does your 13 year old self think of the movie?

boburnhamAMA239 karma

He farted.

Soliantu98 karma

Bo! I saw Eighth Grade at the Atlanta Film Festival and absolutely loved it. I didn't get a chance to ask you this there, so I'll do it here.

Why was the title changed from The Coolest Girl in the World to Eighth Grade?

boburnhamAMA178 karma

I liked TCGITW as a title AFTER you saw the movie. But it made it sound twee and small. And I like discovering that phrase on the time capsule rather than knowing it up front. It was more of a placeholder title while we were filming.

eatmypoo9797 karma

Quick question: Why are you on your knees in the picture?

boburnhamAMA205 karma


r0b0saur92 karma

Hi Bo! Big fan, I love ya. What inspired you the most to decide to make a movie?

boburnhamAMA181 karma

Wanting to collaborate with people. I grew up doing theatre and loved working with people and then fell into standup which is very isolated. I was desperate to work with others again.

Starscream13369 karma

Are you still in contact with other viners back in the day?

boburnhamAMA271 karma

Me and the Lebron James kid get brunch every other Tuesday.

dft_ba69 karma

How’s Zach Stone doing these days?

boburnhamAMA92 karma

Coked out of his mind.

Evoke28659 karma

What's it like to be pals with the Fupa Lord himself? Papa bless

boburnhamAMA148 karma

I had to google who this was lol

450nmwaffle30 karma

For your comedy shows, do you see them as more of a concert with jokes or a comedy show with songs? Or is it 50/50?

boburnhamAMA48 karma

I see them as just big fun shows really. I just want them to be theatrical and unpredictable. So a little of this and that and just trying to keep their audience on their toes.

skorpiodino1626 karma

Are there any directors, actors, or movies that inspired you to get into filmmaking?

boburnhamAMA66 karma

Catherine Breillat, Paul Thomas Anderson, Cassavetes, Bergman, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Goonies, Dumb and Dumber.

Waffle200611 karma

Do you plan on writing/directing more features in the near future?

boburnhamAMA21 karma

I hope so. Would need an idea that works, but that would be lovely. The issue with wanting to direct movies is that your interest requires hundreds of people and millions of dollars.