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Bill Burr ’93 is First Comedian to Perform at Fenway Park

For all you trivia buffs, when the question of who was the first comedian to ever perform at Fenway Park comes up, the answer is Bill Burr ’93.

Burr will be the first comedian to perform at the 110-year old stadium on August 21. Burr is a big Boston sports fan as he grew up in Canton, Massachusetts.

In 2015, Burr spoke to students at Emerson’s LA campus about his career and how he got started.

His first gig was at Nick’s Comedy Stop in Boston, which was holding a contest to find the funniest college comedian. Burr joked it was a total scam to get drunk people in the door. He spoke about working up the courage to get on stage.

“I was really introverted. I was such a loser,” said Burr, who described himself as shut down when he started attending Emerson.

Bill Burr's yearbook photo
Bill Burr’s ’93 yearbook photo (Emerson College Library)

To overcome his shyness, Burr made a resolution in 1992 to sign up for classes in which he had to stand up and speak in front of people. By his senior year he was doing open mics. He bombed badly during his third show, but that didn’t dismay him from pursuing standup comedy.

“When I had that humiliation, I never thought the dream was gone,” said Burr, who found solace in listening to other comedians share stories about how they, too, bombed on stage. 

He went on to be a very successful standup comedian and actor during the next 30 years.

His acting credits include appearing in hit shows such as Breaking Bad, The Mandalorian, The Simpsons, and more.

He is the co-creator, executive producer of the animated show F is For Family, which is inspired by his life. He voices the character of Frank Murphy, a short-tempered veteran, on the show.

He has numerous comedy specials, and was recognized for his work with a Grammy nomination in 2021 for his Netflix comedy special, Paper Tiger. Burr hosted Saturday Night Live in 2020.

He’s nominated for an Emmy for the Roku Channel’s Immoral Compass. He’s also making his feature-film directing debut with Old Dads, in post-production now, which he also stars in. He also hosts the popular Monday Morning Podcast.

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