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7 Times Bill Burr’s Controversial Jokes Made Fans Angry

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Bill Burr

Comedian Bill Burr is well known as a controversial entertainer — he often finds himself in hot water for the things he says in his standup comedy.

Of course, none of the backlash ever deters Burr from the throes of cancel culture, and he continues to put out comedy specials and make appearances on his tours around the country.

From an 'SNL' monologue that divided fans to his controversial 2021 Grammy's presentation that sparked immediate backlash, Burr has managed to ruffle many feathers in the years of his career.

Here are 7 times Bill Burr's controversial jokes made fans angry.

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1. Bill Burr's controversial 'Saturday Night Live' monologue.

During Burr's appearance on 'SNL' in October 2020, the comedian made some pretty interesting comments in his opening monologue, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Burr took aim at cancel culture during his seven-minute spiel, saying that it's gotten to the point where "they’re literally running out of people to cancel. They’re going after dead people now. They’re trying to cancel John Wayne. It’s like, God did that 40 years ago."

Later on, Burr also called out white women who have "hijacked the woke movement." 

Burr explained that “the woke movement was supposed to be about people of color not getting opportunities that they deserve,” before arguing that that all changed in “eight seconds.”

At the end of his monologue, Burr started talking about Pride Month, where he asked if a month is “a little too long” for the celebrations.

“For a group of people that were never enslaved. How did they get all of June?” Burr ranted, further arguing that, in comparison, Black people only get “28 days of overcast weather” in February. “How about you hook them up with July?”

Many people were quick to react to his monologue, saying, "How about you NOT pick hosts who say things like ‘Gays weren’t enslaved’ even if his ‘joke’ is to point out Black people suffered more,” one user tweeted.

2. Bill Burr made a controversial comment about Michelle Obama.

During Burr's Netflix comedy special 'Paper Tiger,' the 53-year-old comedy made a specific comment about Michelle Obama's book tour for her memoir 'Becoming,' according to Entertainment Weekly.

“Michelle Obama is doing an arena tour,” Burr said. “She’s not playing comedy clubs, she’s doing arenas. When did First Ladies start acting like they got elected? To be the first lady, that’s not a f—ing job — just standing there smiling and waving.”

He continued, saying, “If you really think that’s a job, just look at her. Look at Obama. When that guy got elected, he looked like he was about 41-years-old." "When he left office, that guy looked like he was about 73."

"Look at Michelle, she looks younger now than she did when that dude got elected. What has she done for the last eight years? Other than lay in a giant vat of Illuminati-level lotion, just sitting there floating?”

Burr defended the controversial comments he made about the former First Lady on an episode of the podcast, 'The Last Laugh.'

"You go on stage and some nights you’re going to do a bit and you go, should I say this? And it’s like, what is going to happen?" Burr said.

"It’s just a joke. And 99 percent of the people there—100 percent most nights—realize they went to a comedy club and everything you’re saying [is a joke]."

3. Bill Burr spoke about Bryan Cranston's controversial role in 'The Upside.'

In Burr's comedy special, 'Paper Tiger,' he defended his 'Breaking Bad' costar, Bryan Cranston, who was criticized for playing a paralyzed billionaire in the 2017 film 'The Upside,' according to Entertainment Weekly.

“This is how screwed up my country is right now,” Burr said. “You know Bryan Cranston, right? That dude did a movie, he played a quadriplegic, and people gave him s—."

"Being like, ‘Why is there an able-bodied person playing a quadriplegic?’ It’s because it’s called acting, you dumb f—. See, if he was a quadriplegic playing a quadriplegic, that’s not acting. They’re just f—ing laying there saying s— that someone else wrote," he continued.

Burr went on to make jokes about remaking 'Top Gun' with a transgender co-pilot, saying, "She won’t die, her discarded d--k will block her head from the canopy. There’ll be a gender-neutral bathroom on the plane. How f—ing dumb is that?”

Actor, comic and disability advocate Danny Woodburn explained to The Hollywood Reporter why the segment of Burr talking about Cranston's role was ignorant to disability.

Woodburn wrote, "I have dwarfism and therefore any character who happens to have dwarfism that I have played onscreen — be it a father, prospective lover, sheriff’s deputy, state department head, husband or murderer — was not acting, because I am just a dwarf, by the standard Mr. Burr has set."

"People will say 'it’s just a joke, get over it.' There is no such thing as “just a joke.” This is the response of either a person with total disregard of social responsibility, or of the guilty," Woodburn added.

"Comedians are important contributors to the art and culture of our time. They have great power when given the honor of a nationally recognized platform, like a comedy special."

RELATED: Louis C.K’s New Comedy Special After Sexual Misconduct Allegations Is A Reminder That Cancel Culture Isn’t Real

4. Bill Burr defended Dave Chappelle's 2019 Netflix special.

During an interview with Forbes in 2019, Burr spoke about Chappelle's controversial 2019 Netflix special 'Sticks and Stones,' where many of the jokes Chappelle made were perceived as "tone-deaf and hurtful," according to CNBC.

"I feel like Dave Chappelle got more sh-t than pharmaceutical companies for a stand-up special. It’s like, “Forget about the crap that they did!” You know?," Burr told Forbes.

Burr also defended his own jokes about white women hijacking the woke movement, saying, "I found it hilarious how I was joking about how white women hijacked the “woke” movement, and how racist media is, since whenever a white woman complains about something, it goes to the front page."

"It’s really one of the funniest times, socially, to be doing this. People are trying to fix really painful, unfunny things about, I guess, human interaction, but the ways that they’re going about it are just comedic," he continued. 

"It’s funny because it’s not something most comics would’ve done back in the day."

5. Bill Burr poked fun at male feminists.

According to Entertainment Weekly, during his comedy special 'Paper Tiger,' Burr brought up the topic of male feminists and said he doesn't consider himself one.

“It’s f—ing nuts!” Burr said. “People are so scared now, that you now have the male feminist." 

"Like, where the f— did that come from? Just out of nowhere, last couple of years. ‘I’m a male feminist. I’ve always championed women.’ No, you haven’t! Ya haven’t!”

Burr went on, saying, "This s— came out and you’re f—ing scared. You did something. You grabbed some f—ing titties… What the f— did you do? That you have to overcorrect that f—ing hard."

"What kind of a man, who still has his balls, is walking around saying he’s a male feminist?”

Under a Reddit post, a few users voiced their opinions on the comments Burr made.

"Because there is inequality for women in different ways than for men. This movement focuses on balancing that," one person commented.

"What he's saying is pretty dumb if you think too hard about it," another user commented.

6. Bill Burr made a comment that he's happy Stephen Hawking is dead.

During his comedy special 'Paper Tiger,' Burr went into a discussion about the possible dangers of artificial intelligence, before moving on to talking about Stephen Hawking, according to Entertainment Weekly.

“Every smart person, every super-smart person in the world, is saying these f—ing [robots] are going to kill us. Even your boy here, the guy who recently died," Burr said. 

"What was his name? He was always sitting down… Hawking, Stephen Hawking. Yeah, too good to f—ing stand up and make his point, just sitting down all f—ing smarmy.”

Burr went on, saying he was "glad that the guy is dead."

"Look at you guys, you’re heartless. How much longer do you want him to suffer? You don’t believe in an afterlife? Maybe he’s up there now and his f—ing legs work, and he’s getting an angelic bl— job.”

In an Op-Ed written by Ian Thomas Malone, they voiced their opinion on Burr's comedy special, writing, "The jokes themselves don’t really dive deeper than surface-level humor about living with a debilitating disease like ALS." 

"The shock value is there for those who laugh at things they wouldn’t feel comfortable saying in public."

7. Bill Burr mispronounced a singer's name while presenting at the 2021 Grammy's ceremony.

While presenting a series of awards at the premiere ceremony before the show Grammy's in 2021, the stand-up comedian made the mistake of not being able to pronounce the winner's name.

While presenting the award for best Latin rock or alternative album and best tropical Latin album, as well as announcing the winner of the regional Mexican music award, during which Burr joked that he couldn't pronounce winner Natalia Lafourcade's name.

"I can't say this name. Natalie what?"  he said, later attempting to pronounce her last name and apologizing, according to USA Today. "If I butchered her name, I'm sorry. Natalie you won," he continued, before accepting the award on her behalf.

After not being able to pronounce her name, Burr attempted to make a joke about a white man presenting the awards.

"The feminists are going nuts. Why is the cis-white male doing all this Latino stuff?" he said.

Immediately, Grammy viewers took to Twitter to express their criticism of Burr, saying he should've practiced saying the names before the show, and ultimately ended up making fun of a person of color's name in the process.

RELATED: Dave Chappelle Says He Will Stop Making Anti-LGBTQ Jokes After Suicide Of Trans Friend Daphne Dorman

Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.