Acerbic. Fiery. Contrarian. Those terms barely scratch the surface of comedian Bill Burr’s warped mind. Now two decades into his career, the Boston native has made a living out of dissecting — and oftentimes eviscerating — societal norms, cultural icons such as Oprah and Steve Jobs, and pretty much any other subject that ends up in his cross hairs. He’s a comedic firebrand, and his twisted perspectives and onstage belligerence would be outright insufferable — if he weren’t so screamingly funny.
“I’m not quite as hotheaded as the guy you see on stage,” said Burr, 44, who appears Saturday at the State Theatre.
Burr has been a favorite within comedy circles for years. Following the release of his past two specials — 2010’s “Let It Go” and 2012’s “You People Are All the Same” — he seems to have reached a commercial breakthrough. With a nationwide tour filled with theater dates, a recurring role on the widely popular TV series “Breaking Bad” and two stellar appearances on “Conan” within the past few months, Burr might as well be crowned one of the reigning kings of comedy.
Burr’s burgeoning success coincides with his decision to release his most recent special on Netflix late last year, which he said might have something to do with a boost in ticket sales.
“It’s great because it’s just there. You know, if you do an HBO special they air it twice that night, maybe once again the next night and then who knows when after that,” Burr said. “One guy at an office might see and tell his friends about it and you’d just have to hope it’d air again.”
But a broadened fan base hasn’t exactly prompted the standup veteran to temper his material.
“The guy was a sociopath on a bicycle,” Burr said of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong last month on “Conan.” “As far as I’m concerned, we got off easy. If that guy was working for a corporation he probably would have been pouring stuff in the water supply, doing God knows what. Just keep him on the bike!”
Also an avid hockey fan, Burr had some choice words for Wild fans — ones he’s sure to echo during Saturday’s shows.
“I said this on my podcast and I need to say it again: The Minnesota Wild’s third jersey should be their first one,” he said, mocking the team’s first two logos. “In fact, I think I’m going to pick up one of the new ones while I’m in town.”
Few comedians ever attain the same level of success that Burr currently enjoys. Even fewer can be as hysterically astute while continuing to push the proverbial envelope again and again. It’s hard to forecast whether Burr’s verbal spitfire could appeal to even larger audiences. Even if it doesn’t, that’s one thing he won’t feel compelled to rant about.
“If I could just do theaters and clubs for the rest of my career, I’d be happy,” Burr said.
When: 7 & 10 p.m. Sat.
Where: State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.