Comedy fans may still reminisce about Bill Burr's legendary "Philly Incident," in which the comedian ripped a Philadelphia crowd a new one at a stop on Opie & Anthony's Traveling Virus tour in 2006. But almost a decade later, Burr himself, understandably, is over it.
"It was 10 years ago," he says of the virally popular incident. "I've been to Philly a bunch of times. That was forever ago."
Since then, plenty has changed.
Stand-up, however, still remains Burr's focus. And lucky for us, he's coming to Philly this Friday, Nov. 6 at the Wells Fargo Center. Tickets run $19 to $69, and are currently available.
I recently spoke with Burr about his experiences in Philly, the upcoming show, and his personal cheesesteak preference. But, really, we mostly just talked about the 1983 76ers:
Your upcoming show this week is at the Wells Fargo Center. As a well-known sports guy, how do you feel about playing that venue?
For me as a sports fan, the legendary venue there was the Spectrum. I'm an old man. My thing with sports is the old arenas that I watched when I was a kid. It makes me feel old that the Flyers don't play at the Spectrum anymore.
Did you ever get a chance to make it out to the Spectrum for a game before it was demolished?
I saw an Eagles game and I saw a Phillies game in Veterans Stadium. But it just never worked out on my schedule for me to see a game at the Spectrum. I was young, and in this business when you're young, you feel like if you take a day off, the business is going to pass you by. Like, "Spielberg was in the audience, where were you?"
Still, though, as an NBA fan in general, it must be exciting to do a show on the 76ers' home turf.
When I was growing up, one of my favorite teams of all time was the 1983 76ers. And the argument I have with people all the time is everybody always talks about the 1996 Bulls, but I would put the '83 76ers up against the '96 Bulls any day of the week.
Wow, really? How do people tend to react to that statement?
People always go, "Dude, they had Jordan in his prime." Well, the Sixers had Dr. J, so as much damage as Jordan's going to do, Dr. J's would offset it. I'm not trying to belittle the 1996 Bulls, but I bet that was just definitively the greatest team of all time. When I argue with people who are in their 30s or younger, they can't wrap their heads around the fact that anybody could ever beat the f------ '96 Bulls.
What do you think made that '83 team so notable?
Of all the championships in the 80s, they were the most dominant performance — an unquestionable f------ title. It's the f------ 76ers. You guys made the Showtime Lakers look like children. So I'm not going to listen to someone in their 30s or under tell me how no one could touch that '96 Bulls team. At this point I guess I'm disrespecting them.
I don't think so, but also don't think we should talk about basketball the whole time.
I do. Go look up that f------ '83 Sixers team, dude. I didn't even bring up Bobby Jones.
Your last stand-up special, "I'm Sorry You Feel That Way," came out in December 2014. Are you filming anything for a new one this run?
No. I usually take a little over two years to come up with this stuff. I've got to feel like I've got 60 minutes worth of stuff that I want to document and be part of when I'm gone and people go, "This guy was a comic; let me see what he did." I don't want to have a special out there that I'm not proud of. I'm having a great time right now on the road, just trying new stuff. It's been a lot of fun, and it's a tremendous privilege to come to a city and sell tickets to people who actually like what you do.
You have a great story of meeting Bill Cosby in 2013, well before the current scandal began. As a comedian, how have you reacted to the allegations?
I think it was the same as any people who aren't comedians: I was absolutely stunned. I can't believe it. Even when I met him, I had an ear-to ear smile. He was an incredible guy to be around. But the other side that he was this monster, I still can't believe it. Innocent until proven guilty, or 47 accusations. I think that's the normal reaction for somebody who's not a rapist.
The last time you were in town, you went down to Pat's and Geno's for a taste test, and Pat's won. Any chance you'll be going back for a rematch?
When I go to Philly, I go to both and I go with somebody else and we split one and one. The things that excite me when I'm on the road are ridiculous. That's one of those things. When I see the lights outside, I get all f------ excited. I guess I'm kind of boring when I'm on the road. I don't do blow and get hookers and s---.
Any other plans for when you come to town? The Liberty Bell, maybe?