You know Bill Burr is a hardcore Boston Bruins fan because when he talks about the team, he says, "we." The last time he played the Chicago Theater, in 2011, the Bruins won the Stanley Cup. This time, the Blackhawks got the better of the Bruins.
You won't find any bitterness in the 45-year-old actor and comedian, however.
"[The Hawks] were the favorite and they lived up to it; you can't get upset losing to the best team," said Burr, who plays Kuby on "Breaking Bad." "Either way, I've been watching the Bruins since the early '80s so to actually see them win a Cup and have an Original Six Final, I have nothing to complain about."
Burr, who's performing at the Chicago Theatre on Sept. 28, spoke to RedEye about hockey, why he hates "Chelsea Dagger" and why Bryan Cranston freaks him out.
If the Bruins had won this past Stanley Cup Final against the Blackhawks, would the win over Vancouver in the 2011 Final have been sweeter?
The Chicago Blackhawks are a respectable team. I love that team, I love the way they run it. I was like a lot of people in Chicago when they dismantled the team and get rid of [Dustin] Byfuglien and all those guys after 2010, I was like, "Man, these guys are like the Florida Marlins, what are they doing?" But they obviously know what they're doing that they come back that quickly.
As much as the fact that we lost to the Blackhawks, what I liked was that the worst that they have on the Blackhawks is pests; they don't have any dirty players. They go out and play hockey.
What impressed you the most about the Blackhawks?
You guys were just better, man. You were faster, having Marian Hossa … . One of those games too by the way, Marian didn't even play, and we won that game. So who knows if they maybe would have even won in five.
I just thought you guys had such a balanced team with the goaltending, you had the right balance of superstars, and you had guys who would go in the corner and muck it up and you had your big tough guy. … The thing is we lost, and there's nothing I can look back on and say "Oh, you know, that was a BS call," because there wasn't any.
I just kept waiting for us to get one of those goals that deflects off of a couple people, because when that happens you start feeling like this is our year and that never happened for us. [Laughs.] So it's their year, congratulations.
You trashed Chelsea Dagger on your podcast ("Bill Burr's Monday Morning Podcast"). What's your beef?
That song is evil, man. That song I swear to God that song is like your life is in danger and they say all you have to do is just tell us your phone number and we will not kill you, then they immediately start playing "duh duh duh duh duh duh," I don't think you can remember it.
The combination of the stress of your life being on the line and then that just mindless … it's the most mindless-ridden circus music. "Just get them drunk, fat, and happy and maybe they won't storm the castle" kind of music. It drives me nuts.
In Chicago, have we seen everything Theo Epstein can do?
Theo Epstein I think proved himself with two titles, but it's one of those things where you have to have everything in place. You can't expect the guy to turn it around in, how long has he been out there? This is his second season? You have to give him some time.
How the Blackhawks won, everybody was doing their job; you really have to have that. I don't know enough about the Cubs' front office to know if they put everything in place that you could actually criticize Theo like that.
I think you have to give the guy more than the season and three quarters before you write the guy off. I look at it like Van Halen, when David Lee Roth left Van Halen—neither side was ever as good. You need the lightning in the bottle as they say.
Is filming "Breaking Bad" as intense as watching it on TV?
I don't know if it's intensity as much as it's fun. It's just so well-written and it's just shot so well and the way they tell the story... Whenever they're going to go left, they make the crowd lean to the right. I don't know about you, but I fall for it every time. I don't think I've ever guessed the direction that they were going in the show.
You've worked with Bryan Cranston on "Breaking Bad," and Al Pacino and Christopher Walken in "Stand Up Guys." What is it like working with actors of that caliber?
With Al Pacino, I was nervous he was going to be like, "Who is this guy who can't even act? Get this guy off the set." Of course he was the exact opposite. He was such a really warm guy, just a great, great guy. He still loved acting.
This is the deal, when I'm working with them [Pacino and Walken], I was literally working with my childhood and everything that made me want to do this. It would be like if you played football and you always wanted to play with Tom Brady, now you're finally of age and as a rookie you get drafted in one of his last years or something like that and you actually get to catch a pass. It kind of felt like that.
With Bryan Cranston, it was surreal. Just imagine your favorite TV show you've watched for three seasons and all of a sudden you're on it. It feels like you got sucked into your TV. Bryan is like, when you're in between scenes, he's just Bryan. He's this great guy, great storyteller.
You're just hanging with him, then all of a sudden you go into the scene and he becomes Mr. White. When he looks at you as Mr. White, dude, I'm telling you your stomach drops. It's crazy. It's really crazy. I can't even believe I'm having this conversation with you that I get to talk about people like that.
I was so geeking out whenever I got to do that show; it's kind of a whirlwind. They fly me in to New Mexico, you just hit the ground, then boom, you're doing a scene. I'm doing scenes then I'll literally be like, "That's the super meth lab! Can I go on the set and look at it?" A lot of times I probably sounded like somebody who won a radio contest.
Scott King is a RedEye special contributor.
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