Comedy Legend Learns About The Hardships Of Parenting In Hilarious Netflix Comedy

By Robert Scucci | Published

bill burr old dads

If you haven’t been closely following Bill Burr’s career outside of standup comedy, you may not know that he wrote and starred in a Netflix original feature-length film called Old Dads. As somebody who has been a fan of Burr’s work ever since he spent 12 straight minutes relentlessly insulting an unruly Philadelphia crowd in 2006 (look it up on YouTube, it’s legendary), I had to see what this movie was all about. On its own, it’s a solid movie, but if you’re more than familiar with Burr’s albums and specials like I am, it doesn’t really offer anything new.

Old Dads

I’m of two minds when standup comedians write a screenplay because it always seems like they’re just biding their time and working out new material for an upcoming special. Or even worse, they’re recycling old throwaway jokes that they didn’t feel were good enough to make it into their set.

Bill Burr falls into this trap with Old Dads, but I still enjoyed this movie because he stays on brand while trying new things, and most of his jokes translate well into this cynical comedy about late-in-life fathers who are trying their best to be family men.

Bill Burr portrays Jack Kelly in Old Dads, and Jack Kelly is basically a fictionalized version of Bill Burr. Jack and his friends, Connor (Bobby Cannavale) and Mike (Bokeem Woodbine), decide to sell their sports memorabilia company to a young hipster named Aspen (Miles Robbins).

The three long-time friends, still working for the company, think Aspen is out of touch with his gender-affirming and carbon-neutral initiatives, but they quickly learn that they’re the ones who are out of touch.

A Profanity Professional

bill burr old dads

Meanwhile, Bill Burr’s Jack character is having trouble on the home-front in Old Dads because he’s not one for gentle parenting. He calls his son’s pre-school director, Dr. Lois Schmieckel-Turner (Rachel Harris), the ‘C’ word, which jeopardizes his chances to get his son, Nate (Dash McCloud), into private kindergarten.

Most of the humor found in Old Dads comes in the form of Bill Burr belting out long strings of profanity as he tries to figure out how to navigate his way through a life that involves PTA meetings, and working for somebody else instead of being his own boss.

Funny For Hardcore Burr Fans Or More Casual Ones

bill burr old dads

While I love the humor in this movie because I have been following Bill Burr’s career for a long time, Old Dads suffers setbacks similar to Jerry Seinfeld’s Unfrosted, in that it’s the same kind of material that I’ve already heard.

More casual Bill Burr fans, or people who don’t generally listen to standup comedy, however, will get a kick out of this movie because the humor is on point even if it’s pretty standard fare for die-hard fans. And let’s not forget that Bill Burr actually has some acting chops, which can also be seen in Breaking Bad when his Patrick Kuby character does all of Skylar and Walt’s dirty work when things start to get dicey.

It Isn’t Particularly Original

Bill Burr loses some points for a lack of originality in Old Dads, but he’s also trying to appeal to a wider audience who may not know what he’s all about. I can’t fault him too much for sticking with what he knows in his directorial debut, and there is something just so satisfying about watching a new parent lose their cool against their better judgment when all of their buttons are pushed.

Stream It Now


Any new parent with a cynical sense of humor will love what Bill Burr has to offer with Old Dads because they can live vicariously through Jack Kelly while also learning a life lesson or two. Whether you’re a long-time fan of Bill Burr, or a newcomer to his brand of slice-of-life comedy, you’ll probably enjoy Old Dads because his delivery is just as relentless as it is on stage, but with a little more nuance. You can arrive at your own conclusion by watching Old Dads on Netflix.