Director Tapped For Comedian Bo Burnham’s “Gay Kid And Fat Chick”

In the movie, teen outcasts adopt in-your-face alter-egos to battle school bullies.

The upcoming teen dramedy Gay Kid And Fat Chick, written by comedian Bo Burnham (Rough Night, The Big Sick), has landed a director. Amy York Rubin, who has a lengthy resume directing shows like The Mick, Fresh Off the Boat, and Growin-ish, will make her feature debut helming the film.

Amy York Rubin
Phillip Faraone/Getty Images

Burnham’s script, which made the “Black List” of best unproduced screenplays, follows Maggie and Alex, two teen outcasts who adopt in-your-face alter-egos to battle bullies at their school. In development at Paramount since 2013, it’s being developed by Paramount Players, a new division of the studio also producing Taraji P. Henson’s What Women Want and a movie adaptation of Are You Afraid of The Dark?

Burnham, who also wrote and directed the 2018 coming-of-age film Eighth Grade, began his career as a teen in the early 2000s, posting original comedy songs to YouTube. But he’s faced criticism over lyrics about KKK cookouts, Helen Keller, and gay kids at Bible camp.

In 2009, more than a dozen Westminster College students, including members of the campus Gay-Straight Alliance and Black Students Association, protested his concert at the university. The now 27-year-old comedian called the controversy ironic, “because gay bashers were the ones labeling me in high school.”

“I try and write satire that’s well-intentioned,” Burnham told The Daily Cougar. “But those intentions have to be hidden. It can’t be completely clear, and that’s what makes it comedy.”

Still, he confesses to “having issues” with the quality of his early work, adding “I’ve learned to forgive myself because I was 16 years old.”

Bo Burnham
Jeff Vespa/Getty Images for Hilarity for Charity

Burnham also admitted to Rolling Stone that some gay fans objected to his use of the word “faggot” in the 2016 standup special Make Happy..

“I get it, and I’m not gonna be like, ’Take a joke,'” he told the magazine. “I understand if you don’t like hearing that word. But, you know, I have an explanation for it. I don’t even use it; the show literally calls me that [through a voiceover]. It’s more just, like, what it truly feels like to live online.”

Jeff Taylor is a North Carolina-based journalist who writes for LGBTQ Nation, Q Notes and other outlets.
@jefftaylorhuman