Fact Check

Did Bill Burr Philosophize About 'Sleeping on a Futon When You're 30'?

A popular meme quoted the stand-up comic philosophizing about risk, reward, and futons.

Published Aug 5, 2021

Los Angeles, CA - JULY 25: Bill Burr performs at Operation Comedy With Bill Burr and Friends at the Wiltern Theater on July 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.  This is the first performance at the Wiltern in 15 months (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic) (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Image Via Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
Claim:
Comedian Bill Burr once said "Sleeping on a futon when you're 30 is not the worst thing" and "There's a tremendous amount of risk to playing it safe."
Context

The quotation presented in a popular meme removed numerous curse words, but was otherwise a loyal representation of something Burr said during a March 2012 episode of his Monday Morning Podcast.

In the summer of 2021, an old quote widely attributed to the comedian Bill Burr re-emerged online. In it, the Boston comic riffs on status, happiness, risk, and "sleeping on a futon when you're 30."

For example, on Aug. 4, popular posts on Reddit and Imgur featured a meme containing a photograph of Burr, and the following quotation:

Realize that sleeping on a futon when you're 30 is not the worst thing. You know what's worse, sleeping in a king bed next to a wife you're not really in love with but for some reason you married, and you got a couple of kids, and you got a job you hate. You'll be laying there fantasizing about sleeping on a futon. There's no risk when you go after a dream. There's a tremendous amount of risk to playing it safe. — Bill Burr

The quotation was a substantially, though not entirely accurate transcription of something Burr said back in 2012, and as such we are issuing a rating of "Correct Attribution." The version shown in the meme significantly cleaned up the language of the original, which — reader's note — is littered with curse words.

The quotation originated in a March 2012 episode of Burr's popular and long-running Monday Morning Podcast, and can be listened to further below. Responding to a reader who had emailed him about his love of dancing, Burr turned to the subject of pursuing one's dream, and the fear of failure:

...Your big fear should be what everybody's big fear is. Like "What if I fucking go after this dream, and I'm 30, and I'm sleeping on a fucking futon, and it hasn't happened yet?" Well I've got to tell you something, Sir — I've been there. I was there at fucking 34, I was still sleeping on a futon in a fucking studio apartment that they called a "one-bedroom" 'cos they slammed a fucking wall in there and put a door on it.

...All you've got to do, you've just got to commit to this shit, and then realize that, you know, sleeping on a futon when you're 30 is not the worst thing. It isn't. You know what's worse than sleeping on a futon at 30? Sleeping in a king bed next to a fucking woman you're not really in love with but for some reason married. And you've got a couple of kids and you've got a job that you fucking hate. Ok? You'll be laying there fantasizing about fucking sleeping on a futon.

There's no risk when you go after a dream. It's all fucking reward. It's all going to lead to something good. It always does. There's a tremendous amount of risk to playing it safe, and that leads to unbelievable levels of regret — which is something else I've also experienced, because I'm an old motherfucker.

Dan Mac Guill is a former writer for Snopes.

Article Tags