TV Review: Hannibal Buress: Animal Furnace

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From the May 17, 2012 edition

Hannibal Buress is one of the fastest-rising stand-up comedians. He’s been given all kinds of accolades, and he recently won Best Club Comic at Comedy Central’s Comedy Awards — one of the few awards shows I mostly agree with.

So yes, Buress is a very funny comedian who is on the radar of any hardcore fan. It’s the more casual comedy fans who’ve probably never heard of him. Both groups should check out his first hour-long special on Comedy Central this Sunday (the extended and uncensored version of the performance will be released on CD and DVD the following Tuesday).

Buress’ deadpan, patient rhythm isn’t instantly graspable, but it doesn’t take too long to give in to his cadence and occasional non sequiturs. Once you’ve realized that Buress will quickly and effortlessly bounce between realism and the ridiculous, the laughs just wash over you.

Early in the special, Buress derides a journalism student’s article about him. I, having gone to journalism school and having written terrible crap early in my schooling, felt a little bad for this student. Even though she idiotically describes Buress’ act as having “comedic jokes,” he was a little mean. I still laughed my ass off.

Much as I had to let go of my allegiance to fellow journalism students, casual fans will have to adjust their minds to fully enjoy Buress. He really doesn’t think about life the way the rest of us do, but that’s what makes him a comedic genius.