All words: Ross Bonaime
You might not be aware of who Hannibal Buress is, but surely you know his work. Buress has written for Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock, appeared on Louie and co-hosts The Eric Andre Show and released one of last year’s best standup specials, the brilliant Animal Furnace. Like Chelsea Peretti, John Mulaney, Donald Glover and many others recently, Buress has refined his comedy through writing for television and is by far one of the greatest rising comedians today. So seeing Buress at The Hamilton this Friday wasn’t just a opportunity to see a hilarious comedian, but a potential future legend.
Backing up Buress and his opening act Damien Lemon is producer and frequent De La Soul collaborator Prince Paul. Lemon, who is most likely to be recognized from MTV’s The Guy Code, was a great opener and also has great potential. His material featured everything from mortality to discussing his desire to want to put his dick in a Dyson Airblade hand dryer. One highlight was Leon’s discussion of Girls, saying that it helps him figure out how to sleep with the “very white” girls he prefers, the type of girls that are so white that their favorite underground rapper is Donald Glover. Lemon was a fine introduction to Buress, who showed a short video as his introduction.
The video entitled “Live in (City Name)” was an even better way to warm-up the audience, as he showed off material that didn’t make his set and gave him an opportunity to explain the important business he was taking care of backstage (mainly, pooping.)
When Buress did come out, it was a bit underwhelming, but Buress explained that he once saw Mike Epps come out for a set and start dancing for like two minutes straight. Buress decided to start over his set by coming out the Epps way. Buress danced to Prince Paul, jumping out in the crowd, dancing with audience members and running around.
Buress’ set seemed like mostly new material and featured plenty of jumping from topic to topic. Buress explained why he doesn’t have kids yet (“my timing is amazing!”) and why he voted for Obama instead of Romney (Romney has the personality of a crouton and didn’t want to watch him for 4 years.)
Buress recently turned 30, but he explained that his 29th birthday was horrible, as he got in a car accident with a bunch of girls and Aziz Ansari and was taken care of in a South Carolina hospital by a woman nicknamed “Jillbilly.” One of the best aspects of Buress’ humor is that it isn’t the kind to be easily replicated. Much of what makes Buress so great is his cadence and presentation of his stories, which enhance the jokes within greatly.
Near the end of Buress’ set talked about various drugs, like how he once took half a pill of ecstasy and pissed his pants and how he wants to take cocaine just to stay awake at night and watch more Homeland.
At the very end, Buress broke down several rap songs and just how ridiculous they can be. He explained that T.I.’s listing of crimes is just a plea for help, and how Big Sean’s references to asses in “Mercy” just doesn’t make any sense. Even better was his dissection and admiration in the insanity of UGK’s “Pregnant Pussy.”
Buress closed his set with an amazing song he has written, which has become known as the “Gibberish Rap.” During his performance, two ballet dancers came out, as Buress performed the rap that basically just has him going “rappin, rappin, rappin” over and over, occasionally describing getting ready and throwing the phrase “got a chicken dick” in there. Explanation cannot fully describe this great song:
Buress is a great example as standup as presentation, rather than the spouting off of jokes. Buress could almost talk about anything and make it enjoyable, most likely hilarious, just through the way he talks and presents his material. Buress absolutely deserves to be called one of the great standup comedians of this generation.