Hannibal Buress can easily be admired for many things; but what holds his consistently funny act together is persistence. Persistence is the trademark of a skilled comic who can seamlessly move beyond observation and then delve into the furthest logical conclusion a situation has to offer.
This Chicago native and current Saturday Night Live staff writer doesn’t just tell jokes; he doesn’t dart into a concept, drop a pun and then leave. Instead, he settles in. He creates a scenario, digs his mitts into it, and calmly shapes it until he massages the humor out— not with force but with a gentle touch.
My Name is Hannibal (out July 27 on Stand Up! Records) is an easy album to digest; Buress maintains a relaxed pace and a calm conversational tone. But he deftly peppers his flow with the occasional crescendo, just in case his audience needs some less subtle reengagement.
He’s immediately likeable, and this lets him almost deceptively take the audience to odd, dreamlike scenarios simply because his matter-of-fact demeanor makes it seem like this is exactly where we’re supposed to go. Yes, of course he smoked weed until he could speak Dutch, taught a geography class, then bought a baby as a status symbol. It’s all as reasonable as if he told a story about buying chicken at the supermarket.[audio:http://www.punchlinemagazine.com/audio/hannibal.mp3]
At the same time, Buress can break down scenarios with unnecessary rationality– a nearly stupid level of reason. He’ll tear the normal apart until it no longer bears any semblance to the sane. I say it again: persistence.
He’s as goofy as he is smart, blue as he is analytical and just damn funny. My Name is Hannibal is, so far, one of the strongest, most satisfying comedy albums of the year.
Click the image below to buy the album now. Seriously, do it.