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Hannibal Buress’ straightforward hilarity in ‘Comedy Camisado’

| Tuesday, February 16, 2016

hannibal-web-SUSAN ZHU | The Observer

On his third major stand-up special “Comedy Camisado” Hannibal Buress enters the stage quietly, letting out one thank you and a clap before getting into his first bit. Dressed in modest, dark clothing, Buress makes it clear from the get-go that his act lacks pizzazz. Fortunately it is in this simplicity that the Chicago native shines as a stand-up comic.

Hannibal Buress has made a career of exposing the humor behind life’s innocent mundanities. Beginning with everyday observations, Buress’ gift of storytelling and frank delivery allows him to navigate the audience through hilarious and often provocative digressions. Whether Buress is musing about acting alongside a baby or explaining his gripe with intentional walks in baseball, “Comedy Camisado” succeeds in its unsophistication.

After impressing audiences with his oddball sensibility through a series of minor roles and writing credits on shows like “30 Rock,” “Louie” and “SNL,” Buress landed a co-hosting role on Adult Swim’s “The Eric Andre Show.” A lethargic foil to André’s off-the-wall insanity, Buress established a brilliantly surreal dynamic on the late-night show parody and gained the attention of more mainstream outlets in the process.

This past year Buress shined as the curiously lovable Lincoln Rice on Comedy Central’s hilarious “Broad City.” Buress continued his success through voice roles on animated programs “Chozen,” “China, IL” and “Lucas Bros. Moving Co.” before earning his own Comedy Central late night show “Why? with Hannibal Buress” in 2015 (since canceled).

Some may recognize him as the comedian who in 2014 “made an offhand joke about Cosby raping” Buress explains in Camisado, maintaining his signature nonchalance. Buress is certainly more than “that comic,” the uproar was in part testament to just how funny that bit was. Such unabashed bluntness is a hallmark of the Buress’ brand, and is very present throughout much of “Comedy Camisado.”

“Pitchers, that’s one of the few jobs where if you do your job poorly, there are explosions in the sky. One of the others is TSA agent,” Buress observes, as if just coming up with it on the spot before letting out a chuckle. The mix of honesty, creativity and dark humor serve Buress well. His cool delivery ensures playful genuineness. Colorful expressions, relatable references and passionate impersonations all add compelling components to Buress’ act, and though it may not be the most gripping comedy, the short hour certainly flies by.

Throughout most of the act, Hannibal toes a fine line between corniness and authenticity, yet his experience and goofy stage presence is enough to ground at least most of his bits. That being said, there are some jokes, such as one bit on Stevie Wonder, which come off a bit undeveloped; but those moments are fleeting, quickly transitioning to more fruitful pursuits.

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About Adam Ramos

Adam is studying international economics in the class of 2018. He hails from beautiful New Jersey and says "draw" instead of "drawer."

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