Hannibal Buress, the 29-year old, New York City based comedian, who won the Best Club Comic award at the 2012 Comedy Awards, premiered his Comedy Central special, Hannibal Buress: Animal Furnace last month and now it's available on CD and DVD. This is the 2nd release by Buress, following his 2010 album, My Name Is Hannibal, but his first with Comedy Central's label. The 16 tracks of Animal Furnace are all very solid, little hints of which were peppered throughout Buress' TV appearances over the past year with the significant difference in that they are uncensored and not limited to a 5-7 minute slice at the end of some late night show.
Three favorite tracks for me were his story about getting a show written up by a college newspaper; how Buress behaves in a nightclub; and his closer which is no just about apple juice. This album and special are a remarkable accomplishment for a young man who less than 4 years ago was homeless in New York. While Buress does find himself in Los Angeles with considerable regularity, he rarely headlines in town so, as he discusses at the end of our interview, you will have to keep your eye on certain venues in town to see him feature. You can get Animal Furnace in both DVD and CD formats, uncensored is the way to go! You can also catch Buress on Adult Swim's surreal "The Eric Andre Show" on Sunday nights at midnight - quite possibly the most bizarre 15 minutes of TV every week.
Congrats on the new release, "Hannibal Buress: Animal Furnace." I actually ran into you on the red carpet at the Comedy Awards in New York where you gave me a nice couple quotes as well as your statement in the press room after winning the Best Club Comic award.
Hannibal Buress: The press room there was weird, wasn't it?! I got just a couple questions and then nothing. I think people were waiting for somebody more famous to come in.
I don't think that was the situation. You were one of the first people to come into the press room and the journalists just weren't ready. We couldn't hear the questions - so it definitely wasn't you.
Hannibal Buress: Oh, thanks so much for telling me that, I thought it was me!
You have had so many things going on in the past couple months: you won the Best Club Comic Award, you had the premiere of "The Eric Andre Show" where you play a bit part, and you've had the premiere and release of "Animal Furnace," how have you been dealing with it?
Hannibal Buress: I've just been doing the same thing, I do some stuff on the internet, I get something to eat, and I do comedy at night - it's been real good
What was your process on deciding what made it onto "Animal Furnace"? You mention on one of the tracks after making a joke that it was for the CD and that it wouldn't be making it on Comedy Central.
Hannibal Buress: That's because in that joke I say "sh-t" eight times in a row! [Laughs] Comedy Central would just be going crazy bleeping all that out of there, although, I did see that they did a lot of bleeping on Kat Williams' special, so I guess they could do it. I do like that joke a lot, the one about taking a sh-t on a plane.
How did you figure out what set to put together something that was going to go out on so many different mediums? Something that was going to be on CD, DVD, and broadcast? For example, how about what you closed the show with?
Hannibal Buress: You know what, I knew what I wanted to close with because it's a joke that I've closed with on the road a lot. I approached it like I was going to do a club set. I know that there were going to be some differences between the CD and the broadcast version, the CD is longer. Comedy Central gave me complete control over the edit for the aired version but I was getting really annoyed with it. The process of watching myself on the screen and seeing my jokes over and over again and trying to find th edits. I just told one of the producers, John Irwin, "I trust you with this, I trust that you won't make me look bad. Because if I look bad then we both look bad." Those guys had the experience of cutting a show into segments for commercials because that's not what I do, I just trusted them with it and it came out really well.
Did you have a gathering to watch the airing?
Hannibal Buress: I did have a party but we watched the DVD.
Did you know where they were going to put commercial breaks?
Hannibal Buress: My main note to the producers was to ask them not to cut to commercial right in the middle of a story [laughs]. What's funny is sometimes I'll tell a story on stage and in comedy clubs there's a thing called the "check drop" if you are the last act which is when the bill is brought to peoples' tables. So say I'm doing a 7 minute story and then all of a sudden people are getting bills in the middle of my story, and then when I do the closing part of the story not everybody gets it because they weren't in on the whole story. It's really tough sometimes to be doing comedy when customers get the bills - you're doing a job that requires peoples' full attention and then somebody else comes in and demands something from them.
I looked at your web page for any upcoming LA dates but I didn't see any. Are you coming out any time soon?
Hannibal Buress: I'm in LA a lot but I don't headline in LA a lot. I do it every few months, when I'm in LA I do a 15 minute spot at places like UCB and Meltdown. I'm in LA a lot but I don't advertise them much, they also might be shows that I book just a few days in advance. Actually, I really am out there every 6 weeks or so.
You mentioned at the Comedy Awards that you are still working on your own TV show.
Hannibal Buress: Yes, I've got another writer that's working on it with me. He's going to write it and I'll be working on rewrites with him. Still pushing along on that! Right now just focusing on getting a new hour of stand-up together.