Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Interview: Hannibal Buress' "Animal Furnace" now available on CD/DVD

Comedy Central

Hannibal Buress' new special is now available on CD and DVD.

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.


Interview: Scott Aukerman's 'Comedy Bang Bang' premieres on IFC tonight


Scott Aukerman's TV show "Comedy Bang Bang" premieres tonight at 10pm on IFC

Writer, performer, podcaster, and impressario Scott Aukerman has created a show called "Comedy Bang Bang" on IFC which premieres tonight at 10pm. In the same way that his "Comedy Bang Bang" podcast is not a simple interview podcast, "Comedy Bang Bang" the TV show is nothing like a TV talk show. Yes, there's some chairs on a set, and yes, there is musical accompaniment by surreal musical humorist Reggie Watts, and yes, there are comedians/performers as guests - but what they talk about is not limited to their next film or TV project, and how they talk is not limited to expected human language. Is the show a parody of a talk show or is it its own "thing"? How many talk shows take off into other locations, times, and dimensions? Perhaps "dementions" is a better word. The show is absurd, surreal, but most importantly, funny. Aukerman kindly gave us a few minutes to chat late last week:


Interview: Reggie Watts - new CD/DVD, new TV show, and a show at the Fonda Theatre


The cover of Reggie Watts' new CD/DVD "A Live In Central Park"

Reggie Watts is on a roll right now and he's coming to town tonight to perform his incredibly original melange of comedy and music at the Fonda Theare. Within a period of 4 weeks Reggie Watts will have had his "A Live At Central Park" Comedy Central special premiere coinciding with dual CD and DVD release of the uncensored material, he will have embarked on a tour to support this release (bringing him to LA and all across the country), and the IFC premiere on Friday, June 8, at 10pm, of "Comedy Bang! Bang!", a parody of a late night comedy talk show where Watts has been billed as a musical cohort who does much more than just provide banter and a catchy tune.

If you watched the Comedy Central premiere of the special, Watts' 13-track CD is gloriously uncensored, preserving the rhythm and energy of the original live performance. Although these bits and songs are "funny," the layers of material often contain references, if you listen carefully, to universal themes of providing love to others and a need to stop violence. Damn you Watts for luring us in with laughter! But for some people these references are so subtle they very well could miss them in the first few listens because amusement is the primary purpose. Favorite tracks, and these were difficult to pick, include "Having Sex," "Tweet Yourself Right," and "Reggiohead."

Tonight's show at the Ford Theatre will be an ideal venue to take in the Reggie Watts experience. If you go, prepare to laugh and dance.


The Roundup: Will Ferrell returns to "SNL" this Saturday, IFC launches web series


Part 2 of Fox's "Fringe" season finale airs this Friday at 9pm

DVR This! After last weekend's very mediocre "Saturday Night Live" (highlights were the "50 Shades of Gray" commercial and the Scandinavian "Chelsea Lately" spoof) the show returns to its origins with a visit by Will Ferrell. | Earlier on Saturday, FX will be broadcasting Louis C.K.s self-produced/self-released special for those of you too cheap to cough up the $5 to get it online. | IFC is building up to its June 8th launch of "Comedy Bang Bang" by releasing the first episode of its web series, "Reggie Makes Music," starring Reggie Watts and featuring Jon Hamm. See the embed below. Want more Reggie? Look for him to close out Wednesday's "Conan." | Shame on Viacom for pulling the various clips on YouTube and elsewhere of unaired footage of the Beastie Boys appearing on "Chappelle's Show." If there was a time to not act like a horrific corporate entity, it was now. If the company didn't want the clip on YouTube, then put it somewhere else, such as Comedy Central's website. Pathetic.


Coverage of the 2012 Comedy Awards

Colin Quinn, Chevy Chase, and Norm Macdonald team up for a "Weekend Update" segment of the 2012 Comedy Awards which premieres this Sunday, May 6, at 9pm on Comedy Central

The second annual Comedy Awards taped on Saturday, April 28th, at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. This Sunday at 9pm, the program premieres on Comedy Central and there are already complaints from the "comedy community": Why are there so many comedic actors and hardly any "true" comedians? How come certain notable names are missing from the nominations, particularly black performers? Why no homage to Patrice O'Neal? etc.

First of all, I would say that we should be elated that comedy is getting this kind of official recognition (finally) and any problems with categories and nomination processes will be worked out in upcoming awards shows. Spirits were high and everybody seemed to be having a great time at this event and even if there weren't as many club comedians on stage as I would have liked to have seen, there were a huge number of them invited as guests in the crowd so their influence was felt and will definitely have an impact as this celebration matures.