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.

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

IFC TV

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:

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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.

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The Roundup: FEARnet premieres "Holliston," don't miss our DVR This!

Showtime's "Nurse Jackie" returns this Sunday

Showtime Networks

Showtime's "Nurse Jackie" returns this Sunday.

Keith Olbermann has been fired again, this time from Current TV, where he never really seemed to settle in, so it should not have been a surprise to anybody. The question I have for you is, should I transcribe an interview I made with former Vice President Al Gore, show host Cenk Uyger, and former governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm? The interview will not shed any light on the Olbermann situation so I'm concerned that it will appear as a fluff piece on the network. Let me know here in the Comments.

TV highlights of the week include a new NBC's premiere of "Best Friends Forever," a new "SNL," and the season premieres of "Nurse Jackie," "The Big C," and "The Borgias." Lots of great late night guests this week even though "Chelsea Lately" is on hiatus. Look for details in DVR This! below.

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The Roundup: 'Mad Men' returns on Sunday; Marc Maron gets his TV show

Jon Hamm & Co. bring "Mad Men" back to AMC this Sunday

AMC TV

Jon Hamm & Co. bring "Mad Men" back to AMC this Sunday in a 2-hour premiere

The huge/massive/undeniably super-hyped premiere of the week is the return of "Mad Men" to AMC this Sunday in a 2-hour episode that airs at 9pm. AMC has been running hilarious, "Walking Dead"-themed "Mad Men" promos and the cast is all over as many different media as possible, including Jon Hamm on Jimmy Fallon tonight. Last week Christina Hendricks was on the JV Club podcast in a very lively and real conversation but I wonder if I have sunk to a new low of cynicism because I had the extremely fleeting thought that Hendricks' leaked cell phone pics were part of an elaborate promo for the show as it happened about 2 weeks before this premiere. Perish the thought, because, you know, Hollywood would never engage in such a thing. Still, it can't be denied that fans are ravenous for the show due to its long hiatus and a good lead off this Sunday could help it hold onto an audience that premium cable will try to chip at over the next few months. The return of such a great show can only be good for TV, regardless of the production and promotional shenanigans it took to make this happen. [Updated: Check out the hourlong interview with "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner at the end of this post.]

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