Hannibal Buress “Live from Chicago” full of surprises
I will skip the resume summary portion of this review of Hannibal Buress’ new album “Live from Chicago” because if you’re here you should already know and love him.
The prevailing narrative of Buress in 2014 seems to be “great stand-up finally breaks out.” His role on the popular “Broad City” has widened his reach and the timing of his album couldn’t be any better.
Buress’ previous two albums — 2010’s “My Name is Hannibal” and 2012’s “Animal Furnace” — encapsulated his laid-back, yet meticulously well-constructed style.
"Live" represents somewhat of a change for Buress. He’s always been personal, but this album strays away from much of the silliness that was prevalent on his previous albums and dives deeper into his experiences.
But the most striking thing about “Live” is what little regard Buress has for the fourth wall. Some comedians reference the fact that they are telling jokes on a stage, to varying degrees of success. But Buress ratchets this up ten-fold, creating some of the best moments on the album.
"Some of my jokes have music cues," he says on "Rappers Talk About Drugs" after — out of nowhere — a DJ just drops music in on a punchline. Buress repeats the ridiculous moment a couple of times, eventually cutting it off. "You are just watching a man live out his dream on that joke," Buress explains to a confused audience member.
There is not another musical cue on the rest of the album.
As if that wasn’t weird enough, Buress leverages a story about rapper Riff Raff playing his own songs on stage into its own strange joke.
Buress plays one of his most well-known bits (lizards and pickle juice should be all you need) and repeats the punchline over the recording. “That’s a fun way to do comedy right there.” This subversion of comedy album tropes seems to be where Buress is getting his greatest enjoyment on “Live.”
The album is not without some expected, comforting moments for anyone who’s listened to Buress or seen his stand-up. While talking about religion and the story of Noah, Buress sums up why he is non-believer in his own style. “Get the fuck outta here please,” he says dismissively about animals getting on the ark two-by-two.
While not reaching the heights of his previous two albums, “Live” is an exercise in what someone who holds none of the cows of comedy albums sacred.
Area Man Suffers From Identity Crisis After Reading Buzzfeed Personality Quiz Results
By CNtributor Claire McCleskey
MANASSAS, VA—It was a typical Monday morning for Manassas-area man John Winston. He sat down at his desk with a cup of coffee and checked Buzzfeed before getting to work. It was there that he first saw the “Which Character From The Breakfast Club Are You?” personality quiz.
“I always knew I was a Bender. It was never a question for me. But I wanted to take the quiz, just to make it official,” he told reporters.
But the all-knowing Buzzfeed gods begged to differ. As Winston answered the final question of the quiz—stating that his favorite frozen yogurt topping was Fruity Pebbles—Buzzfeed delivered a shocking result. He was not a Bender after all—he was a Claire.
“But I’m a rebel,” he said to no one in particular, as if he was trying to convince himself. “I don’t even know what to think anymore. If I don’t even know what character from The Breakfast Club I am, what do I really know about myself at all?”
Since taking the quiz, Winston has made a few changes in his life. He has since quit his job, telling his boss that he “needs to find himself”. He has moved out of the home he shared with his wife of ten years, telling her that he is in no position to be married if he doesn’t know who he identifies with the most in The Breakfast Club. He now lives in a tiny one-bedroom apartment off of Wellington Road and works as a barista at Starbucks while trying to discover himself.
Giving Thanks For 25 Years Of Mystery Science Theater 3000
By CNU Editor Kari Rogers
Mystery Science Theater 3000, or MST3K, premiered on November 24, 1988 (Thanksgiving Day) on local Minneapolis TV station KTMA. For those who aren’t familiar, it was a long-running cult TV show about a guy and two robots riffing on horrible B-movies they watch aboard a satellite at the behest of mad scientists. You’ve literally had 25 years to get with this program. For those who ARE familiar, you oughta check out mst3kturkeyday.com because it seems us MSTies are partying all week.
What makes MST3K so appealing to so many people? Well, you got puppets for the kids and pop culture jokes for the adults. Plus all that Midwestern charm and UHF production value will automatically give you the warm-fuzzies over time. And need I mention the space robots again? Despite its extraordinary comedic content, comedy nerds have let the regular nerds take this one under the couch with them. Like Monty Python, they’re positively batshit over it. What makes it so iconic? It’s got a great look.
The “Shadowrama” theater seats are instantly recognizable. And people ironically connect with the awful movies that are the destroyed centerpieces of every episode. We rubberneck bad films all the time. Kitsch is a subculture unto itself. B-movies have a history of being ripe for cult potential. And things that celebrate cult tend to become cult themselves.
Me, personally, if you bring up Mystery Science Theater 3000, you’re going to learn a lot about my life. I first saw it when I was six years old. It’s my favorite show because it’s always been a constant throughout my existence - a constant source of sentimentality with my family, a constant source of distraction and comfort when times are tough. I remember trying to save up for Rhino VHS tapes of it in 8th grade. I remember watching a shorts DVD late at night after a disappointing 14th birthday and reading The Amazing Colossal Episode Guide and Mike Nelson’s Movie Megacheese alone at school during the isolating teen years that followed. It helped me out when my mom was dying and when my dog ran away. My step-dad and I spent some rare quality time together watching The Skydivers episode. And, coupled with my hip family’s need to raise a precocious child, it designed the blueprint of my sense of humor, particularly my obsession with obscure references. I’m forever thankful.
It’s just a show. I should really just relax.
But how can you relax with all the internet events Reddit and Shout Factory have planned for us?! Series creator Joel Hodgson is doing a Reddit AMA this Tuesday at 1pm PST/4pm EST until 3pm PST/6pm EST. AND he’s participating in Reddit’s Black Friday livestream event along with other comedians this Friday (duh) from 9am PST/Noon EST - 5pm PST/8pm EST. AND YOU GUYS: Joel and Shout Factory are bringing the TURKEY DAY MARATHON back! A Thanksgiving tradition from the show’s tenure at Comedy Central that ended in 1997 will be revived on mst3kturkeyday.com on Thursday starting at 9am PST/Noon EST.
I encourage you to watch Mystery Science Theater 3000 today, remember when you discovered it, and think of what keeps bringing you back to it.
Kari Rogers’s earliest memory is having the Doobie Brothers explained to her.