Hannibal Buress Animal Furnace
Published Jun 20, 2016Exclaim! is reviewing every standup comedy special currently available on Netflix Canada, including this one. You can find a complete list of reviews so far here.
It's remarkable to see just how quickly Hannibal Buress's humour has evolved in such a short period of time. Starting out in the late '00s as a club comic in his Chicago hometown, Buress garnered a healthy following with his brand of alt-comedy; a droll and clever act that brings to mind Mitch Hedberg and Todd Barry.
Within a few short years, Hannibal would transcend the underground scene, releasing his first special (2010's My Name is Hannibal), landing a writing job on Saturday Night Live and a co-starring role on The Eric Andre Show. But don't let his laid-back demeanour fool you, the secret to Buress's meteoric rise is due to his enduring work ethic and stealthy confidence, as the 33-year old comedian has released five specials in six years.
On his second special, 2012's Animal Furnace, Buress makes the transformation from quirky alt-jokester to socially-aware storyteller. But when Buress talks about race relations (in a hilarious bit where he reads a review of one of his college performances that claims he brought diversity to the school), sexual politics (contemplating reporting "an unreported cases of sexual assault") and racial profiling (his not-so-typical piece about going through airport security), he never sounds preachy or partisan, as he delivers these bits with the same charming likability as his inaner material, like meeting Jimmy Carter (for the former President's sake) and Odd Future's increasingly reasonable lyrics, ("Kill people, burn shit, fuck school").
What makes Animal Furnace so engrossing is Buress's willingness to try out a ton of different comedic styles, keeping his material fresh and incredibly adroit throughout a transitional period where he was realizing that he could pretty much do anything.