Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 March 2013 00:54
GUSHING REVIEWS OF OUR FAVORITE STAND-UP COMICSHANNIBAL BURRESS
Keeps it real
By John Villanueva
Hannibal Buress is without a doubt one of today’s funniest comedians. Bar none. No exceptions. He’s so funny that my description is relegated to common bullshit phrases that people overuse. He’s so funny that one of his monologues about getting robbed not only reduced me to tears but also rendered me mute for an hour, the hilarity having fried my brain.
He is smart and has a style all his own, breaking away from the mold of the obligatory black comedian. His subject matter is not so obscure as to cause a disconnect, but his spin is smart enough to rise above usual bullshit observational comedy. That is why his special Hannibal Buress: Animal Furnace has quickly become one of my favorite stand-up specials ever. I don’t think I’ve had as many gutbusting moments with a special as I did with this one.
Out of the gate, Hannibal is able to take a situation that just occurred (the trouble he had with entering the building to film his special) and spin it on its head to get laughs. This is only one display of Buress’ quick wit, which he continues throughout the special. Delivered in his usual confident slur, Buress talks about things he hates and finds wrong with the world. Think of him as a black Louis C.K. that hasn’t yet completely lost hope.
One of the best bits is when he starts talking about how he received a ticket from the Montreal police for jaywalking. Buress is unafraid to come off as a bit of an asshole, making jabs at the cops for things like their native language, and even asking one of the cops how much he makes, just as a way to slight the cop due to his overreaction. His mocking impersonation of the cop is the best: “I’m a dumb guy; my world view is limited.” Buress is unafraid to totally rip apart people he feels have wronged him. His hate spans from shitty little kids at the airport to over-the-hill drunkards to pesky foreign women. Yet, the whole of his comedy doesn’t solely revolve around hating things and people (which is fucking hilarious); he also cracks fun at cancer walks and uppity clothing stores with limited merchandise.
All of this he does with a very subtle style of delivery that actually relies on the strength of the jokes rather than resorting to an act. That is my favorite aspect of Buress. He’s actually funny. No arm flailing, no screaming, no impersonations. He’s genuinely hilarious, and his material can stand on its own merit, which is only bolstered by his personality and delivery. He is the only person that could make an abortion joke that could actually make me laugh. So go do yourself a favor and watch Hannibal Buress: Animal Furnace.
By Roque Renteria
You know, people often come up to me and ask, “Roque, how can you be so fuckin’ funny?” Aside from innate comedic prowess, I have studied and learned from the best comedians. I’ve heard so many stand-up specials spread out over a series of time that it’s hard to pick my favorite one. But if I had to pinpoint my first exposure to divine comedy, then I would have to credit Steve Martin’s 1978 masterwork, A Wild And Crazy Guy, as my comedic foundation.
A Wild And Crazy Guy is one of the few albums in my stand-up comedy collection that is timeless. You could listen to this album right now and it would receive laughter from modern audiences. The use of language and comedic timing marks the inception of what I like to consider “alternative stand-up comedy.” And unlike my Lenny Bruce albums, which have become a little dated, A Wild And Crazy Guy has aged well like a fine wine and is accessible to a wide range of generations.
This stand-up special should resonate with nearly every student on this campus. Former CSULB alumnus (I bet you didn’t know that) Steve Martin was heavily influenced by the philosophy classes he took here. This is evident in his special. He tells his audience that he is wellversed in the Ancient Greeks; he says he studied “Soh-kreyts” and “Plah-toh.” He also discusses the difference between being a geology major and philosophy major: “If you’re studying geology, which is all facts, as soon as you get out of school you forget it all, but philosophy you remember just enough to screw you up for the rest of your life.” Something that I find to be undeniable.
And here’s a crazy fact I love: Steve Martin is a certified genius (he has an IQ of 142). He is a member of Mensa. Which doesn’t surprise me after hearing this line: “It’s so hard to believe in anything anymore. I mean, it’s like, religion, you really can’t take it seriously, because it seems so mythological, it seems so arbitrary…but on the other hand, science is just pure empiricism, and by virtue of its method, it excludes metaphysics.” I honestly almost used a refined version of that line as a thesis for a philosophy paper.
Martin knows how to time or perfectly mistime his delivery. There are subtle inflections and strategically placed pauses that build tension before each punchline. For example, in his opening monologue, Martin announces, “Hey, I don’t want to sound like a big shot but…[pause], I get my drinks…half off. That means for every one you get...[pause], I get two.” If you examine Martin’s delivery closely, you find that it has been adopted by most popular comedians working today. This man changed the language of comedy. This guy was the Wittgenstein of stand-up. And he is part of the reason why I became a philosophy major.
There are so many other great bits I wish I could describe in greater detail, but unfortunately I do not have enough space to do so. All I can say is that this album is the epitome of comedic genius. Steve Martin blended philosophy, religion, banjo playing, non sequiturs, psychology, and everything else under the sun in order to give us something special. It’s hard to imagine where stand-up would be without Steve Martin, but luckily we don’t have to. So find yourself a copy of this album or watch the live performance and prepare to laugh your ass off.
By Wes Young
Louie’s newest stand-up special has finally come out on Netflix. This will surely please the massive fan base he’s developed from other specials and his FX series. Anyone familiar with the cynically harsh style that has made him famous will see that he remains true to his reputation.
He immediately starts off by deprecating the audience in a straightforward and blunt style that leaves you gasping for air rather than feeling any ill will. He dishes out equal amounts of offense and humility to everyone in the audience. Religion and political beliefs especially get taken apart. Among the already famous incidents on YouTube, Louie has another run-in with a heckler, which he promptly deals with as he displays his no bullshit attitude.
As a key accomplishment of his standup, Louie is able to fill your mind with the most terribly grotesque things possible. You find yourself just laughing at the morally reprehensible terribleness of it. And fans will love to hear what even he himself describes as his most rock bottom jokes. His taboo jokes about kids prove to be most unexpectedly satisfying, as he is the only comedian that will touch the subject. Anyone looking for ideas on how to be an asshole should look to him. Also, as race is one of his recurring themes, he was able to successfully make me ashamed to be white.
The thing that makes Louie loveable after all is this is his pathetic nature. He makes believe that when I’m his age I’ll be perverted and obsessed with masturbating, too. What’s most admirable is his philosophical way of criticizing society’s tech and sex obsessions. He has quite the way of pointing out how shitty life is. Louie’s intelligence as a comedian really leaves you thinking.