Last night was the premiere of comedian Hannibal Buress’s new show for Comedy Central, Why? The show was weird. Not quite 2:45 a.m. Adult Swim weird, but, for a show from one of the hottest young comedians in a primetime Comedy Central slot, it was notably peculiar. Buress, who you might be familiar with from his appearances on Broad City or The Eric Andre Show, has a unique take on sketch comedy. The basic set-up isn’t dissimilar to many post-Chapelle’s Show Comedy central shows, but within the first sketch everything expected is thrown out the window in favor of other stuff. What starts as confrontation with an Internet troll becomes, well, let’s just go over some of the strangest moments in the show and see where we get.
7. The Daily Show Audition
That Hannibal ends the sketch about him auditioning for The Daily Show by saying they’d never hire a black guy might’ve been the only joke in the show that felt too on the nose. The rest of the sketch worked with him being annoyed that The Daily Show isn’t weekly and bothered that a producer doesn’t like his “Moment of Ben” idea, where he’d end every show with a clip from a Ben Stiller movie.
6. The First Cop Joke
After showing a clip of an old white guy that refuses to answer questions from cops by saying, “I don’t answer questions,” Buress does his own version of the bit when he gets pulled over by a cop. Thankfully, the cop is a terrible shot.
5. Extreme Couponing: Dallas Edition
That Hannibal admits to watching the Dallas variant of Extreme Couponing is a funny joke, but that it’s referenced enough in the first episode that I felt compelled to do a Google search was weird. And that isn’t a real show. The score: Hannibal Buress 1, David Turner 0.
4. The Celebration of July 8th
The audience section of the show is filmed the week it airs so there is an intimidating topicality to the show that sets it apart. Hannibal rifts the previous July 4th weekend into a celebration of his own show’s inaugural episode with Ben Franklin and Hannibal Buress impersonators and a guy singing the show’s national anthem.
3. The Conan O’Brien Opening
The show opens with Hannibal on the set of Conan O’Brien’s show with Andy Richter, but the scene quickly turns sour once the audience is asked if Conan and Richter should appear as Hannibal’s first guests. They loudly yell “No” and Hannibal sheepishly exits the stage, walking into his show’s title sequence.
2. Amy Schumer’s Surprise Appearance
The opening sketch of the show sees Hannibal Buress confronting a Twitter troll, who turns out to be Amy Schumer. The surprise reveal is funny, but the sketch slowly becomes an advertisement for her upcoming film, Trainwreck, which they never mention by name. It’s out in theaters July 17th!
1. The Second Cop Joke
Hannibal goes for the same “I don’t answer questions” joke, but instead of ending up shot in a car, he is hit with a drone strike for being a pompous celebrity. Sure it retreads a joke that happened 45 seconds earlier, but it still works.