The New York Times has kicked off a new every-other-weekly comedy review column with a look at Hannibal Buress that praises his rise in the world of comedy and his ability to shut down hecklers. There’s not much news here for existing Hannibal fans (fannibals? I HAD NO CHOICE), but the piece does pin down much of the reason his standup is so great:
What makes Mr. Buress such an exciting talent is actually less the quality of his material than his distinctive delivery, which manages to sound laid-back and propulsive at the same time, like a mellow stoner who speaks in the cadences of a Baptist preacher.His jokes mosey to the punch line, earning laughs along the way by veering between a sleepy drawl and preposterous defiance. Sometimes this sudden shift happens in the same word. He can make a joke about math sound like an old-school rapper’s curse. At the same time, he doesn’t settle into a familiar rhythm, his tone and emphasis as unpredictable as a monologue by Christopher Walken.This incongruity, between cerebral and swagger, is at the heart of his irresistible persona.