Amazing photo by Shubham Kadam
So yesterday was my birthday and the gift from my daughter was tickets to go see Hannibal Buress at the iconic 40 Watt Club in Athens, Ga. I absolutely love Hannibal, big fan of Broad City and I love the 40 Watt and I love hanging in Athens. This is the recipe for a perfect night. My wife and daughter headed out. The rain that dumped on us earlier in the day had subsided. Easy drive as usual. After some last minute dining decisions or rather musical chairs (we were seated at a cool Burger joint but left after perusing the menu and wanting something more exotic) ended up at a Korean BBQ place called the Iron Factory which was amazing. Kind of hibachi style but on a different kind of cooker. Great server- great food.
As is often the case, we got to the venue later than we had planned and the 40 Watt was jammed up full of people. I would say that they had roughly 350 chairs set up and the rest was standing room only. Only two seats together available so my daughter graciously told us to take them and she would stand up. We, after all, she said, "are old". The truth hurts but so be it.
Now this, persay, is NOT a review of the show but I must say that is was top notch in every regard. Buress tours with DJ Kim who played some killer tracks while odd and funny video played on screen. Byron Bowers who grew up in Atlanta opened up and he was hysterically funny and his set was way to short. Hannibal Buress came out to a completely packed room. Every seat filled and people hanging on every other piece of real estate in front of both bars and at the back of the room and the man killed it. He destroyed.
One side note: I was pretty amazed how tightly they observe the no filming, no pictures rule and while I understand it completely it would of been nice if Hannibal let everyone go paparazzi on him for one minute before his set. He could of played it off as a bit like posing like he was killing it and everyone take pics. Yeah that's me giving Buress advise on creating a bit.
In short, hands down perfect evening. Packed house that laughed at all the right stuff. Fun totally up crowd and two funny guys. Fucking perfect. Buress's comedy adeptly covered so many things and he did touch on politics a bit. Not a lot but his take on Trump, Clinton and Sanders were telling. In mentioning Sander (which by the way got an approving response from the crowd) his main take was that Sander is too old and funny jokes did follow but his comments about Trump were not only ha ha funny but funny in almost a gallows type of humor. The assertion that being roasted on Comedy Central (as Trump was ) should be, in and of itself, a disqualifier to being President is point on ("should Flavor Flav be President") and so funny but there was a point in the show when Buress's insightful comedic commentary grew dark. I swear that for a split second a cold pall befell Buress's face that was more to do with his belief (as horrible as it would be) that Donald Trump will be President.
Hannibal walks around on stage a lot, his body language emphasizing his funny outlook on things but he sat on a stool at the moment he declared that Donald Trump will be President because he was less evil than Hilary Clinton. Yes, he back tracked a bit on the "evil" statement but simple said that Clinton has way more skeletons in her closet than Trump and that those skeletons would be brought out over the next 5 months and as a result Trump will win the Presidency. The bit was funny, people laughed but I tell you (again) this was a real shit moment.
Now am I saying that Buress is some sooth sayer or that he is saying something new? Not at all but then again sometimes kernels of truth hit you squarely in the face in places when you least expect it. After all, it was Buress's comments about Bill Cosby as a rapist that reinvigorated those allegations that spanned decades. Why did a comic's pointed words blow up in the media when victim's words laid kind of flat. These are questions for people smarter than me to answer but he was the first domino. I am just wondering if Buress is one of those guys that say, "I told you so" a lot to his friends. That Hannibal is a good predictor of things, a comedic Paul Revere. Who knows. All I do know is that I didn't think that Donald Trump would win the Presidency until Hannibal Buress said it would be so and I ain't laughing.