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Moontower: Hannibal Buress at the Paramount

Staff Writer
Austin 360

By Tony Atkins

Editor’s note: This article was originally published April 24, 2014

Hannibal Buress is no stranger to the city of Austin. Six weeks ago, Buress took his act to the Alamo Ritz during South by Southwest. Six short weeks later, Buress returned to Austin for the kickoff of the Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival with a new bag of tricks for a sold-out Paramount Theater Wednesday night.

Following a well-received opening set from comedian Dan Soder, eager fans were primed and ready to hear Buress, who was off to a blazing start to 2014. His Comedy Central special “Hannibal Buress: Live from Chicago” in addition to his roles on Comedy Central’s “Broad City” and Adult Swim’s “The Eric Andre Show” have kept Buress buzzing and the expectations high for Wednesday night’s performance.

Buress lived up to those expectations Wednesday night. As soon as he hit the stage, he quickly won the Moontower crowd over with jokes about Austin. Stories about an awkward pedi-cab experience and jokes about the abundance of festivals in Austin were well-received by the audience.

After warming the crowd up with jokes about his Austin experiences, he kept the laughs coming by touching on topics such as dating, bad movies, his displeasure with baseball and today’s hip-hop music. Every joke offered up by Buress resulted in an uproar of laugher from wall to wall. It just didn’t seem to be a single joke that the crowd didn’t like on Wednesday night. Hannibal Buress was on fire.

After his traditional stand-up bit, Buress went into something he’s become known for in recent years - his interaction with his DJ. One of the crowd’s favorite parts of this segment seemed to be when DJ would play certain lyrics from rappers such as Mystikal, Eminem, Big Sean and Lil Wayne then Buress would break them down and make jokes out of them.

After his actual comedy set, the DJ put on a rap instrumental and Buress performed his song (Yes, it’s a real song) “Gibberish Rap” as ballerinas danced on stage. It was a brilliant way to end an entertaining show. The crowd arose from their seats and gave Buress a standing ovation for his overall performance.

As usual, Buress’ laid-back approach to his comedy resulted in another solid set. With everything he’s been doing in recent years, the 31-year-old Buress is definitely a comic on the rise. Comedy fans in attendance couldn’t have asked for a better set to kick off Moontower.