Alterman told the story at the kickoff party for Buress’ new variety show “Why? With Hannibal Buress” held Wednesday at Smogshoppe in Culver City. The show premiered on Comedy Central the same night and features talk-show-style standup, guest appearances and varying types of sketches. Each of the eight episodes will tape Tuesday and air Wednesday, a quick turnaround that Buress said he enjoys.
“It’s kind of fun,” said Buress. “Yesterday even, making last-minute changes to jokes 15 minutes before we air, which is sort of like ‘Saturday Night Live.’ I was used to that environment.”
In the first episode, Buress joked about low scores in soccer, Twitter haters and took another swing at Bill Cosby while talking about his distrust of male housekeepers in hotels. “I don’t like when it’s a dude,” Buress said. “I don’t even believe it’s housekeeping. Get out of here. I know you’re not housekeeping. You’re a … Bill Cosby assassin.”
Buress often lives up to the namesake of his show, making people ask “Why?” while also laughing. Alterman said after Buress turned in the pilot of his show, he tweeted to the world that it had been approved. Before it was approved.
“Which put me in a really weird place because I’m going to be honest, I didn’t know how to respond,” Alterman said. “I really appreciated his boldness and I’m pretty sure that to that point and to this point no one else has ever done that.”
Buress is no stranger to Comedy Central. He’s already had a one-hour special and is a series regular on “Broad City.” The difference between his past experiences and “Why?” is that he’s now running the show.
“There’s a lot of different things that come with showrunning beyond just being on camera,” said Buress. “It’s a lot more jobs. It’s acting, writing, casting, making choices in editing, music choices, costume things, so it’s a lot of different jobs in one.”
Buress was joined by his father and mother and guests including Matt Braunger, Eric Andre, Jeffrey Ross and Viacom’s Doug Herzog at a cocktail reception in the outdoor patio of Smogshoppe, following by a screening indoors.
(Pictured: Hannibal Buress and Jeffrey Ross at the Smogshoppe party)