The actual structure and content of Comedy Central’s upcoming series Why? With Hannibal Buress is going to be a total surprise—perhaps even to the creator himself. “It will have filmed pieces, some monologue, some sketches. But it doesn’t have to be any of that,” says Buress. “The format is not set—but we’ll figure it out.”
Though the comic, actor, and writer grabbed the biggest headlines of his career last year when he tossed a spotlight on Bill Cosby’s history of sexual-assault allegations, Buress has been steadily building his reputation for years—via both his dry (and sometimes surreal) stand-up act and his supporting work on TV projects like Broad City. He has also served as the sidekick on Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show, though he does say the tone of Why? will not be similar to that project. “[Eric and I] do different types of comedy,” Buress explains. “I like a lot of weird stuff, but his extremes are different than mine. I don’t pull my d–k out around strangers, stuff like that.” Well, now we know one thing that definitely won’t be included in the show when it premieres.
Still, while Buress has become far more in demand on television, he says he’ll never abandon his first love. “I enjoy stand-up. It’s a lot of fun, and I like the freedom of it,” he says. “I enjoy television. It drives people to my stand-up, and that makes it more fun to do stand-up because there’s more people there paying money. Television is a bit more rigid. I’m a very loose, kind of last-minute person. Stand-up allows for that. I was talking to a friend about a show he did in Montana—good crowds, a lot of fun. So I was like, ‘I’ve never been to Montana. Maybe I want to do a show in Montana!’ So I’ve got a show in Montana. That’s something that’s special to stand-up, to be able to do things like that. I like being able to say, ‘I just want to go to a city and do stand-up and hang out for a couple of days.’”
Why? With Hannibal Buress will premiere on Comedy Central on Wednesday, July 8 at 10:30 PM Eastern—right after the season premiere of Key & Peele. For a taste of what we might be in for, check out an animated version of a Buress bit about throwing his own parade in New Orleans.