It might just be Hannibal Buress’ moment. The comedian/writer/actor has been building his brand for years, but with a breakout role on Broad City and his own Comedy Central show, Why? with Hannibal Buress, he’s hotter than ever, and his stand-up tour is blazing across the country. He’ll bring his laid-back yet incisive act back to Milwaukee, playing his biggest venue yet: the Riverside.
At 144 E. Wells St. Tickets are $28 and can be purchased at 414-286-3663 or pabsttheater.org.
7 p.m. Sept. 19
Trevor Noah, the newly announced host of “The Daily Show,” rejected the backlash over his graphic tweets targeting Jews and women as an unfair reflection of him and his comedy.
“To reduce my views to a handful of jokes that didn’t land is not a true reflection of my character, nor my evolution as a comedian,” Noah posted on March 31 on his Twitter account, the same one that included past tweets others deemed offensive.
Comedy Central also came to his defense, calling Noah a “provocative” comedian who “spares no one, himself included.”
“To judge him or his comedy based on a handful of jokes is unfair,” the network said in a statement, adding that he has “a bright future at Comedy Central.”
Noah was announced as Jon Stewart’s successor on March 30.
The next day, he was a trending topic on Twitter as he drew fire for jokes described as tasteless, hateful — and unfunny.
Roseanne Barr was among those calling out the 31-year-old South African comic, who has an international following and 2 million Twitter followers.
“U should cease sexist & anti semitic `humor’ about jewish women & Israel,” she tweeted late March 30.
Noah’s controversial tweets were posted between 2009 and 2014.
In 2009 he wrote: “Almost bumped a Jewish kid crossing the road. He didn’t look b4 crossing but I still would hav felt so bad in my german car!”
A 2012 post derides “jewish chicks.” Another graphic tweet from 2011 jokes about “a hot white woman.”
In a post from 2011, he writes: “Oh yeah the weekend. People are gonna get drunk & think that I’m sexy!” He attributes the joke to “fat chicks everywhere.”
He also slammed the United States’ midsection in a 2013 tweet, writing that “When flying over the middle of America the turbulence is so bad. It’s like all the ignorance is rising through the air.”
The tweets showed a different side to Noah than the picture painted by Comedy Central and the comedian himself just a day earlier: In a phone interview on March 30 from Dubai, where Noah was traveling on a comedy tour, he likened himself to the New York-born Stewart, saying, “One thing we both share: We are both progressives.” He added, “traveling the world I’ve learned that progressives, regardless of their locations, think in a global space.”
Noah, the son of a black South African mother and white European father who speaks six languages, was being pitched by Comedy Central as reflecting a new age of global multiculturalism, “a citizen of the world,” in the words of Michele Ganeless, the network’s president.
He was named a little more than a month after Stewart unexpectedly announced he was leaving “The Daily Show” following 16 years as the show’s principal voice. Although no dates have been disclosed, Stewart is expected to depart by the end of the year, with Noah taking over soon afterward.
On March 30, Ganeless spoke of the advantage of introducing Noah to a mainstream U.S. audience through “The Daily Show,” with viewers coming to the show he hosts with no preconceptions. “They will get to discover him, and form their opinions of him, as they watch him host.”
But by March 31, some opinions were already forming.
Weighing in on Noah’s selection, a Slate column compared his vetting to that of Sarah Palin as a running mate for presidential candidate John McCain.
The choice of a new host for “The Daily Show” is a critical decision not only for the satirical-news program, but for the network, whose identity has largely been forged by the “Daily Show” franchise, which for years was followed by the likewise signature “The Colbert Report.”
By the end of this year, Comedy Central will have completely remade this programming block. In January, African-American comic Larry Wilmore replaced the “The Colbert Report” hosting “The Nightly Show.”
The 10 semifinalists in the World’s Funniest Person competition are:
– Mustapha El Atrassi, France. Born in France to a Moroccan family, El Atrassi began doing stand-up as a teenager. He appeared in a one-man show in Paris at age 16 and two years later had his own sitcom in Morocco. Since 2008, he’s hosted a morning radio show in France.
– Ishmo Leikola, Finland. He does stand-up in both English and Finnish, appearing at clubs throughout Europe. He won his country’s stand-up rookie of the year award in 2003 and has been honored five times as the favorite performer at Tomatoes! Tomatoes!, the Nordic countries’ largest comedy festival.
– Vittorrio Leonardi, South Africa. Leonardi has appeared in comedy clubs throughout South Africa, given talks on comedy to Mensa members and taught comedy at St. Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls in Pretoria. He’s also the resident emcee at several South African comedy clubs.
– Saad Haroon, Pakistan. A founding member of the Pakistani improv group Blackfish and other comedy troupes, Saad also created the English-language Pakistani show “The Real News,” a mix of political and social satire. He’s performed on comedy tours in several countries, including the United States.
– Nitin Mirani, United Arab Emirates. Mirani bills himself as “Dubai’s much-loved comedic genius.” He has performed his Komic Sutra comedy show in India, the United States, Britain, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Maldives and several Middle Eastern countries. The publication DNA India called his show, “A laugh riot!”
– Archie Bezos, Spain. Bezos has been described as a Spanish pioneer among openly gay comedians. He made his TV debut in 2012 with an appearance on a Comedy Central show featuring upcoming comedians. The following year he won the top award at Madrid’s FIC comedy festival and recently toured Spain with his “Gay’s Anatomy” comedy show.
– Vivek Mahbubani, an ethnic Indian comic representing his native China. Mahbubani, who performs in English and Cantonese, was honored as Hong Kong’s funniest Chinese comedian in 2007 and its funniest English-language comedian in 2008.
– Tiffany Haddish, USA. Raised in foster homes in Los Angeles, Haddish says her social worker steered her toward a comedy camp for children after hearing her stories about her imaginary friends. She’s appeared on “Def Comedy Jam,” Comedy Central’s “Reality Bites” and recently took part in a USO Comedy Tour in Japan.
– Waddah Swar, Saudi Arabia. Originally from Bahrain, Swar has been described by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the pioneers of Middle Eastern comedy. He won the “Funniest in the Arab World” competition at the Kit Kat Comedy Break Show in Dubai in 2013.
– Lioz Shem Tov, Israel. A visual comedian, Tov frequently uses a range of props to work comically bad magic tricks into his act, which he can perform in either Hebrew or English. He made it to the semifinal round of the NBC series “Last Comic Standing” in 2008.
An annual survey shows trust of Fox News at a new low.
Public Policy Polling has been conducting its annual TV news survey for four years. The polling recently released shows that Fox News has hit a record low with voters – 46 percent do not trust its news compared to 41 percent who do.
In 2010, 49 percent trusted Fox News and 37 percent did not.
Fox, according to PPP and to probably no one’s surprise, polls far better with Republicans than Democrats.
Democrats are most trusting of PBS (61 percent), and then NBC, CBS, CNN, ABC and Comedy Central.
Republicans are most trusting of Fox, followed by PBS, NBC, CNN, ABC, MSNBC, CBS and Comedy Central.
PPP, in its release on the survey, said, “We find once again this year that Democrats trust everything except Fox, and Republicans don’t trust anything other than Fox.”
There was only one source that more voters trust than distrust – PBS, with 52 percent of voters saying they trust the source compared with 29 percent who do not.
In two separate questions, one asking which single news source is trusted the most and which one is trusted the least, Fox “won.”
PPP conducted the poll among 800 voters – 25 percent described themselves as somewhat conservative, 28 percent as moderate, 18 percent as very conservative, 19 percent as somewhat liberal and 11 percent as liberal. There were slightly more women than men surveyed.
Comedy Central is considering about two dozen shows for its lineup, including a series called “JC,” in which Jesus Christ is portrayed as a regular guy who moves to New York City to escape his father’s shadow. Series watchers apparently would tune in regularly to answer “WWJD.” The production company behind “JC” has delivered “The Office,” “Ugly Betty” and “The Biggest Loser.”