Review: Hannibal Buress, “Miami Nights” on YouTube

Hannibal Buress has attracted more than 1,177,515 views of his newest comedy special since releasing Miami Nights for free on YouTube two weeks ago.

Buress filmed the special last August in Miami, shopped it around, and intended to give it a big-screen premiere in March at SXSW in Austin. But the COVID-19 pandemic squashed those plans. Perhaps for the best.

Watching him roast a Miami police officer, on that cop’s body camera, and then deconstruct the episode a year and a half later, with even more perspective on it, then show it to us in July 2020, when we have a newfound appreciation and perspective for our national problems with racial relations and police misconduct (and how those issues all-too-often intertwine).

As I wrote in Decider:

I keep coming back to an early throwaway joke of Buress’s, in which he responds to a potential career pivot by announcing: “The prophecy will be revealed, but not now.”

Not only does Buress somehow always appear to be ahead of his time, but also this moment is the first of many in which post-production serves to enhance the joke. Comedy purists may think any enhancement is unnecessary, but once you see how Buress employs auto-tuning and displays on the screen behind him, it all serves to heighten the experience.

Particularly when he closes the hour with a lengthy explanation and dissection of his December 2017 arrest in Miami for public intoxication, using both the police body cam footage and local TV news accounts in his spirited defense. Buress, who previously dealt with a nonsense jaywalking ticket years ago in Montreal (he has joked about that elsewhere), joyfully recounts the past, present and future comeuppance of the cop who tried to take him down in Miami.

Just as he took down Cosby years before the #MeToo movement or our current reckoning with bad actors in all industries, Buress, even in that moment on the streets of Miami, some two and a half years ago, knew in a drunken state how to handle another “bad apple” police officer. Buress recalls that cop got mad enough to arrest him because Buress talked to the cop’s camera instead of to his face, treating it as the future YouTube video it would in fact become. Buress’s reply in retrospect: “Yeah. I’m a professional.”

Read my full review on

Watch Hannibal Buress: Miami Nights here:

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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