People who read The A.V. Club are obviously hip to various scenes, so we all know who Hannibal Buress is, but to a handful of (woefully uncool) people out there, he’s probably just “the guy who called Bill Cosby a rapist during one of his comedy sets.” Unsurprisingly, Buress isn’t too fond of these hypothetical people always associating him with Cosby, so he’s going after the thing that started all of this. No, not Cosby, we’re talking about the people who tape his shows with their cell phones.
It does make a certain amount of sense: Someone taped his bit about Cosby being a rapist and put it on YouTube, and now that bit is permanently spoiled for all of his future audiences. If only someone hadn’t been taping it, then…actually, it was probably good that someone taped that particular thing, but we understand Buress being opposed to that practice in general. It does make the shows less special, and people can’t help but be a little distracted during a comedian’s set when they know that they could be seeing what a different comedian is saying on Twitter at that very moment.
Now, in order to prevent more people from taping his shows, Buress has teamed up with a company called Yondr that has invented a surprisingly low-tech solution to excessive cell phone use. Instead of pumping out some kind of cell phone jamming signal, Yondr stops people from using their phones by locking them into small pouches that can only be opened by some kind of magic unlocking device. Ars Technica has a write-up on how Yondr actually works, and it can probably explain it with fewer uses of the word “magic” than we can. Anyway, Buress deployed Yondr at a recent show in California, and considering that nothing he said went viral, it seems to have worked. That means we can probably look forward to seeing this sort of thing pop up at more and more live events.