Hannibal Buress Is Partnering With Yondr To Block Cell Phone Recording At Comedy Shows

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It’s no secret that Hannibal Buress was not thrilled with the attention he received after a comedy bit recorded at a show last October about Bill Cosby’s rape allegations went viral. While it’s arguably not a bad thing that the allegations have finally come to public light, no one wants their name associated with “Bill Cosby rape scandal,” especially someone like Buress, with as hard as he’s been working for as long as he has. Aside from that isolated incident, comedians having their material leaked by inconsiderate jackholes is one of the bigger problems comedy performers are facing today.

There might be a solution, though. For a recent show at the Uptown Theater in Napa, Buress partnered with the cell phone blocking technology Yondr, founded in January 2014, to completely block cell phone usage during his set. The technology works in that audience members are required to place their phones in pouch-like devices which lock as they enter the venue. Should the audience member need their phone at any point during the performance, they must leave the phone-free performance zone.

Laughspin spoke with the founder of Yondr about the partnership:

“Comedians rely on the content of their performances not being leaked,” Graham Dugoni, founder of Yondr, told Laughspin. “Partnering with Hannibal is important because it shows that major artists care a lot about this issue.”

“People are not using phones as a useful tool as much as a compulsive habit,” Dugoni told Newsweek in December 2014. “Phones become kind of a crutch, a social crutch, and people are constantly trying to document everything. They’re not really enjoying the primacy of the experience.”

I’m all for this. Not just at comedy shows, but movie theaters, plays, concerts, you name it. If you’ve never had your view obstructed by some dick holding up their phone to try to record grainy footage they’ll never watch again… then you’re probably the dick holding the phone.