Culture Q&A: Comedian Hannibal Buress
Maybe best known as the man who ignited Bill Cosby’s sex scandal with a single joke, the 30 Rock and SNL writer brings his stand-up to Indy on October 1.
This post originally appeared on The Campus Citizen.
Hannibal Buress is a comedian from Chicago with a full TV resumé: He wrote on 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live, has a role in Comedy Central’s Broad City, is the cohost of The Eric Andre Show on Adult Swim, and stars in four specials on Netflix.
But Buress still hits the road for standup, and his latest tour, The Hannibal Montanable Experience, comes to the Old National Centre in Indianapolis on October 1. His style is marked by off-beat timing and esoteric musings. Paste magazine called him “the undisputed king of rap and masturbation jokes” after his second Netflix special, Live From Chicago. He ignited the Bill Cosby scandal with a joke in 2014.
Since the success of Live From Chicago, Buress has progressed as a comedian. His flow has gone from an awkward drag to an eager anticipation. His most recent Netflix special, Hannibal Takes Edinburgh, is an interesting look at his life on the road and how a month of the same show over and over again can wear on a performer’s psyche.
In a recent interview with The Campus Citizen, he gave his current tour an 88 out of 100 rating and hinted that it will be his last for a little while. More from the interview:
How’s the tour going?
The tour’s been going well, man. It’s been fun.
You just finished a run of shows with Eric Andre—how was it as a performer? You’d back away when Eric was doing the crazier stuff [on The Eric Andre Show]. What’s it like to perform in that sort of circus?
It’s tight. When he does the crazier stuff, I just back away until it calms down, and when it calms down, I step back up. My jacket is too expensive—I can’t get that kind of stuff [like ranch dressing, milk, and vomit, for example] on my jacket. It’s fun though, man. People really enjoy it. It’s a much different environment than my stand up shows, obviously, but it’s fun to be a part of.
What’s the strangest stuff you saw?
Yeah, it gets pretty weird. It’s the people chugging the ranch—it gets pretty disgusting. I’m always shocked that people are willing to do it. We’ve got the contest where I pick a person and he picks a person to chug a bottle of ranch ’til they throw up, and lots of people are willing to jump up there and … good for them, you know?
Years ago you were on Letterman telling a joke about being pulled over in Indiana and how you didn’t want to spend more time than necessary driving across the state.
It was more about that Interstate 37 is a speed trap for some of the smaller cities, and I think that’s a pretty weak way for them to gain revenue. Sitting around and having someone go through at 10 [mph] over—it’s really annoying.
Being from Chicago, is there anything special for you about Indianapolis? …