Party Hannibal

The up-and-coming comic has rapped, ranted and deadpanned his way to a host of TV gigs

February 21, 2013
hannibal

New York-based comedian Hannibal Buress makes it look easy. With his laid-back delivery and deceptively simple jokes, it can seem like he puts almost no effort into his act. But Buress’ bits — rants about the difference between American and British biscuits, or the time he got a jaywalking ticket in Canada — are more than they seem on the surface.

That depth helped Buress land guest spots on TV shows (“Louie,” “The Mindy Project”) and score two writing gigs that most comedians can only dream about: a season each of “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live.”

Now, Buress is on the road (with shows in Annapolis, Md., and D.C. this week) in between co-hosting Adult Swim’s surreal talk show “The Eric Andre Show” and developing a sitcom pilot for ABC. We caught up with Buress a few days before his 30th birthday.

Happy early birthday! You’re throwing your own birthday party as a comedy show. Why throw your own party?
What do you mean? People throw their own parties all the time. P. Diddy throws his own parties.

Well, he’s P. Diddy.
I’m Hannibal Buress! I know what I want to have at the party. Who else would throw it?

You have a very laconic style. Is that just naturally who you are?
It’s just who I am. It’s just how I talk.

You’re sort of a rapper now: You released the song “Gibberish Rap.”
When I do freestyle, I have my flow going. But when I lose the words, I want to keep the flow going, so I start gibberishing — rapping gibberish just to keep the flow going. I don’t want to just stop rapping because I ran out of words. What’s the fun in that?

Hannibal’s Bits:

“When people go through something rough in life, they say, ‘I’m taking it one day at a time.’ Yes, so is everybody. Because that’s how time works.”

“I have weird aspirations. Like, I really want to kick a pigeon. Because pigeons walk around like they’re untouchable.”

Rams Head On Stage, 33 West St., Annapolis, Md.; Thu., 7 p.m., $25; 410-268-4545.
The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW; Fri., 8:30 p.m., sold out. (Metro Center)
Rudi Greenberg is Express' Weekend Pass editor and comedy columnist.
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Marc Silver | February 21, 2013