Comedian Hannibal Buress’s aptly titled Comedy Camisado tour storms the Nourse Theatre for some seriously funny ass kicking on Thursday, Feb. 26th.
When not on tour, the former SNL and 30 Rock writer has been spending much of his downtime coming up with nasty things to say to Justin Bieber. He can also be found eating “titty chips” and laughing at his own jokes as the lovable dentist Lincoln on Broad City, giving six-year-olds an existential crisis as co-host of Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show, and shutting down the party with Seth Rogan and Zac Efron in the blockbuster film Neighbors.
His latest standup special, “Hannibal Buress Live from Chicago,” covers everything from cockroaches to Scarlett Johansson and pickle juice in signature whip-smart-and-stoned-out style, earning him wide acclaim and a dedicated fan base.
We caught up with Hannibal to talk about the “SNL 40th Anniversary Special,” his early days in Chicago, and his plans for the future.
Did you attend the SNL 40th Anniversary?
I did. It was crazy.
What was that like as a former writer for the show?
It was as crazy for a former writer as it would be for anybody. That show was wild—just seeing all the different footage, seeing all my former coworkers and former SNL legends. It was a crazy after party to be at, just mentally. There were old coworkers, old friends, other comedians and superstars; It was just a wild mix of people at that party. It was a crazy-ass party.
It sounds like a high school reunion on steroids.
Yeah, that would be a great way to describe it.
How did you decided standup was something you wanted to do?
I think I had that spirit in me, but I didn’t know what the outlet was. Then I went to an open mic and saw standup in raw form and it sort of demystified it. You see people doing standup on TV and it’s polished. You’re thinking, “How do you do that? How do you become that?”And then I did an open mic and I got the buzz and didn’t want to turn back.
Your character Lincoln is getting a lot of love on Broad City. Why do you think people respond so well to him?
He’s a nice guy. He’s understanding and funny. He’s successful. He cares. People connect to that. I’m none of those things. I’m not nice.
I don’t believe that.
Except successful [laughing], I’m the opposite of Lincoln.
Do you do a lot of improv on the show?
Yeah, I do a few things, like the recent episode when I was flexing my pecs. They didn’t know that I could do that.
The Eric Andre Show is wild. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done on that show?
The Safety Stegosaurus thing. It definitely wasn’t the weirdest thing, but I was wearing this [dinosaur] costume interacting with children. I was improvising a lot of the stuff. I was saying, “Say, Safety! Say, Safety! Say, I don’t want to die! I don’t want to die!” A group of five and six year-olds saying “I don’t want to die” was pretty weird. That was kind of fun.
A lot of Eric’s guests don’t seem to know what’s going on. How do you guys get people on the show?
We have a booking agent, like any other talk show. We send them a reel of the show with some of the more tame moments on it. On the fourth season, if we still get guests that are clueless, I don’t know what the fuck is going on. So yeah, we prep them a little bit. Some people are fans of the show and are just down to do stuff, and sometimes we have friends on. I brought in Chance the Rapper, Lupe Fiasco and other people we’ve worked with over the years.
You had your own show in the works for a while. Are you still working toward that?
Yeah, I’m working on something now for Comedy Central. Sorry for the vague answer but that’s all I can give you right now.
It was just announced that you’ve signed on for Comedy Central’s Roast of Justin Bieber. Will this be your first Roast?
Yeah, it’s going to be fun. Kevin Hart’s going to be the roast master and it’s going to be one of the most-viewed roasts ever. We film in a little under a month from now, so it’s weird to be in the state of mind where I’m just thinking about horrible things to say to a person. In my spare time I’m just sitting around thinking, “What’s some horrible shit I can say about Justin Bieber?”
That’s something I didn’t think about [when I signed on]. It’s sitting around for a month where your mind’s state is like, “I have to think of something horrible to say.” With the roast, you can just tap into that and be loose and horrible for seven or eight minutes. You can just go in expecting it and celebrate it.
Hannibal Buress performs at Nourse Theater on February 26. More info.