Comedian Hannibal Buress Stops By the Stern Show

Entertainer who toppled Cosby stops by to talk fame, jokes and the future

October 21, 2014

Up-and-coming comedian Hannibal Buress is slowly (or quickly, depending on how you look at it) becoming a huge star, so it was cool to have him in studio this morning. Howard only recently became a big fan of “The Eric Andre Show,” so he was anxious to hear about Hannibal’s career from the very beginning.

Here are the highlights from Howard’s interview with Hannibal:

Hannibal landed in New York City in 2006 with $200 in his pocket and walked right into an open mic night at a comedy club. He was so sure of his calling that he didn’t want to waste a minute. After he wore out his welcome at his sister’s house, he ended up sleeping on park benches or in subways for a while. He didn’t feel unsafe sleeping on the train, but it was weird going to bed on an empty train and waking up to a car packed full of commuters.

When he was lucky, he’d meet a girl out on the town, they’d hook up, and she’d end up offering him a nice, dry place to sleep for the night, though she might not know that he didn’t have his own place.

At some point, Hannibal found shelter and began getting noticed for his stand-up. He got a spot on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and Seth Meyers (who was then the head writer of “Saturday Night Live”) hired him to write for the iconic variety show. The only script Hannibal got approved was a sketch about Charles Barkley doing everything in life in the same herky-jerky motion he uses when he plays golf. It wasn’t even his idea, he admitted – it was from his cousin Percy. It didn’t get any laughs in rehearsal and Lorne ended up saying of the sketch, “Well … that was conceptually adventurous.”

He only lasted a single season on “SNL” (and still might actually work there, since he never got a call saying he was fired) before heading to “30 Rock” to write and play the occasional homeless guy.

Now, he’s a regular on “The Eric Andre Show” and has a full schedule of stand-up dates – recently graduating to performing in theaters. He opened for Aziz Ansari at his Madison Square Garden shows and he recently got off tour with Louis C.K., Sarah Silverman, and Dave Chappelle.

Louis let the other comics fly in his private jet as long as they paid what they wished, and Hannibal tried to plunk down the rough equivalent of a first class airline ticket.

While many think he’s stoned due to his low-key demeanor, he usually isn’t. “I’m not high,” Hannibal told Howard of what he tends to tell people. “I’m just cooler than you.”

Hannibal recently popped up on every website on the internet for his comments on Bill Cosby, which he found disconcerting. Hannibal elaborated how weird it was to him that something said within the context of a spoken stand-up routine got so much attention when it was out of context and in print.

Check out Hannibal in a city near you and tune into “The Eric Andre Show.”