Wednesday, September 21, 2011

An awkward chat with Hannibal Buress

Hannibal Buress has written for “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock,” released a CD, performed stand-up on late night TV and all over the world, and is currently developing his own TV series. He is 28 years old.

Chris Rock said, “If Steven Wright, Mos Def and Dave Chappelle had a baby, that would be disgusting, but it would sound like Hannibal Buress.”

Q: Do you like people? All the everyday stuff people do seems to bother you, and gives you your best material.

Hannibal Buress: Yeah, I like people, yeah. Everybody has stuff that bothers them about other people. That doesn’t mean I hate people.

Q: Yes, but most people don’t write it down and turn it into jokes.

HB: Stand-up comedians do. So yeah, I like some people.

Q: You were in the documentary “The Awkward Kings of Comedy.” How do you feel about that label?

HB: It’s alright. I think it helps get the project attention and brand it a bit. I don’t consider myself awkward.

Q: You seem comfortable onstage. Do you get stage fright?

HB: No, I don’t — I mean, it depends on the show. I’ve enjoyed it for a while, so I feel pretty comfortable whether I’m trying out new material or it’s TV. Every now and then when I get on TV, I get a little nervous about being on TV but, for the most part, I just go to the gigs and see what happens.

Q: You left “30 Rock” recently. Do you have plans, or are you just concentrating on stand-up now?

Q: I’m concentrating on stand-up now, and trying to do more acting. I’m going to audition for some stuff, and hopefully my friends will put me in stuff.

Q: Do you have any interest in trying to get your own show?

HB: That would be really cool, to have my own show. I would like to come up with some ideas and see what happens.

Q: Would you want a network show, or something more off-beat?

HB: Depends on what I’m able to come up with, and where it would fit. If I had a really good network idea, that’d be great. If I had a really good cable idea, then that’s great also. If I had a show, I would want it to go in a place where it could flourish and grow. The network isn’t that important to me.

Q: Who are some comics you like these days?

HB: I’m a big fan of Patrice O’Neal. John Mulaney is great. Sean Patton. Another guy, Damien Lemon, in New York, is really funny. Jeffrey Joseph. There’s so many, man.

Q: Have you been to Louisville before?

HB: No, I haven’t.

Q: Do you have any ideas or expectations about people here?

HB: No, I would just expect that people would come to the comedy club and laugh and buy drinks and leave. That’s what happens when I go to most cities.

Q: I’ve read that you’ve become known for mocking journalists and their dumb questions, sometimes, after the interview. What’s my worst question so far?

HB: Your worst one was opening up with “Do you like people?” That was pretty bad. (laughs)

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