By CHRIS HUMPHREYS
His name is Hannibal Buress and before you ask, no he wasnâ€™t named after the star of the 1981 novel â€œRed Dragon,â€ later brought to life on screen by Anthony Hopkins in â€™91â€™s â€œThe Silence of the Lambsâ€ â€“ but instead the third century B.C. Carthaginian military commander Hannibal Barca who famously marched his legions (including elephants) over the Alps.
This Hannibal, a 31 year old Chicago native thatâ€™s best known for his stand-up comedy that has been performed on just about every late night talk show imaginable, Letterman, Kimmel, Conan, and Fallon to name a few, is making his way to Louisville for the first time for a one time show at the Laughing Derby.
â€œLouisville is part of a run Iâ€™m going through â€“ Pittsburgh and Columbus and on the way to Alabama weâ€™re stopping through Louisville. Since weâ€™re around it made sense to pop in real quick.â€ said Buress in a recent phone interview.
Over his 13 year career as a comedian, Buress has released three albums in the last five years â€“ â€œMy Name is Hannibalâ€ in 2010, â€œAnimal Furnaceâ€ in 2014 and this year saw the release of â€œLive From Chicago.â€ For Buress the process is a simple one, â€œYou gotta live life a little bit and do stuff and just try to develop and have stuff to talk about. Itâ€™s good to have some things every couple years, thatâ€™s just the cycle of it. You take a little time to develop new material, then you tour that material, then you record it â€¦ and that for me has been about two years each time.â€ He added that the extra year between recordings helps with his writing and developing through touring and performing, constantly generating new ideas.
While Buress is mostly known for his story telling style of stand-up comedy, heâ€™s also spent time as a writer on hit TV shows, â€œI did write for “SaturdayÂ Night Live” and “30 Rock” for a season each â€¦ I was doing standup for seven years before I ever wrote for TV. But yeah, I wrote on those shows for a year each, those were real fun and real good opportunities.â€ When asked about how his style of comedy helps with his writing, Buress added â€œThereâ€™s a lot of writers in television and movies that start out in standup. I mean it doesnâ€™t necessarily mean youâ€™ll be a good writer if youâ€™re in standup but it can help you with where the jokes land and how itâ€™s structured and how to add the different beats of a story. Having writing experience does help that.â€
You might also recognize Buress – one of the current hottest names in comedy – from his tints in shows such as FXâ€™s â€œLouieâ€ or Comedy Centralâ€™s new hit â€œBroad City,â€ for which the Chicago native just finished shooting the second season and which is due out in January of 2015. Or maybe you saw him in Seth Rogenâ€™s hit film â€œNeighbors.â€
â€œIt was cool man. It was a small role in the film but a lot of people seemed to enjoy it.â€ said Buress. â€œItâ€™s exciting to see yourself on the big screen like that in such a big film. And I was able to do scenes with the main characters so it was cool. The movie process is so long though. We did that in May of last year and it didnâ€™t come out until May of this year so it was just like, â€˜damn when is that coming out? Am I gonna die before that comes out?â€™ Itâ€™s cool but itâ€™s a long process.â€
Buress can also be seen in next springâ€™s â€œBand of Robbers,â€ a modern retelling of the Tom Sawyer gang, and heard in the 2016 animated projects â€œB.O.O.â€ with Seth Rogen, â€œAngry Birdsâ€ with Jason Sudeikis, and â€œUntitled Pets Projectâ€ with Louis C.K., who earlier this year named Buress as one of his favorite comedians.
If youâ€™re a fan of comedy then chances are that earlier this year you saw a group of people standing back stage at a comedy festival, the funny part of that photo was that two of the comics were wearing adult-sized-onesies with their faces on them. â€œThat was during Oddball Festival, this was the second year of the tour. I did the tour last year, 15,000 to 20,000 people in these big amphitheaters â€“ last year I wore a shiny suit for it and this year I wanted to do something that stood out. Itâ€™s a big stage with big screens so I just wanted to wear something that was memorable, so I asked the wardrobe and costume designer for the â€˜Eric Andre Show,â€™ her nameâ€™s Emily, I hit her up and said â€˜you got any ideas for what I can wear for my tour outfit?â€™ and she said â€˜thereâ€™s this website where you can make jumpsuits with your face on itâ€™ and I said â€˜well Iâ€™m definitely doing that.â€™ So I got a mockup of it and I sent it to Amy (Schumer) and she said â€œI want one too!â€ so I got her one made too. She would wear hers at the beginning of her set then drop it and show her dress but I would wear mine the entire 25 minute set.
While chances are that you wonâ€™t see him in a bodysuit made of his face, you can still get tickets to see Hannibal Buress atÂ 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 11Â at the Laughing Derby, located in Mid-City Mall in the Highlands. Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased atÂ www.laughingderby.com.