Comedian and actor Hannibal Buress will be bringing his newest tour “The Hannibal Montanabal Experience” to The Ryan Center Nov. 3, with his visit to The University of Rhode Island being the biggest stop on the tour.
Cigar: When you first started doing stand-up, were you doing the same kind of material that you do today?
HB: I don’t think I’ve had a switch in styles; you just get better at conveying your message and who you are. You get more honest as you get older, and after doing something over and over, you just get more skill. Stylistically, I think it’s been more of a progression into stories, versus setup–punchline jokes and observations.
Cigar: Who are some of your comedic inspirations?
HB: I’m a big fan of [Dave] Chappelle, Patrice O’Neal, who was an outstanding comedian, Bill Burr, Chris Rock. I saw Sinbad live once… It was cool man, he is just a pro and kills it and doesn’t curse and [is] just a really funny dude.
Cigar: During the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, you were clearly fatigued by end. Was this because you were performing the same material over and over?
HB: It was more because I was doing it in the same room, and with no movement. Coming to that same space everyday was really tough. So I don’t think I would ever be able to do Broadway or be in a long running play. I don’t think my brain is wired to enjoy or succeed at that. But it’s a fun festival, and a good time. I’m glad that I did it. I would go back and do it again, but not for a month. I’d maybe do a week.
Cigar: There’s definitely a difference between the type of humor in your standup material compared to on The Eric Andre Show. Is there a kind of humor you prefer?
HB: Well there’s Eric’s show, and then there’s my stand up. So they’re kinda different worlds. I have more to say in one world than in another; one is me reacting to or commenting on what is going on, where me in my standup is me just talking for an hour and some change. It’s not a conscious choice.
Cigar: Has there ever been something on the show you were totally uncomfortable with or opposed to?
HB: Yeah, they had this Zombie-Tupac bit. He had come from the dead and had bullet holes in his body. It was a Tupac lookalike. I didn’t really want to be a part of that one.
Cigar: There are clearly some guests on the Eric Andre show who are “in on it”. How does that usually work?
HB: I’m not really talking to them beforehand, just because I want to be able to do what I do [on the show] naturally. Some people, like Seth Rogen, are just on board with it and are fans of the show. But some people just come in thinking it’s a regular talk show, and they quickly find out that’s not the case. For some people, just because they know what the show is, it doesn’t mean you’re not able to catch them off guard.
Cigar: Is it weird to have that kind of relationship with celebrity guests where you are putting them in uncomfortable situations?
HB: Well, usually the rappers know and watch the show. Rappers smoke weed and watch AdultSwim… at least the ones we’ve had on. Curren$y gets high; Killer Mike smokes weed. Chance [the Rapper] smokes and watches AdultSwim. Wiz Khalifa actually has lyrics where he talks about this. That’s a quote of his, you can look it up, “Lets get high and watch AdultSwim” [laughs]. So the rappers are more on board with it and are willing to get f—ed with a little bit and don’t take themselves too seriously.
Cigar: You have a regular role on Broad City. How did that come about?
HB: It came from meeting them. They were doing a web series at that time and asked me to be a part of that. When they did the pilot [they] asked me to be a part of it, in the scene where she’s riding me and also FaceTiming. We did that and then they said they wanted me to be a regular on it.
Cigar: When you did the Roast of Justin Bieber, did you know your joke about him being transparent was going to get cut?
HB: He told me it was going to be cut. Right after, we were walking off stage and he said, “That’s a good one, man, but we’re gonna cut that”. [What I said] wasn’t really a joke. It was funny, but just deconstructive and being preachy, so it’s not something I sit around being angry about.
Cigar: What can URI students expect from the Hannibal Montanibal tour?
HB: I don’t think I’ve performed at the school before. I’ve only performed in Providence once. But it’s just me telling stories. It’s me talking about life right now. It’s exactly what I’m up to and what I’m thinking, and where I am as a 33 year old man. So since I’m performing at the university, a lot of it won’t be relatable [laughs].
[The Ryan Center] is supposed to be 6000 people or something, which is a big reach to say the least [laughs]. We’ll see. This is supposed to be a huge gig I guess. This venue is the biggest one on the tour, coincidentally. The next biggest one is 3400 seats, in Chicago.
Tickets for the Hannibal Montanabal Experience are on sale now. Be on the lookout for Buress’ new podcast, The Handsome Rambler.
EDIT: This show has since moved from the Ryan Center to Edwards Auditorium. Students can exchange their tickets at no cost to them.