On this day in comedy on February 4, 1983 Comedian, Actor, Writer, Hannibal Buress was born in Chicago, Illinois
It can be said that Buress is not the corporate type. When he wrote for old school network NBCs Saturday Night Live in 2009, he left in 2010. That same year he got a job writing for the NBC sitcom, 30 Rock and quit after 6 months. He seemed to work better with the looser constrictions of cable which became evident by his relationship with Comedy Central. He appeared on The Awkward Comedy Show special for them. He did stand-up on Live at Gotham and John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show. Buress released his second album, (His first was My Name is Hannibal from 2010) Animal Furnace in 2012. Comedy Central did it as a special and he did an hour-long comedy special for them called Hannibal Buress Live from Chicago in 2014. He’s on the series Broad City, co-host The Eric Andre Show and has his own show Why? With Hannibal Buress. All on Comedy Central.
This is not to say Buress is exclusive to Comedy Central. He has also been seen on Louie and Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell (FX), Lopez Tonight and Conan (TBS), Late Show with David Letterman and The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson (CBS), Jimmy Kimmel Live!(ABC), The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (NBC) and Russell Howard’s Good News (BBC).
However, what put Buress on the map for many non-comedy aficionados was his bit about Bill Cosby that went viral after being in his set for six months. The routine about the legendary comic dubbed “America’s Dad” and his past rape allegations in the face of his better than thou posture took on a life all its own as woman after woman emerged to either reiterate claims of drugging and sexual abuse or level never-before-leveled claims against the iconic comedian. It was a media circus and Buress was at the center of the controversy. But being a stand-up comedian meant Hannibal Buress had the distinct advantage of dissecting the situation on stage and incorporate in as part of the act that got him into that vortex in the first place.
Hannibal Buress has won Chicago’s Funniest Person Award (2007), the Best Performance in a Host Stand-Up/Sketch Comedy Program Series (2011) and the American Comedy Award (2012).
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
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