“It” comedian Hannibal Buress stars on one of January’s most buzzed-about returning TV shows, Comedy Central’s foray into slacker feminist laughs “Broad City.” The show, which is co-executive produced by Amy Poehler, returned Wednesday.
It’s an exceptionally busy time for Buress, who is currently working on two films and continues last fall’s Comedy Camisado Tour, which stops at McGlohon Theater Saturday. And if his name sounds familiar, it should: It was his joke about Bill Cosby last fall that helped reignite discussion of rape allegations.
Whether acting on film in “Neighbors” or the upcoming Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg flick “Daddy’s Home,” headlining top-rated comedy specials like 2014’s “Live from Chicago,” or wooing Ilana Glazer on “Broad City,” Buress remains versatile.
“I’m most comfortable doing standup. With standup I can do anything. I can do it when I want to do it. I can’t just say I want to do a movie in San Francisco tomorrow,” he says, calling from L.A. “On ‘The Eric André Show’ that’s just me being a different version of myself.”
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The subversive goes hand in hand with the accessible.
“Standup is what led to these other opportunities,” says Buress, adding that it’s not necessary for comedians to branch out. “The opportunities that I’ve taken have been helpful for my standup. The standup has become better on camera and sharpened my point of view. It’s broadened my audience.”
Buress’ joke about Cosby’s rape allegations, which went viral in October, may not have expanded his audience, but it certainly got the former “Saturday Night Live” writer’s name out. Buress refused to discuss it for the interview, but told an audience in Brooklyn earlier this week that he didn’t accuse Cosby, he just reminded the crowd that many women had.
While Buress’ Cosby comment may have ruffled older comedy fans, the Chicago native’s appeal is more with the hipper, younger set. In 2014, he appeared at Bonnaroo and South By Southwest, possibly giving him more in common with a breaking indie rock band than a veteran of standup.
Given music snobs’ affinity for Buress, what music is he into?
“The new D’Angelo is pretty smooth,” he says the day after its surprise release. “I like (art rap purveyor) Open Mike Eagle (who plays Snug Harbor semi-regularly). I did some work on his album. I like Danny Brown and Flying Lotus.”