Hannibal Buress is done talking about Bill Cosby. Buress—who brings his Comedy Camisado stand-up tour to House of Blues on April 4—recently hung up on a Pennsylvania reporter who refused to drop the subject. Why? In October, video of the comedian criticizing the 77-year-old and the rape allegations against him spurred a media frenzy that led Cosby to cancel performances—including a November 28 gig at Treasure Island. “It’s just information that’s out there,” Buress told Howard Stern. The sudden exposure became a Catch-22 for the 32-year-old comedian: catalyzing his rising fame while overshadowing his body of work. “It’s a tough business,” Buress says.
Early in his career, the Chicago native wrote for Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock. He credits those experiences for teaching him, “It’s not about trying to have the best jokes, but it’s about pitching and not being afraid to fail.” Nowadays he’s succeeding as the low-key Lincoln Rice on Broad City (“It’s no real prep”) and the straight man on Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show (“A lot of the stuff is weird.”) Most of all, Buress enjoys doing stand-up. “That’s what I control,” he explains. Audiences might hear him riff on lazy rap music (Search “Hannibal Buress Gibberish Rap”) or justify peeing in the sink because “it’s the green way to piss.” His honest and observational style made him a standout at the recent Comedy Central roast of Justin Bieber. “You should thank me for participating in this extremely transparent attempt to be more likable in the public eye,” Buress said to Bieber.
Looking ahead, Comedy Central has signed Buress for his own show, Why? With Hannibal Buress, slated to air this July. And he plans to film an upcoming tour date for his next comedy special. When asked what new material he’d like to shine a Cosby kind of light on, Buress replied in his signature understated fashion: “There’s a new bit that I do about being at the airport. You gotta see it at the show.”
8 p.m. April 4, House of Blues in Mandalay Bay, $39-50, HouseOfBlues.com.