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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, February 7

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Comedy Fri Aug 10 2012

Comedian Hannibal Buress Talks Steak Tortas & Staying Hydrated

By Rachel Angres

Hannibal Buress came to visit his hometown of Chicago during Pitchfork Music Festival weekend. A venerable writer for some critically acclaimed television series, namely 30 ROCK and SNL, Hannibal has earned his place in the entertainment business. The majority would not recognize him unless they have seen him play the apathetic co-host on Adult Swim's "The Eric Andre Show." His stand-up special "Animal Furnace" aired in May on Comedy Central, and since its premiere he has been on a national comedy tour.

Cole's Bar in Logan Square hosts a stand up open mic every Wednesday where one wouldn't expect to see an actual comedian dare set foot inside, but leave it to Buress to not only go onstage to do his bit, but stay until close to chat with fans, finally leaving with a crew to visit the infamous 4am bar, The Owl, just down the street.

The next day, as sirens blared in the background, Hannibal sat on his friend's couch, ordering steak tacos to-go. I asked him about his eating habits.

hb1.jpgHannibal Buress: I stop when I feel kind of full, and when I get hungry I eat again. I drink some Sprite; I do like Jameson and juice.

For hydration?

Just for livation; and I survive. Now I don't — I'm not healthy at all... I don't think I am. I'm going to get healthy when I turn 30. I'll start kickboxing, fucking people up too.

Really? And so you're twenty... seven... five? Twenty-seven?


You're twenty-nine! And your birthday is so close to Christmas — was that hard?

February 4th? Is that close? I guess.

So Are you Jewish?


Are you anti-Semitic?


Have you accepted the lord Jesus as your savior?

Yes, and I unaccepted him also.

What is more important, comedy or plumbing?

Comedy is a luxury... It's entertainment. Comedy is a necessity.

In the comedy world, who would you screw? Marry? Kill?

Oh, in comedy? I'd marry Joy Behar. Ah... I'll fuck... Joy Behar. And then I'd kill Joy Behar.

What are you working on now?

We're working on some stuff for the [Pitchfork aftershow at the Hideout]. There's going to be musicians there, some rappers there: Rocky Fresh, Jay-el, Serengeti and Tony Trimm. Kyle Kinane — he is also doing comedy. It's going to be fun.

Do you prefer standing or sitting?

I was just standing in line, it was all right. Standing is better for fighting. It's better for dancing, although I'm a good chair dancer. Standing is—

Chair dancer!? What do you mean, chair dancer?

Just being in the club or something, and the music is bopping, and you're just like kicking it in your chair instead of getting up and dancing.

How do you do that?

You just do it like that, you just do everything except move your legs.

OK, so Craigslist has "Missed Connections" ads. Let's say there was one written about you — hypothetically, what would it say?

It'll say — (laughs) — that's a good question, I like that. It will say: stocky, dark-skinned black man. I saw you at a Mexican Restaurant. You were eating a steak torta by yourself, and you looked very happy. I was the girl also eating a steak torta by herself. Our eyes caught each others', and then I looked away. I left without saying "what's up," but you seemed really happy enjoying your torta.

what's your favorite club around here?

You know, sometimes I just like going to Milwaukee or Wicker Park and just kind of bouncing around from spot to spot. There's no... I don't have any specifics, but I like Old Town Ale House — always end up there. Bum around, if I have a show at Zanies or somewhere around, I like going to Ale House.

Can you dance? And if not, what is your day job?

What!? [Laughs] Yeah I can dance.

If you had to communicate using one word for the rest of your life, what would it be?

The one word I will say — aw man, I don't know whether to go literal or funny. See, I think it'd be easy to just... water? No, cause I guess I would say water, but — you could get your own water — just cause you can't talk... my thinking is that if I can only say one word, I would definitely need to have water in my life. So, water.

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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