Hannibal Buress has never been to Victoria, and that’s becoming a rare situation in North America for the stand-up comedian and actor.
Having been doing stints on the road as a comedian since 2009, Buress has performed gigs in most places at this point. Only Victoria and Norfolk, Virginia stand out to him as new-to-Hannibal stops on his new tour, the Hannibal Montanabal Experience.
When in unfamiliar urban territory, Buress likes to do what any young, single man does: find a good restaurant, walk around, read the local news and “see what the local Tinder women are looking like.” Performing in a new city doesn’t seem to faze Buress, and neither does playing in Canada.
“It’s no big difference,” he said.“There’s some references may not hit but for the most part, it’s Canada, you know? Everybody speaks English, everybody watches TV. It’s good.”
Things are going well for Buress. For a long time he’s been known by insiders as a unique talent in the world of stand-up comedy, and in the past couple of years the rest of the world has been catching up. Having all his specials available on Netflix, including this year’s Comedy Camisado, has earned him new fans. And with roles on popular television shows Broad City and The Eric Andre Show, and parts in movies such as Neighbors and The Nice Guys, Buress is getting more exposure now than perhaps ever before.
The new tour, which will culminate with a filmed special early next year, is connecting well with audiences, Buress said while calling from Chicago the morning after a knockout gig in front of a hometown crowd.
“The show’s good, the material is in a good spot,” he said. “Feeling good, feeling good about the show, about what I’m saying and how the jokes have been hitting. I’m excited to get it out on the road.”
Known for his somewhat surreal, observational humour, Buress said some of the new material has its roots in bits he’s been germinating from as far back as a year ago, but a lot of it is weeks-old fresh and earning a good response right out of the gate.
Out of all the fans he ends up interacting with, Buress said Broad City fans are the loudest. He got involved with the show early, first appearing when it was still a web series. Now it’s just finished up its third season on Comedy Central, has a large fan base and, along with elevating Buress’ public status, has launched the careers of creators Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson.
“It’s been cool watching them develop and do their thing,” said Buress. “It’s crazy to see something grow from being a web series to being this popular show that’s led to lots of different opportunities.”
With television, movies and stand-up under his belt, Buress said maybe next he’ll try to break into the “condiment game” with a Hannibal Buress BBQ sauce. Or he said maybe being a locksmith could make for a good side gig.
“I had to get my locks changed and I don’t know if you’ve dealt with a locksmith, but they’re some of the most confident people in the world,” Buress said. “I didn’t like how quickly he changed my locks. He did [it] in less than two minutes. Had to pay him $150…It didn’t look that tough. But I’ll stop talking shit because he could break into my house at any time.”
The Hannibal Montanabal Experience comes to the Royal Theatre on Saturday, October 22 at 7:30pm. Tickets are available at rmts.bc.ca or at the Royal Theatre box office.