Chris Rock has called Hannibal Buress the funniest young comic he’s seen in years.
Buress has written for “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live” and is the co-host of the Adult Swim series “The Eric Andre Show.” The Chicago-born Buress, who currently lives in New York City, will perform Dec. 30 at Zanies, located at Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles. The show starts at 7 p.m., and tickets cost $30, available at www.ticketmaster.com.
Kane County Chronicle reporter Eric Schelkopf had the chance to talk to Buress about his latest activities.
Eric Schelkopf: It seems like Chicago is such a breeding ground for comedians. Why do you think that is? Is it just because The Second City is in Chicago?
Hannibal Buress: That’s part of it, actually. Also, Chicago is a huge market, and it’s a good place to start out doing comedy because there are so many different places to perform.
Second City definitely fuels that. Chicago is basically the New York of the Midwest. If you want to do stand-up and you don’t want to move to New York City or Los Angeles, it’s a good spot to be able to do multiple shows a night, and it’s a fun spot.
ES: You’ve done so many different things in your career so far. Is stand-up your true love?
HB: I enjoy stand-up a lot, man. I enjoy performing and coming up with ideas.
I like doing other stuff, too. I enjoy writing and the small acting things that I do, and rapping occasionally. But stand-up is the main thing that fuels all of that.
ES: What is it about stand-up that you love so much?
HB: It’s just a fun thing. It’s fun to put your perspective out there for an audience. It’s a fun gig.
ES: You referenced your acting gigs. Was it hard making the transition from being a writer to appearing on a show that you’ve written for, like “30 Rock?”
HB: No. The acting that I have done is straight from people knowing me and asking, “Hey, can you do this?”
That’s how I started getting on “30 Rock.” Sometimes when the role isn’t cast, they have the writers read for it. That’s how I got the homeless guy role on the show.
ES: And, of course, “30 Rock” is a critically acclaimed show. Is that a badge of honor for you?
HB: I was a fan of the show before I started writing for it. I wrote for the fifth season, and by that time, the show had already been established and won a lot of awards.
I was happy to be offered the job. It was a really cool experience.
ES: You are doing other things as well. You’re the co-host of the Adult Swim series “The Eric Andre Show.” How did you get that gig and how do feel about that project?
HB: It was Eric’s [Andre] idea for a fake talk show. He brought me on and we did it. He ended up shopping it around, and Adult Swim picked it up.
I’m basically there to react to his madness. There’s some script to read, but we do a lot of ad libbing.
It’s nice to be one of the principals on a show, where I’m able to bring in my own ideas. I get to have a lot of input, and it’s helped draw a lot of people to my stand-up shows.
A lot of people who watch that don’t even know that I do stand-up. It’s good to get myself out there.
ES: Chris Rock said you were the funniest young comic that he had seen in years. How do you take a compliment like that?
HB: That was really cool. People who hear that might give my stuff a chance, or check out a little of my comedy because of endorsements like that. I appreciate it a lot.
I definitely watched a lot of his stuff when I first started. It’s been great to talk to him and ask him for advice.
ES: It seems like you’re always busy. I understand you just signed a deal with ABC to co-write and star in a comedy pilot about a police officer. When’s that going to be on and how did you come up with the idea?
HB: Well, it’s only a pilot, so it’s not necessarily on yet. We’ll see if we get picked up.
The idea is loosely based on my cousin’s life, and I’m working with this writer, Rob Sheridan. So, we’ll see what happens. But I’m happy for the opportunity.