Hannibal Buress On Scarlett Johansson, Other Women, Internet Hookups and His Best Date Ever
MARCH 29, 2014 UPDATE: Hannibal Burress’s brand new one-hour stand up special, “Live From Chicago” is premiering on Comedy Central at 11:59 PM. To see clips and even buy the special directly for only $5, click here.
For those not familiar with the name Hannibal Buress, allow me to run down some of his resume:
Writer for “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live”
Stand-up comedian, most recently on tour with Aziz Ansari
Winner of the 2012 Comedy Award for Best Club Comedian
One of Chris Rock’s favorite comedians
Mortal enemy of Young Jeezy
If you’re still not impressed, you’re probably a hater. Or maybe you need a little more than accolades and my tasteful cosign before you believe he’s funny. Well, pay attention this Sunday when Buress’s 1-hour stand-up special, “Hannibal Buress: Animal Furnace” premiers on Comedy Central at 11 p.m.. Then, after the special, change the channel to Adult Swim at 12:30 a.m. to see Buress as a co-host on the premier of “The Eric Andre Show,”, which is sure to be the weirdest late night talk show on television.
Long time readers may remember an interview I did with Kevin Hart back in 2010. Seeing as Buress is on the cusp of blowing up like Hart did and because I’ve been a fan of Buress since last year, I had to reach out to see if he would agree to an interview. With the help of my good friend Damien Lemon (another very funny comedian you may have seen on MTV’s “Guy Code”), Buress and I were able to break bread yesterday over the phone.
Here is a condensed version of our conversation in which we talk about a bunch of stuff, including Scarlett Johansson. Even if you’re up on Hannibal, this isn’t like those other interviews you may have read with him where we talk about comedy. I mean, we do, but…Just check it out and BE SURE TO SET YOUR DVRs or tune in on Sunday to watch Buress do his thing, twice.
When Chris Rock shouted you out in Esquire, who was the first ex you took it to and said, ‘Now what?!’
Hannibal Buress: I didn’t really do that. I didn’t say, “Hey, check this out!” I did have an ex-girlfriend I reached out to, but she doesn’t have a web presence at all. My first girlfriend from college. She doesn’t have a Facebook. I don’t know if she changed her name or she made herself unsearchable. But I usually don’t go up to people and say, “Yo, this is what’s happening.”
Well, you’re going to be on TV twice this Sunday. That’s like Morgan Freeman status…
I know or Will Smith, “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” on one channel, “Men In Black I” on another.
Right, so you think that will change the way you date in a good way or bad way?
Eh, it more happens at live events and shows. When you’re doing comedy you just meet more people so that increases your chances. Something about a show, you do a good show, you have that glow when you step off stage, that show glow [laughs].
Did you ever have a celebrity crush growing up or recently, did you have a chance to meet a celebrity crush?
I can’t think of anyone growing up right now, but you know what’s funny? I didn’t exactly have a crush on her but I think she’s dope, I got to meet Scarlett Johansson.
Oh, I have a crush on her
One time I was just online and another comedian messaged me and said he knows a comic working on a movie with Scarlett Johansson and that she said I’m her favorite comedian or one of her favorite comedians.
Scarlett said that about you?
Yeah, so I’m thinking, What the? But I don’t know what to do with that information, I don’t have her email. I can’t say what’s up. A few months later though, I’m at this club in New York and sure enough Scarlett Johansson is at the club. My friend who’s with me knows her and so I said, “Introduce me, man. I heard she said I was her favorite comedian.” [laughing] So we go over and my friend says, “Hi Scarlett, this is Hannibal.” And she’s like, “Oh Hannibal! I’m a big fan! Oh shit! AH!” So we talk for a little bit, but it was just regular, you know, we ended up getting interrupted, but just a regular conversation.
Please tell me there’s more to this story.
Well, a couple months ago, I see her in that spot again…
I knew there was more
We’re by the bathroom and we’re talking. It’s all like, “Hey, what’s up? Good to see you” blah blah blah…But then I was super drunk and for some reason whenever she would walk past me in the club I would go, SCAWWWWWLETT, SCAWWWWWLETT. I don’t know why I did that. I don’t know why I would do that.
It was creepy as fuck! I saw Avengers last night, and I was watching her shoot people and stuff. That was crazy.
Well, at least you weren’t in the theater saying, SCAWWWWLETT!
In your new special you talk about accidentally reaching out to a female fan of yours on Facebook who turns out to be in high school. What site is the best for hooking up on the Internet?
I’ve had some Twitter hookups. I’ve had a few Twitter meet-ups.
How many times do you go back and forth on the timeline before you take it to DMs
Maybe, I’ll do two messages on the timeline, and then I gotta go to DM quick because I don’t want people in my business like that. Then, I might go back on the timeline and delete our exchange. [laughs]
How many times have you followed a girl back just to DM them?
I don’t know. Probably a lot. [laughs]
Did you ever have a Blackplanet page?
I had one in college, but I never really used it for hooking up in college. I had a College Club page. Do you remember College Club?
Yeah, I had a College Club page. I met a girl on my campus from College Club. This was 2000, 2001 so it was early as far as meeting people online. But me and my friends made a road trip just based on somebody he met from College Club. We went and stayed at this girl’s house. We made a couple road trips like that.
You ever get nervous a girl you’re meeting is crazy or what she might have going on that you don’t know about?
I just don’t like, because I have my hotel, I don’t like when I go to a girl’s spot she has hella roommates. I don’t like hearing voices. There’s people cooking and talking. I don’t want to hear that. I get up in the morning, I have to walk past people like, “Good morning. How’s it going? [laughs].
Being on the road, how difficult is it for you to get into a relationship
You know, I think I could be in love it’s just with my schedule and how much I travel, it makes it really tough. It’s hard to say to a girl, “Hey, I really like you. We have a lot of fun together but I’m only in town for six days out of the month so while I’m gone just chill out and don’t be around anybody else.”
Yeah, if they could just stay right where they’re at and not do anything…
Yeah, that’s really tough. It’d be unfair to them.
Do you feel like it would be good for you to settle down right now or is that a long way away?
I mean, it’s not a long way away. I just turned 29 and you start thinking, What else? Being single is fun but it is nice to come home to somebody, just sit around, watch a bunch of episodes of a tv show, sit at home and eat.
What city has the best women, besides the obvious ones like New York, Miami, L.A.?
[Laughs]I was just about to say, “MIAMI!”
And I knew that, so that’s why I had to get in front of it [laughs]. But really, what’s the slept-on city?
Well, you know, Miami is dope. Miami girls are really, yeah…
That’s how you know it’s hot because even when I tell you not to say Miami, you still say Miami.
[Laughs] It’s true! But no, Minneapolis.
Are you serious?
I’m 100 percent serious. Minneapolis has some cool girls. Melbourne, Australia. Also, I haven’t spent an extended time in Austin but Austin has some cool girls.
What’s your best date ever?
Well, there was this girl who lives in L.A. but came to visit me in New York in like 2010. During the day we went to see Fela!, then we went to the Knicks game against the Blazers, and she was from Portland. Then we went to watch a taping of Saturday Night Live.
Damn, you should’ve asked me out on that date. That sounds nice.
Since you’re a comedian, do you ever meet a woman who’s like pressuring you to be funny?
Yeah, yeah, you know what? I just started telling this story on stage.
I was in D.C. and I was doing shows with Aziz at the Warner Theatre where he just filmed his last special, Dangerously Delicious. So then, we went out after, this spot in D.C. called The Black Cat.
Yep, I’ve been there.
Yeah, so I met a girl there. She wasn’t at the show. She was just kicking it. We’re having drinks, dancing a little bit. And I get excited when I meet a girl and we kick it and she hasn’t seen a show. She doesn’t know what I do. It’s more special to me it’s like, I can be a person.
So yeah we’re kicking it, it’s going well, then we hit the streets, go to another bar. There’s people on the street who were at the show so they’re yelling, “Good show, man! Funny shit!” She’s like, “Wait, what? What do you do?” I say, “I do comedy.” We get to the second spot and then she says, “You do comedy, tell me a joke.”
I said, “I’m not telling you a joke.” She says, “Tell me a joke.” I said, “I’m not telling jokes.” She said, “Well if you tell a joke, I’ll show my tits.” I said, “Yo, my jokes are better than your tits.”
[Hysterical laughter] What?!
She said, “C’mon, tell me a joke and I’ll show you my tits.”
She’s still trying?
Yeah, and I was drunk so I just went on this rant about how I’ve been Emmy nominated, I’m on Comedy Central. I just went on this ego rant. She left, that’s how hard I snapped.
Fifteen minutes later I was thinking, I could’ve just told one joke to see some titties [laughs].
[Laughs]Yeah, that’s not a bad exchange. There’s a world of men doing a lot more than you had to do to see some titties.
Right! I could’ve told a horrible joke. I could’ve told anyone’s joke. But I was just feeling myself in that moment. I mean, she was kind of a jerk, but I still could’ve told one joke if that was the deal. She wanted to show her titties, she just needed a reason. She was just trying to have fun but when people ask me that it triggers this feeling, like I just shut down. People have been doing it since I started doing comedy and it’s been nine years. I take it as an insult sometimes but I should take it case by case.
Yeah case by case. I’m sure if Scarlett Johansson would’ve given you that deal you would’ve told a joke.
[Laughs] Oh, I would’ve been like, Scarlett, what type of material do you like? You want new stuff? You want some pop culture, relationships? I have some observational stuff. I have some stuff about traveling. You travel a lot, right?
Okay, last question, and I’m sure you get this a lot but I’m going to ask anyway. Have you ever met a girl named Clarice?
Naw, I haven’t met a girl named Clarice and I also have a boycott against all the Hannibal movies because of what that movie has done to my life. I can’t watch them.
I can dig it. Well, thank you Hannibal. For real. I appreciate the time.
Hey, no problem. I’m trying to sell here so it’s been cool.
Cool, man. Peace.
Again, catch Hannibal Burress’s stand-up special “Hannibal Buress: Animal Furnace” Sunday, May 20, at 11 p.m. on Comedy Central. Also, the same night, on Adult Swim at 12:30 on “The Eric Andrew Show.” For stand up dates, and more information about Hannibal, check out Hannibal’s Tumblr website. Below, a clip from Hannibal’s documentary A Week To Kill, an extra on the “Hannibal Buress: Animal Furnace” DVD, which you should order here.