Hannibal Buress is headlining the Uncanny Comedy Festival on Saturday.
Hannibal Buress is headlining the Uncanny Comedy Festival on Saturday in Seattle. PARAS GRIFFIN/GETTY IMAGES FOR LEVI'S®
When I was 20, I changed my Facebook profile picture to a still from The Eric Andre Show of Chicago comedian Hannibal Buress leaning back and saying "Wack." Devoid of its context, it incapsulated a lot of my 20-year-old feelings toward life in general. Life was wack. Deep. My mom immediately messaged me, concerned, "Who is this man in your profile!" I typed back, almost furiously, "Mom, it's Hannibal Buress!" As if it explained itself. And it should.

Buress has been around for a while—doing stand-up; hosting his Handsome Rambler podcast; starring in films; reigniting attention toward Bill Cosby's history as a rapist of epic proportions; acting in beloved TV series like Broad City, High Maintenance, and the aforementioned fever-dream-of-a-program The Eric Andre Show. He's really got a little something for everyone. A man of the people.

This Saturday, the comedian will be sliding through Seattle-via-Kent, headlining the Uncanny Comedy Festival on Saturday, a comedy show put on by the same people who are doing Lemonhaze earlier that day. Two weeks ago, I had a chance to chat a bit with Buress over the phone about hot sauce, reporters quoting him incorrectly, hip hop, Broad City, and weed. A lot of it didn't make the cut—sorry guys. Particularly a bit where he put me on to this VICELAND series with 2 Chainz that he made an appearance on called Most Expensivest where the rapper literally just tries expensive shit and reviews it. 2 Chainz is truly an excellent host; most of the time, he just comments on how expensive the product or service is. It's amazing. I'll link at the bottom of the article.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

On smoking the devil's lettuce:

I'm an edibles person more than smoking. I like small dose mint candy—a 5 mg bump—because then I can still do everything that I need to do and people won't think I'm high. Or maybe they might think, oh you a little high, but, you know, you can still work.

I'll hit the joint occasionally. Fans have asked me to smoke with them. People will message you, "Oh, let's smoke before the show!" Why do you wanna ruin your show? [laughs] "Let's smoke before!" This is… you realize I come here once every 18 months and you're willing to destroy that for a [laughs] smoking a joint. You wanna put this performance in extreme jeopardy? Alright. [laughs] "You wanna smoke?" Nahhh, I don't wanna smoke with you because I might get weird, so just, give me the weed and I'll walk away. I appreciate you, don't think that this is an indictment on your character [laughs]… Some people can do it, some people can't, I'd rather not.

Also, I don't smoke that much by myself. I'm not a smoking person. One mint. I like to forget that I took it. Sometimes I can do that with a mint. Where, like, I feel good—"Oh yeah I took that mint!" You know what I mean, where sometimes you get high, and the whole time you like, "Yo, I'm hiiiiiiigh." I like, "Oh yeah I forgot that I did that three hours ago, that's why I'm so talkative!"

On performing for a stoned audience vs a drunk audience:

I prefer attentive audiences that don't yell shit. I mean, I assume most of the crowd or a good amount is somewhat, you know, either a little tipsy or a little high. I don't know if super stoned people—like really stoned—might not laugh at stuff that much… but I think my show now really appeals to high people, a little bit. It leans more that way because there are visuals. There are different noises and it kinda changes levels, so I think for the stoner or the high, it hits.

On having visuals in his stand-up routine:

Yeah, I got visuals. It just hits different. It's just certain bits. Obviously, stand-up on its own works. It can work. But, you know, certain ideas can be enhanced and it just pops more. Even if it's a quick three-second thing that just amplifies what you're talking about versus you saying the words. It's just like television… It's dynamic, it adds a little pop and engages the senses a little bit.

On Broad City ending (and me accidentally telling him that I got teary-eyed at his character Lincoln and Ilana having to break up and he was like "Oh, wow!"):

It's kinda cool seeing the show just progress into what it is and seeing it grow. You know, seeing Abbi and Ilana blossom and start working on other projects, doing their thing. It was a cool opportunity for me to just do something different in acting that I honestly probably wouldn't have tried to do on my own. Like, I would not have written myself into a relationship in a story, I don't think.

So yeah, so they kinda put me in a different spot where I was able to play some type of things and do some acting and be a part of an ongoing storyline that people really care about and get invested in. It's really dope for that reason... Seeing it grow, it's been really dope. I'm glad [Abbie and Ilana] get to end it on their terms and write it the way they want to.

Lastly, on whether or not he's listened to the new Solange album, When I Get Home:
I been jamming to that a lot, actually, it's really smooth. It's nice to drive around to. My three tracks off of there that I've been repeating is "Way to the Show," "Almeda," and "Sound of Rain." It's a chill album, that's what I cook my breakfast to.

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