Hannibal has more than 50 acting credits to his name, including “Neighbors” (2014), “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (2017), “Tag” (2018), “30 Rock” (2010–2012), and “Broad City” (2014–2019). Buress has written for “30 Rock” and “The Eric Andre Show” as well as “Saturday Night Live” (2009–2010) and the “2010 MTV Movie Awards,” and he has served as a producer on “Why? With Hannibal Buress,” “The Eric Andre Show,” and several of his comedy specials. Buress also lent his voice to “The Angry Birds Movie” (2014), “The Secret Life of Pets” (2016), “The Secret Life of Pets 2” (2019), “Lucas Bros. Moving Co.” (2013–2015), and “Chozen” (2014), and he began hosting the podcast “Handsome Rambler” in 2016.
Hannibal Buress was born Hannibal Amir Buress on February 4, 1983, in Chicago, Illinois. His mother, Margaret, was a teacher, and his father, John, worked for Union Pacific Railroad. He was named after Hannibal Barca, a Carthaginian General, and has said in his stand-up act that women have turned him down because his name makes them think of Hannibal Lecter. Buress has an older sister and grew up in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood. He attended Steinmetz College Prep, and after graduating, he enrolled at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where he became friends with his RA, hip-hop artist/comedian Open Mike Eagle.
Hannibal performed comedy for the first time in 2002 while he was attending college. He made his TV debut on “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” in 2007, and he released his first stand-up album, “My Name is Hannibal,” in July 2010. From 2009 to 2010, he wrote for “Saturday Night Live” and appeared on the show twice, in the Megan Fox/U2 episode and the Charles Barkley/Alicia Keys episode. “Variety” magazine named Buress one of “Ten Comics to Watch in 2010,” and in September of that year, he joined the writing staff of NBC’s “30 Rock.” Buress quit the writing job after six months, but he appeared on the show nine times between 2010 and 2012. His second album, 2012’s “Animal Furnace,” also aired as a Comedy Central special, and the network aired the special “Hannibal Buress Live from Chicago” in 2014. In 2016, Netflix released “Hannibal Buress: Comedy Camisado” and the documentary “Hannibal Takes Edinburgh,” and in 2020, he released his special “Miami Nights” on YouTube.
Hannibal has appeared as himself on the television series “Louie” (2010), “The Jim Gaffigan Show” (2015), “Childrens Hospital” (2016), and “Crashing” (2017) and the films “Sleepwalk with Me” (2012) and “The Comedian” (2016). He has appeared in the films “The Kings of Summer” (2013), “Daddy’s Home” (2015), “The Nice Guys” (2016), “The Disaster Artist” (2017), “Baywatch” (2017), “Blockers” (2018), and “Slice” (2018). Buress played Officer Watkins in 2014’s “Neighbors” and 2016’s “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” and Coach Wilson in the blockbuster film “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which grossed $880.2 million at the box office. He voices Buddy the dachshund in the “The Secret Life of Pets” franchise, which has grossed more than $1.3 billion worldwide. Hannibal has guest-starred on “The Mindy Project” (2013), “Kroll Show” (2013), and “High Maintenance” (2016 and 2017) and done voice acting on “Bob’s Burgers” (2013), “China, IL” (2013–2015), “BoJack Horseman” (2017), and “The Simpsons” (2020). He played Lincoln Rice on Comedy Central’s “Broad City,” appearing in 28 episodes from 2014 to 2019, and he co-hosted 45 episodes of “The Eric Andre Show” before leaving in 2020. Buress has also appeared in the web series “Hot Ones” (2018) and “The Bob Ross Challenge” (2020), and he can be heard in the video games “Grand Theft Auto V” (2013) and “NBA 2K17” (2016).
Hannibal is an atheist, and in a 2016 interview, he stated, “I have religious people writing me after shows, angrily.” Buress owns a three-unit building in Chicago’s Wicker Park area that he rents out, and he received criticism when he tweeted his opposition to Bernie Sanders’ call for a national rent control standard. In late 2017, Hannibal was arrested for disorderly intoxication in Miami. According the arrest report, police officers detained him because he kept asking them to call an Uber for him. Buress said of the incident, “What happened is that I asked the [officer] to call me an Uber, and he said, ‘No.’ He told me to leave the street. I go into this bar to get a phone charge or an Uber. He follows me into the bar, and told me I’m too drunk to go inside…’If I can’t be on the street, where do you want me to be?’ I ask him. I was in a state of trying to get home.” The charges were dropped soon after his arrest, but in 2020, Hannibal sued the city, the Miami Police Department, and two individual police officers, alleging that it was a wrongful arrest and that the publicity surrounding the incident resulted in Buress losing paid engagements and suffering from emotional distress.
In October 2014, Hannibal made headlines by reviving allegations of rape cases against Bill Cosby. His re-telling of the Cosby allegations set off a waterfall of renewed anger against Cosby that eventually resulted in the comedian being sentenced to prison.
In a September 2018 interview, Buress revealed that he had given up alcohol, saying “I was having a bunch of different situations happen that were alcohol fueled, like arguments or just, you know, ways I handle things that were not smooth.” In 2019, it was announced that Hannibal was developing an arts, science, and technology center called Melvina Masterminds in the Chicago neighborhood where he grew up. Melvina Masterminds’ mission is “to provide students with the information they need to excel in their lives, improve their community, and master their minds,” and Buress won $32,000 for the organization when he competed on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” in 2020.
Awards and Nominations:
In 2010, Buress and his fellow “Saturday Night Live” writers earned a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Series, and “30 Rock” received two Writers Guild of America nominations for Comedy Series while Hannibal was a member of the writing staff. At the 2018 Teen Choice Awards, Buress, Jeremy Renner, Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, and Jake Johnson were nominated for Choice: Fight for “Tag.” For his stand-up work, Hannibal was named Chicago’s Funniest Person by “Time Out Chicago” in 2007, and he won a Comedy Award for Best Club Comic in 2012. In 2011, the Canadian series “Funny as Hell” earned Buress a Gemini Award for Best Performance in a Hosted Stand-Up/Sketch Comedy Program or Series.