Hannibal Buress is hands down the funniest stand-up comedian in Chicago.
OK, he lives in New York now, but he grew up here, he performed here for years and technically he is in Chicago right now — in the middle of a two-week run at Zanies. If you see stand-up all the time or you see it once a year, Hannibal's the guy to check out. He's got it all: impeccable timing, a terrific turn of phrase, a calm confidence that puts you at ease and, of course, great material.
I'm forever in his debt: Without knowing me, he agreed to be on the first Interview Show, back in February 2008. Since then, Hannibal has written for SNL and 30 Rock and still found time to stop by the show on two other occasions. Below are his last two visits to The Hideout.
Oh, and tune into WBEZ's 848 Wednesday morning for another interview with Hannibal. And they said synergy was dead!
Another great stand-up comedian, Steve Martin, has one of my favorite all-times bits in a late 1970s routine about language. He says:
“Say you’re going to open a bank... You’ve got to give it the right name. It’s got to be something big and strong, like Security First Trust and Federal Reserve. And you have to name a bank that, because nobody’s going to put their money in FRED’S BANK! ‘Hi, I’m Fred. I have a bank.’”
I think of that every time I pass by the jewelry store in Forest Park pictured below, which marks the first installment of an occasional series here called Best Store Names in Chicago.
If you have a Best Store Name in Chicago, let me know. I'll take a photograph, frame it, take it out of the frame and then post it here.
On Friday, an interview and performance by Das Racist, who will be at Pitchfork this weekend.