Comedian Hannibal Buress left a sold-out room of undergraduates in tears this Saturday night after his A&O Productions Winter Speaker performance.
Buress, a longtime stand-up comedian and writer for popular shows such as 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live, has seen a recent surge in his fame, thanks to his Comedy Central show Why? and his supporting role in Broad City.
His set touched on a wide range of topics, and while he clearly came prepared with plenty of material, his playful attitude showed a casual approach to the set that resulted in a number of unexpected laughs. Several times, he revealed his concerns about a Bernie Sanders presidency ("I just think he's too old!"). Later, in one of the more pointed moments of the set, he told a story about running into an acquaintance, a white woman, in Tokyo. After telling the woman that she had drunkenly repeated the same question numerous times, the woman called Buress a "monkey."
"How can white people ruin everything, even when I'm in in Tokyo?" he asked.
Other highlights included recently using Cialis ("I came faster than ever before!"), egregious lyrics in Kanye West's newest album The Life of Pablo and the amateur quality of the beat for Iggy Azalea's "Fancy." The Chicago-born comedian also directed several critiques at Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, questioning what his favorite type of porn would be ("cover-up porn").
On several occasions, Buress interacted with the audience. He pulled School of Communication Lorenzo Gonzalez-Lamassonne to the front of his stage, teasing him for his curly mustache ("Did you go to a barber and ask for the old fashioned bodybuilder?"). At one point, he polled the audience looking for theatre majors, and briefly considered staging an impromptu play further mocking Emanuel.
Together with student openers, School of Communication junior Ben Gauthier and senior David Brown, Buress lit up Pick Staiger Auditorium throughout the night. After joking that he wished he could wrap up his set after being applauded walking out on stage, the students assembled showed how happy they were for the next hour they got to spend with the comedian.