For Hannibal Buress, stand-up is king
You’ve seen Hannibal Buress stealing big-screen scenes in popular comedies like Neighbors, Baywatch, Daddy’s Home and even the superhero blockbuster Spider-Man: Homecoming. Now the Chicago-born comedian is getting all the screen time he can handle in this month’s goofy ensemble flick Tag, also starring Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Ed Helms and Isla Fisher.
“This is the biggest one so far, the movie I have the most to do with the story. I’m just excited to see how this one connects,” says Buress, who developed his provocative-yet-deadpan style on the stand-up stage.
“This one is a whole different ballgame. When you’re on the posters and the billboards and a bigger part of that whole promotional process, it’s a different set of obligations. It’s a shift for me.”
Tag is about a group of former classmates who organize an elaborate, annual game of tag that takes over their lives and wreaks havoc on everyone around them. If you ask me, it sounds pretty ridiculous, in a good way. “It is pretty ridiculous,” Buress agrees. “A lot of us, while we were doing it, would stop and say, ‘Yo, we’re doing a movie about tag.’ But it’s really more about the friendship and the fun and the conversations and camaraderie that come with it. The cast is really good. It’s solid.”
For Buress, who makes a Strip stop for The Mirage’s Aces of Comedy series on June 8, movies are fun and can be exciting but it’s all about propelling his career as a stand-up comedian.
“At the risk of sounding incredibly unprofessional, I don’t really prep for movies. I just do a movie,” he laughs. “I just show up and say words until they say it’s time for lunch, then it’s time to go back and say some words until it’s time to go home. You just try to be funny in the context of this movie, you improvise, you try to stay on point with the story.”
He’ll be telling his own stories onstage at the Terry Fator Theatre this week. Buress is not just a touring comic visiting Vegas—he’s a regular. He’s been known to take a Sin City stopover while traveling between Chicago and Los Angeles and he likes to see shows, gamble and party like any other Vegas visitor. He’s even developed an affinity for the Vegas Golden Knights.
“I’ve been to a good amount of Golden Knights games and they’ve been fun to watch,” says Buress. “I don’t do too many shows in Vegas because I don’t want to burn out my draw, but it’s a great place to perform. Last time I (performed) there I happened to run into (fellow comedian) Craig Robinson. He was staying next door and we didn’t even know it, I just bumped into him in the hallway. That was a pretty fun, random Vegas night.”
The Mirage, 10 p.m. June 8, starting at $29.99 plus tax and fee, 16+. 702.792.7777