Hannibal has come a long way since 2002 when he started doing stand-up in Chicago. Then there were the days when he would travel between Chicago and New York playing shows anywhere. It was at one of these shows that I had a chance meeting with him as we were both performing the same night on the same bill in a dank basement on Ave. A underneath the bar Julep in NYC. Buress was performing stand-up while I played some musical comedy. Memories of those nights never seem to fade as I remember there weren’t even 10 people in that basement. Not even sure ten could fit down there anyway. The hosts for the evening were an all female comedy troupe, The Brothel. Then there was Hannibal, myself, and comedian Craig Baldo. Looking back and seeing what’s become of that particular line-up 10 years later, it’s pretty impressive what you might see or be a part of at any given time at any given venue, on any given night in New York City.
Hannibal has become a huge success in the world of stand-up, appears in feature films regularly, and is a part of two fantastic television shows currently on air (Broad City, The Eric Andre Show). Craig Baldo has since performed on Conan, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, become a finalist on Last Comic Standing, and has warmed up the audience for both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, not to mention a respectable writer for outlets such as The Onion. The Brothel has since split up, but two of the members have gone on to be successful with Marisa Miller winning awards for her documentary, Vegucated, and Shelly Shenoy become a staple in the voice over world as well as an accomplished actor. And then, myself. I went on to become one of the voices of SiriusXM Radio for nearly a decade hosting shows on all of the comedy channels as Mark Says Hi! helping comedians get their name out there, interviewing some of the worlds best talent in their respective fields, and helped spread the jokes and wide range of comedic voices across the nation daily. With that all now in the past, I feel a different sense of respect, happiness, and joy when I see artists never give up on what they set out to do and are willing to perform in a basement to 5 people they don’t even know. Lastly, I remember Hannibal coming up to me and telling me that he enjoyed my music, I returned the complement about his stand-up and we traded our respective DVD for CD. A DVD that still sits on my shelf of career timeline memories at home. And with all of that said, please enjoy “Hannibal Buress: Live From Chicago”, his latest release right here, streaming all month. Spoiler Alert: There are more than 5 people in the audience.