Comedian Hannibal Buress jokes about college life, family stories


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Photo by Devon Judge |

Comedian Hannibal Buress gives the audience at the Busch Student Center an evening full of laughs at his show, sponsored by Rutgers University Programming Association.


If you’re stuck at the bottom of a well, do you want somebody who can relate to you, or do you want a motherf---er with a rope who can pull you out of Forever 21 debt? 

That was Clark Jones’ response when friends told him he should date someone who understood his struggles as a black man. 

Jones, a comedian at the Laugh Factory Comedy Network, opened yesterday’s comedy evening for Hannibal Buress at the Busch Student Center. 

Glancing around Multipurpose Room A, Buress suspected this was where Ghostbusters made their plans. 

“This room is just a soulless piece of garbage, this wannabe woodshed,” he said, noting the hospital-esque lighting. “Nobody’s ever played that piano.” 

He explained why he always starts his show wearing glasses. 

“It makes people comfortable because that’s how they saw me on television,” he confessed to a laughing crowd. 

Buress, comedian, musician and actor, performed a sold-out show for more than 500 students. The Rutgers University Programming Association sponsored the event. 

Buress has been featured on Comedy Central, late-night talk shows and on the FX sitcom “Louie,” according to the RUPA Facebook page.

“An hour until I get my check,” he observed. “Start the clock.” 

Tickets were sold out online, according to RUPA’s Facebook event, and 150 were available at the door, first come, first serve. 

“I didn’t vote on Tuesday and … I’m okay with that,” Buress joked. “The bad thing about me not voting? I did a commercial telling people to vote.” 

Jones filled his jokes with race, gender, class issues, personal stories and self-deprecating punch lines. One story involved his grandmother, who came on a charter bus with 50 other black women.

“Half of them wanted to see the play “Raisin in the Sun,” the other half wanted purses from Chinatown,” he said.

The ladies complained when he tried to take them to exciting places. 

The lesson he learned? 

“You can take an old woman anywhere as long as it’s nice and cool,” he said. “I took these women to a Walgreens and they f---ing lose their minds.”

Jones said he likes the attitude of New Yorkers. Everybody’s proud, even homeless people. 

“The dude was homeless, but he still had the confidence of a stock broker,” Jones said. 

The man said adamantly that he had recently lost his job and refused to rob anybody or sell drugs. 

“And as soon as he said he refused to sell drugs, everybody stopped listening,” Buress said. 

Buress’ first story was about him trying to figure out a way to play Russian roulette without anybody dying.

“It’s high stakes, but somebody has to die usually,” he said. “I don’t want that.” He decided that they would take shots at an Xbox instead, which meant they risked the Xbox’s warranty not covering bullet damage. 

Buress also bemoaned what he calls “D-plus fame.”

“That means that I can’t just walk right into a five star restaurant and get a table, but I can cut you in line at a food truck,” he joked. 

Noting his audience, Burress confessed that he didn’t graduate college. “Some of you won’t either, and that’s okay,” he said.

Buress said he loves comedy because it’s straightforward, unlike working at a restaurant, where he would probably insist that everyone order the same thing. 

When he sees military personnel, Buress jokes that he doesn’t know whether he should go up and thank the person, because he can’t be sure what they’ve actually done. 

“I don’t know if he was in combat or if he can just do more pushups than me,” he said. “I’d go up to him and ask, ‘Why are you in full uniform in this Applebee’s right now? This is definitely a neutral zone.’” 


Lin Lan

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