Hannibal Buress

Hannibal Buress

Hails from: Chicago. Greener pasture: New York.

Ride the train: Plenty of comics leave Middle America for one of the coasts early in their careers. So why did Buress choose New York over Los Angeles? “My driver’s license was suspended for parking tickets,” he says. “I didn’t have a driver’s license, so I couldn’t be in L.A.” Once he was in Gotham with MetroCard in hand, an appearance on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” led Buress to a season writing for “Saturday Night Live,” then a job as a scribe on “30 Rock.” Typecast as a bum? After only one season of working for Tina Fey, Buress already has a recurring role—as a homeless man. Usually, writers read for small roles before actors are cast later in the week, he says, but “I got a laugh the first time it was in the script. So they were like, ‘Let’s just have Hannibal do it.’ And then they kept writing it in.”

Back Stage 06.02.11 Comics to Watch_Hannibal Buress

Hannibal Buress is one of “10 Comics to Watch” in the June 2-8, 2011 “Spotlight on Comedy & Improv” issue of Back Stage.