On Comedy Central’s Broad City, Hannibal Buress plays the easygoing Lincoln Rice: successful pediatric dentist, dog lover, and Ilana’s fuck-buddy-turned-boyfriend. But Buress is nothing like his Broad City character.
“Nah, he’s not like me at all,” Buress tells me over the phone. “He’s a dentist, and I’m a famous stand-up comedian.” Then the Chicago comedian lets out one of his iconic slow, hearty laughs, which always sound laced with a hint of self-satisfaction. “I’m not a dog person... and I’m not as patient, but my patience is growing. I’m just starting to fully mature this year I think, and grow up. But yeah, I don’t think we’re that similar, but speech patterns and cadences? We’re pretty close.”
Despite Ilana and Lincoln’s sexual relationship ending in season three, Buress says he wasn’t concerned about the future of his character. “Nah, I knew I’d be back on,” he says. “If I would’ve got written off I would’ve just hosted a game show, do something else, some YouTube series.”
Buress is still waiting to film season five, and hasn’t seen the script yet. In the meantime, he’s been on his comedy tour and recording episodes of his hilarious, interview-based podcast Handsome Rambler, which has hosted guests like Chris Rock, Tiffany Haddish, Desus and Mero, Open Mike Eagle, and Thundercat. “It’s just a fun way to put out material and show my perspective,” Buress says. “I may have an idea and initially be like, ‘Oh this would be great for stand-up,’ but then I try it onstage and it doesn’t get that laugh that I would want a stand-up bit to get. But it might work better as a conversation topic on the podcast when you bring it up and you get somebody else’s perspective and then it leads to another topic... Now it’s turned into driving 30 minutes of funny conversation and a couple songs on the podcast. So it’s been good for that and just learning how to interview people, and researching, and just figuring out different questions to ask and different angles to make people comfortable and a little uncomfortable sometimes, and just having fun with it.”
The 35-year-old comedian also gained notoriety for his 2015 Netflix special Comedy Camisado; being featured on the Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber; and appearing in films like The Angry Birds Movie, Neighbors, and Spider-Man Homecoming.
During our chat, Buress is in New Orleans to record some audio for his upcoming comedy, Tag, and to attend WrestleMania. Buress says he genuinely enjoys the touring lifestyle and getting away from his everyday life. “Just being able to look up great restaurants... since you’re traveling, it’s fun to just try the best of everything,” he says.
Buress says he’s been playing shows in Rip City for nearly a decade. “Bridgetown  was my first time. Yeah, it’s a fun city for me.”
Last time he was in town, I literally ran into Buress at the Aladdin Theater bar just a few minutes before the opening stand-up went on. Though he’s not drinking these days, he’s particular about his cannabis, and can’t smoke/eat just anything, or else he’ll get paranoid and start to believe people are stealing from him. “I don’t even know if it’s a indica/sativa thing, but my criteria for weed is that if I can smoke it or eat it and still be around people and be normal and have fun, then it’s good weed,” he explains. “If I can enjoy myself in public and still be high, then that’s good shit.”
Buress also understands the nuances of our city’s quantity-over-quality strip club culture. “Well, I don’t really love Portland strip clubs like that,” Buress says. “I think Portland strip clubs—and I’ve talked about them before—they’re just kind of bars with naked girls... I feel like the stripping is secondary, where it’s kind of just background stuff, like some people are into it and some people are just hanging out. And maybe that’s good, I don’t know. And that’s not a knock on the dancers, that’s just me observing how I feel when I’m in there.”
As anyone who’s familiar with Buress’ comedy can attest, his bits are often true stories told slowly with perfect timing and blatant honesty. When asked what he’ll be bringing up in his routines this time around, Buress says, “People asking me about topics that I bring in my routine [laughs], and drinking. I talk about being 35... it’s mostly about pregnant porn. I waited to do interviews. I wanted most of the tickets to get sold before the news gets loose that 45 minutes of my show is about pregnant porn. But we’re pretty close to selling out now, so I can speak my truth.”