Began stand-up comedy in 2002 while attending Southern Illinois University.
Born on the same date as Lauren Ash.
Personal Quotes (40)
Comedy is basically self-deprecation.
When people go through something rough in life, they say, 'I'm taking it one day at a time.' Yes, so is everybody. Because that's how time works.
I skipped kindergarten because I was reading at a pretty high level. That's a weird and cocky thing to say, but I was real sharp, and I knew that early on.
I like to drive nice cars; since I live in New York, and I don't drive there, it's a novelty to be on the road and drive and listen to my music.
My dad named me after Hannibal Barca, the Carthaginian general who attacked Rome. But nobody knows about him.
I go to a lot of rap shows and sometimes take what they do from a performer's aspect, how they interact with the crowd. I always have a DJ with me on the road, as well as some dancers.
I'm doin' something different. I mean, I talk a little bit about race and interracial dating, but it's not the heart of my act. I just try to do what I think is funny; there's no huge message or through line.
With sitcom writing, you're trying to write stories.
Even on TV appearances or big shows, I don't know if I've ever been as nervous as I was my first time doing stand-up. I just remember getting offstage and sitting down, and my right knee was just shaking from the adrenaline.
I did not move to New York with a plan. The first time I moved to New York, I just popped up. My sister was living here in New York. I just popped up. She had her baby and a husband, and I just popped up. 'Hey, what's up? I got $200 and dreams. Let's do this.'
For me... you know, the most I've paid for a haircut was in Australia. Usually I go to a black barber or a Latino barber. I can't just go into Supercuts.
People like to compare something to something that they know. Even with Chris Rock, they say he's like Richard Pryor or Eddie Murphy.
Gibberish rap is - I freestyle all the time, just hangin' out with friends. And sometimes when I'm freestyling, I'll lose my flow, you know, but I'll still wanna - I don't wanna just stop rapping because I lose my flow. So I'll just put in nonsense words till I can bring in regular words again.
Actors, you have to wait for people to give you work, or you have to make your own stuff. But standup, I could just say, 'I want to do standup in 30 minutes,' and I can go do standup. Or I could just say, 'I want to do standup in a few weeks in this city.'
I'd like to be remembered as good person and as one of the best comedians of my generation.
I used to have costumed characters come out, like SpongeBob. It's just fun to make it into this minor event, just to surprise people and experiment and be weird and just have fun with it. I've done just the hour stand-up, and that's fun, but the other stuff makes it fun for me and gives me something to react to and bounce off of.
I like getting 'Times' articles online. But the actual paper just has too many words.
I took an improv class in 2005 in Chicago at ComedySportz, which was short-form, more of a games-based improv. I remember it being real fun and helping with my stand-up. If I did an improv class, and then I did stand-up later, I felt looser on stage and more comfortable.
I remember 'Def Comedy Jam' being a big deal and kids talking about it in school, but it was never, 'I want to do that.'
In my hometown of Chicago, I'm kind of a medium deal.
I did a 'Last Comic Standing' audition in 2006, where you're just performing for three people in a comedy club, in a big comedy club, and I remember them cutting me off, asking about my name in the middle of one of my jokes. Yeah, it's just real weird when you're doing stand-up in that type of sterile, unnatural setting.
When people say, 'How did you start in comedy,' I say my family was kidnapped by ninjas when I was very young, and to get them released I had to do a killer five-minute set. And even after I did that, you know, I started doing comedy under tough circumstances, I still kept at it because I enjoyed it.
You forget that sometimes comedy is just a big night out for people. Almost every show, people come up to me and go, 'This is the first comedy show I've ever seen,' so you want to do well. If you do horribly at somebody's first time seeing live stand-up, well, you've not only tainted yourself, you've tainted a whole art form.
I didn't audition for 'SNL.' I sent in a tape to 'SNL' the year before I started writing there, but I got the job there through doing stand-up on Fallon.
I'm in awful shape. I'm trying to get in better shape. My girlfriend, she's in good shape. She gives me health tips sometimes, like, 'Hannibal, you're going to die.' Stuff like that.
I need to have something else going on. I'm able to write a lot if I have an episode of 'Friday Night Lights' going on my computer.
'SNL' is the first real job I've held for more than a month and a half.
I like that Barack got that job.
I really like Halal food.
I can work as a writer, but I wanted to do stand-up.
I don't know if I have a 'Greatest Album Ever.' I really liked 'The Blueprint' by Jay-Z. The production on that album was really great. 'All I Need' was the first song I used for walk-on music in 2002 for my second time ever on stage, so that means a lot to me.
I think people overplay the 'Saturday Night Live' schedule. I mean, yeah, it can be some late hours. But the late hours are usually only one or two nights out of the week. You might have a crazy six-day week, but you'll work three weeks, and then you get a week off work. I'd take most jobs if it was hard work and then I got a week off.
There's been times where I sold the place out, and I walked in and the guy's like, 'Uh, ID?' 'No, you can't ID me, man. I just sold this place out.' People are just doing their jobs, but I think if you're working the door at a venue where there's a headliner, you should at least be like, 'OK, this is the dude.'
My first time on TV doing stand-up, I actually did this show in Holland called 'The Comedy Factory' hosted by Jorgen Raymann. It was in 2006 in Holland. It was amazing. I had only been doing stand-up for four years, and I booked that gig through the Just For Laughs Montreal festival, and they flew me out and put me up.
The ultimate thing is creating your own stuff and making projects for yourself. That's what Seth Rogen does. He's writing and producing a lot of the movies that he's the lead in.
I could maybe coach kids' basketball. I know enough about basketball where I feel like I could coach 12-year-olds pretty effectively.
I'd like to get more bit-acting roles. I don't know if my talent would allow for a long dialogue, but I could definitely knock out three lines. I'd kill it.
I haven't really tried to write a movie. It's tough to get into that mode.
I had a sketch called 'Fedora Basketball,' which was about basketball players having to wear hats; in addition to scoring points, they have to make sure their fedoras don't fall off.
I think one of my first jokes - in the black community, there's people who have jokes about skin tone. People like, 'You so black, you purple.' 'You so black, you gotta smile so we can see you at night.'