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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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.'
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.
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.
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 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.'
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.