‘30 Rock’ and ‘SNL’ writer to host fall comedy show

Stand-up comedian and former “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” writer, Hannibal Buress, will be the featured performer at this year’s fall comedy show, Campus Programming Council announced Monday.

He will be bringing his fast-paced style and confident punch lines to Graham Chapel on Sunday, Nov. 4.

“I’m very excited,” junior Dillon O’Dea said. “He’s just a comedian I’ve known for a while. He wrote for ‘SNL,’ and his timing is fantastic.”

Courtesy of Hannibal Buress

“I’m very excited to see some humor that is aimed directly at Wash. U. He’s a really sharp guy, and I know he’ll do a really quick and really entertaining show,” O’Dea added. “His name isn’t very recognizable…but I think once people give him the chance, [after] even five minutes of listening to his standup they’ll be really excited.”

Some students had worried that the show was canceled after it failed to happen in early September, as in past years, but organizers said they were told to move the event to avoid conflicts with start-of-the-year programming.

It was initially suggested that the group move the event to a late Friday evening, where there would not be any conflicts, but the organizers decided that more people would attend should they instead move it later in the semester.

“It’s not so easy to reschedule comedy shows because there’s so many factors of campus life and programming going on,” said junior Adam Ephraim, CPC comedy co-chair.

But organizers hope that the new time will be appealing to students, particularly freshmen who have not had the chance to go to previous campus comedy shows. They chose Nov. 4 because, while it is the day after Dance Marathon, it did not appear to conflict with any major campus events.

“I think it will be probably a benefit just because it’s a more down day, and people aren’t going to be as concerned about a test they have the next day,” junior and comedy co-chair Grant Smith said.

Smith said they chose Buress because, with his previous TV work and more recent movie titled “Animal Furnace,” he is a rising presence in the comedy community, performing at a number of colleges around the nation. While CPC typically funds a more expensive comedian in the fall, they chose to reverse that this year to make sure they got Buress at a competitive price.

“He really is coming on the comedy scene pretty strong right now,” Smith said.

Variety Magazine listed Buress as one of its “10 Comics to Watch in 2010.”

But some students noted that his name is still significantly less recognizable than some previous fall comedy performers, including Seth Meyers and John Oliver.

“I’m a senior; I’ve gone for the past three years, [and]…I don’t know many comedians but I’ve heard of the comedians who’ve come in previous years,” senior Sophia Hirsch said. “This guy, I’ve never heard of him.”

“The [previous] ones, even if you weren’t familiar with their name, if you’d seen ‘Community’ or seen ‘Saturday Night Live,’ you’d seen some work of these famous comedians,” Hirsch added. “As far as I can tell, this guy doesn’t seem to be a recognizable name. I’m not excited about this; I do not think this was worth waiting for.”

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