Hannibal Buress Inks Big Comedy Central Deal (Exclusive)

Hannibal Buress Comedy Central - H 2013
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Hannibal Buress Comedy Central - H 2013

This story first appeared in the May 31 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Comedy Central is betting big on Hannibal Buress.

The cable network has inked a wide-ranging, multiplatform development deal with the comedian, which includes a pilot commitment (Buress will exec produce and star), a recurring role on upcoming scripted comedy Broad City, a one-hour stand-up special and a nationwide tour.

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“It’s a bunch of things that I like to do, and they were able to put it together in an all-encompassing deal,” says Buress, who is currently batting around ideas for the pilot, which will be unscripted. Though he stops far short of saying he’ll look to emulate Louis C.K.’s eponymous FX series, he does suggest that the multitalented C.K. is most definitely a role model.

And like C.K., Buress' roots are in stand-up, which he still considers the medium that he's most comfortable in. Known for his laid-back, cerebral comedic style, the former Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock writer was crowned best club comic at Comedy Central’s 2012 Comedy Awards.

Buress has stayed busy since his first hourlong special, Hannibal Buress: Animal Furnace, for the network a year ago: He co-hosts Adult Swim’s talk show parody The Eric Andre Show, appears as a regular “expert” on FX’s Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell and fronts a weekly stand-up show at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory. He also is prepping a weekly web series, Talking to Strangers With Hannibal Buress, which will showcase his conversations with top musicians and entertainers including ?uestlove of The Roots.

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“Hannibal is one of the most original voices in comedy right now, and he’s talented in a multifaceted way,” says Comedy Central original programming president Kent Alterman, who adds that he’s been looking for ways to work with Buress for some time. Now he has his chance.

Buress is repped by WME, 3 Arts and Hansen Jacobson.

Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com; Twitter: @LaceyVRose