Hannibal Buress Talks with Kristian Mercado on the Talkhouse Podcast

Gaffers, psychedelics, drunk Japanese businessmen, and more.

On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got a couple of old friends who’ve both been trying new things lately: Hannibal Buress and Kristian Mercado. 

Hannibal Buress just celebrated his 40th birthday, which means he’s spent more than half his life making people laugh for a living. He started out doing stand-up in his hometown of Chicago, winning audiences small and then eventually very large by telling pointed jokes with a sort of super laid-back style. He briefly wrote for Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock, and you’ve almost certainly seen him on The Eric Andre Show or Broad City, or maybe one of his many stand-up specials. In the past few years, though, Buress has turned his attention to music, releasing a bunch of hip-hop tracks under the name Eshu Tune. Though rumors of his retirement from comedy seem to be exaggerated—he talks about that here—he is taking music seriously. Or maybe seriously isn’t exactly the right word, but it’s his focus. Check out the Eshu Tune song “Knee Brace” right here. 

The other side of this chat, Kristian Mercado, is best known as a filmmaker; he’s made music videos and directed stand-up specials for Michael Che, Taylor Tomlinson, and Ilana Glazer—and of course Hannibal Buress, with whom he worked on the weird and wonderful Miami Nights. Mercado is about to take the biggest jump a director can: He just directed his first feature film, called If You Were The Last, which will have its world premiere at this year’s South By Southwest festival in Austin. I haven’t seen it, but it stars Anthony Mackie and it’s a sci-fi love story, so I’m in. Mercado has also started dabbling in stand-up comedy, inspired by the many comics he’s worked with over the years, including, of course Hannibal. 

These two chat about how they work, and Buress drops the news that he’s working on a feature-length script of his own—Mercado can’t wait to see it. Buress also quizzes Mercado on the most important people on a film set, and Mercado talks about the joys of experiencing the Sundance Film Festival under the influence of psychedelics. Enjoy. 

Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Hannibal Buress and Kris Mercado for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all the great stuff we’ve got going at Talkhouse.com. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!

(Photo Credit: left, Steve Garfinkel; Edited by: Keenan Kush.)

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