“Comedian Hannibal Buress has come under fire for joking about pedophile priests during a set. Buress was performing at a Catholic university at the time.
Know Your Audience
Buress, a hugely influential comedian and actor who starred in hit movies such as Neighbors and the recent Spider-Man: Homecoming, had his microphone cut off approximately five minutes into his stand-up routine at Loyola University, a Jesuit Catholic institution, in Chicago.
The comedian had made an ill-advised joke about the church’s history of child molestation and sexual abuse when he found himself cut off completely. Buress was headlining a two-day annual event called Colossus, featuring music and comedy, at the school. Nick Jonas performed on the previous night.
He kicked off his routine by projecting an email he allegedly received from the school prior to performing. It outlined the off-limits topics Buress was not allowed to include in his set.
Banned topics on the night included rape, sexual assault, race, illegal drugs, and sexual orientation/gender. For a comedian like Buress, it doesn’t leave a whole lot of discussion points, as the man himself was wont to point out.
“Bitch-ass old people, I can project. Y’all f**k kids, right?” Buress reportedly quipped.
It was this particular comment that led to Buress’ mic being cut off. He attempted to continue without it, but music reportedly began playing in an effort to drown him out, and he soon left the stage.
However, after about 15 minutes, he returned to a standing ovation from the gathered crowd and managed to finish his set, reportedly turning the idea of being cut off midway through into a joke.
The Show Must Go On
In a tweet that’s since been deleted, Buress allegedly told a Twitter user who asked why he went against Loyola’s guidelines that the result is the same either way.
“Or take it and get paid and still do what you want. Option 2 sounds more exciting. Show still went on. What’s your point here?” he allegedly wrote.
Buress reportedly joked during the show itself that he was going to follow the university guidelines until he realized he’d already been paid and figured there was no point.
Audience members took to Twitter to vent their frustration at Buress being cut off.
“Loyola just cut Hannibal’s mic. This is ridiculous. We want Hannibal,” wrote one user.
There were even safety concerns after campus security stationed themselves at the head of the stage.
“I literally thought like I was about to witness a riot and I was ready to participate, Also it’s wild that Loyola preaches about speaking up and speaking out but they’re gonna censor someone doing just that, like that’s wild,” an attendee told the Loyola Phoenix.
Buress is no stranger to controversy, having previously made headlines for referencing comedian Bill Cosby’s well-documented history of sexual assault in one of his stand-up sets back in 2014.
Buress pointed out the hypocrisy of Cosby’s treatment of young black comedians when he has a history of raping women. He then encouraged the audience to Google the allegations.”