On Sunday, during the Television Critics Association’s press tour, Hannibal Buress was asked about the joke that has practically defined his career for the past two years: the one that took down Bill Cosby.
Reporters asked Buress about the joke during a Netflix panel along with Patton Oswalt and John Mulaney, and Oswalt joked, “Is something going on with Bill Cosby?”
“Oh I just do a lot of other s–t,” Buress said. He then added,“It’s weird that happened like that because I was calling a bunch of other comedians rapists and that was the only one people took seriously. I used to be like, ‘John Mulaney!’” Then he added, seriously: “No, man, I’ve been working for a while and I continue to work. I work in film, I do voiceover, and I continue to do stand-up. That’s just one joke that people took and really ran with it.”
“Many, many people knew [Buress] as an excellent comedian before,” Mulaney added.
“I think I can speak for the comedy community: Hannibal was doing fine without that,” Oswalt said. “He’d be sitting here now if that had not happened because he was on a trajectory, as far as material, and a far as being bulletproof as a comedian. That’s just incidental to where it was going anyway.”
After the panel, reporters hounded Buress to talk about the Cosby joke, but he insisted that it had been taken farther than he had expected it to be. “I didn’t put the joke out. People ran with it. That wasn’t my intention,” he said.
He fielded several more questions before one turned in a direction he apparently didn’t like: “Was it rooted in any kind of knowledge or information that you had? Where did that joke come from?”
Buress shut down the reporters after that, saying, “All right, I’m good, yo. Thank you.”