When you think of comedian Hannibal Buress you probably think of his observational humor and laid back demeanor. The former Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock writer and current Eric André Show co-star is one of the most in-demand funnymen around. Nowadays, Hannibal isn’t much of a brawler; he’d rather make you laugh (or cry) with his biting wit and his trademark Chicago drawl. But in his college days, during an unsuccessful stint as a super low-level weedman, he earned a rep for “puttin’ them paws on” people because of an altercation with an unlucky and belligerent drunk named “Kwan.” Buress spoke about the incident with us for Fight Club, and one thing is clear: one should not fuck with Hannibal’s apple juice.
I went to Southern Illinois University and there were these two tall dorm buildings, Mae Smith and Schneider, and in front of Schneider there was this thing called the ‘Munchie Truck’ where this guy would sell blunts, pop (soda), chips with nacho cheese and you could get whatever you wanted there and it would be open late after the bars were closed.
It was something you could go to at 1 a.m. in the morning if you ain’t got no food [in your dorm room]. You could run downstairs and get something from the Munchie Truck, grab a hot dog or something. And it would be kind of a hang out where everyone gathered. Everybody would be around the Munchie Truck late night after the bars let out. So, I was hanging out by the Munchie Truck and there was this guy Kwan there. Kwan was known for getting drunk and just getting his ass whooped by people. He was known for just getting beat up and shit.
He was just the jobber of college fights. You know, like if you’re watching Monday Night Raw or something. There’s the main wrestler like, ‘Yay, Triple H!’ and there’s the other guy who’s some dude you never heard of. Like, you know Triple H is going to whoop his ass, that’s who he [Kwan] was for our college. He was known for popping off and getting his ass knocked out.
So, this dude was joking with me about something, then he started fuckin’ with me about some shit. So, we’re going back and forth talking shit and I had a [bottle of] juice in my hand. No lie, I had a Nantucket Nectar apple juice in my hand and he said something then slapped the apple juice out of my hand and immediately I went ‘pop, pop, pop!’ [Makes punching sounds] I hit him with a 3-piece and knocked him out. I had a rep off of that for a little while.
I guess ’cause it was really fast. It was really clean; you know, kind of an expert knockout and shit. It wasn’t more about the subject [Kwan, who always gets his ass whooped]. It was more about the skill involved. People would talk to me about it like ‘yo man, I heard about the Kwan shit.’ There were a lot people around, and it was state school, so the black community is maybe like 15 percent of the school population, so shit got around real fast and its kind of like everybody knows everybody or at least knows of everybody, you know what I mean. You know it was crazy, it was a weird time.