Steinmetz College Prep will have a better than average chance of a funny graduation speech when Hannibal Buress does the honors at his alma mater on June 15.
The comedian has agreed to take the lectern to inspire, encourage or at least amuse the Northwest Side school’s Class of ’16.
Though Buress has a considerable local fan base — last year he headlined at the Chicago Theatre — the audience at this performance is likely to be limited to insiders. Graduates have first crack at tickets and are limited to about four apiece.
The honor has more to do with Buress’ post-graduate success than about his academic performance back in the day.
“My group of friends at Steinmetz were real f—ups. They were real f—ups. They were cutting class, smoking weed, stealing, flipping the desk — a lot of crazy stuff,” he told Chicago magazine in 2014. “My last year of high school, I was on the debate team. Even while being a f—up and doing goofy s—, I was still somewhat focused on going to college. I graduated with a 1.9 GPA.”
Buress cut his teeth as a stand-up in Chicago in the early 2000s. He went on to write for “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” and star in three stand-up specials on TV, and he provides a voice for “The Angry Birds Movie,” out May 20. On Comedy Central, he had his own series last year and appears as Lincoln on “Broad City.”
He inadvertently launched the current conversation about Bill Cosby’s sex habits when he labeled the veteran comedian a “rapist” in a 2014 stand-up bit that was recorded and went viral.