Comics' New York Comedy Festival picks

Stand-ups choose their favorite comics at this year's NYCF.

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  • Kathy Griffin

    Kathy Griffin

  • Photograph: FOCALPOINT OPTICS

    Ricky Gervais

    Ricky Gervais

  • Photograph: Robyn Von Swank

    Sarah Silverman

    Sarah Silverman

  • Photograph: Amy Tragethon

    Bill Burr

    Bill Burr

  • Bill Maher

    Bill Maher

  • Photograph: Jane Borden

    Louis CK at the Comedy Awards

    Louis C.K.

  • Photograph: Jeff Neira / Courtesy Comedy Central

    Michael Ian Black

    Michael Ian Black

  • Photograph: Patrik Giardino

    Norm MacDonald

    Norm MacDonald

  • Photograph: Barry J. Holmes

    Russell Peters

    Russell Peters

  • Tracy Morgan

    Tracy Morgan

  • Wanda Sykes

    Wanda Sykes

Kathy Griffin

Kathy Griffin

In addition to all of the panels, sideshows and showcases of rising talent (including our own Time Out Live Presents on November 11), the eighth annual New York Comedy Festival will also cram performances by 15 of the industry's biggest headliners into just five nights. Here to help you decide which to choose are many of the performers themselves.

Kathy Griffin
"I want to see [Ricky] Gervais, of course. He was hilarious at dinner a few weeks ago: We were working on a bit about the heterosexual version of Grindr (look it up, straights). Sarah Silverman will also be hilarious and create a uniquely Sarah vibe with her pals. She makes the audience feel like they're her friends...with benefits."

Ricky Gervais
"My first choice would be Louis C.K. Not only does he have some of the best ideas, his commitment to making them perfect is inspirational: the bravest and most honest comic around at the moment. My second choice would be Ricky Gervais. He's nearly as good. He's got great ideas too, and he's also very brave and honest, but he just doesn't put the work in."

Russell Peters
"Louis C.K. is the best in the game right now and I'm a huge fan. And I've been a fan of Ricky Gervais for the past ten years, ever since I first saw him on the U.K. version of The Office in 2001."

Michael Ian Black
"I would go see Kathy Griffin, to see if they airbrush her face in person as much as they do in her photo."

Sarah Silverman
"I've been dying to check out Bill Burr's show. Louis [C.K.] will be mind-blowingly brilliant as always. [Bill] Maher is totally inspiring. And I'm curious to check out what Tracy [Morgan] does: His references are so oddly specific, he kills me. Norm [MacDonald] has always been one of my faves. Kathy [Griffin] tells the best stories—oh, I wanna see what Wanda [Sykes]'s gonna do! Shit—don't make me choose!"

The New York Comedy Festival happens Nov 9--13.

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