New York Comedy Festival: Five top solo shows

Not sure which solo show to see at the New York Comedy Festival? Catch one of these standout stand-ups or storytellers.

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  • Five top solo shows at the New York Comedy Festival: Chelsea Peretti

  • Five top solo shows at the New York Comedy Festival: Kyle Kinane

  • Five top solo shows at the New York Comedy Festival: Jerrod Carmichael

  • Five top solo shows at the New York Comedy Festival: Ari Shaffir

  • Photograph: Mindy Tucker

    Five top solo shows at the New York Comedy Festival: Yannis Pappas

Five top solo shows at the New York Comedy Festival: Chelsea Peretti


The New York Comedy Festival boasts plenty of marquee name, but there’s many a solo show that’s just as worthy of your time and makes for a more affordable night of comedy. We recommend these stand-ups and storytellers, many of whom New York rarely gets a chance to laugh with.

RECOMMENDED: New York comedy 2012

An Evening with Chelsea Peretti

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Sardonic and sarcastic, this former New Yorker effortlessly spins faux-bile into affable laughs. Peretti is an engaging performer who is equally at home whether she’s delving into extended bits or riffing with the audience, her infectious laugh mitigating any tension her good-natured mocking might cause. She’s been polishing her act while opening for Aziz Ansari on tour, and returns to NYC stronger (if not chirpier) than ever.

  1. Ace Hotel 20 W 29th St, at Broadway, 10012
  2. Until Mon May 5
More info

An Evening with Kyle Kinane

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Our favorite curmudgeon, Kinane is a master storyteller who needs almost no time to wind up; catching his set is like hanging out with a great friend over a beer, reveling in every detail. Small moments—like when he orders a pizza and it arrives unsliced—are blown out into larger musings on life choices and the human condition. While the term has become  pretty meaningless nowadays, Kinane really is a comic’s comic because of how surprising he can be as a performer, for audiences and fellow stand-ups alike.

  1. UCBEast 155 E 3rd St, between Aves A and B, 10009
  2. Sun Nov 16
More info

An Evening with Jerrod Carmichael

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The young, rapidly rising Carmichael is cool and unassuming onstage. But once he hooks you, he can twist the most mundane topic into something fantastic and silly, be it family, dating or the recent Chick-fil-A controversy—all the while wearing a goofy grin that’s impossible to resist. He’s been a highlight of the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal for the last two years, and now he gets an hour to dazzle NYC.

  1. Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre 307 W 26th St, between Eighth and Ninth Aves
  2. Sat Nov 15
More info

Ari Shaffir

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This energetic and rambunctious L.A. comic and storyteller likes to embody the characters he comes across, and personify phenomena like diarrhea that defy imitation altogether. He’s a goofy-looking guy who revels in the filthy. Not only does he happily embrace every connotation of that word, he encourages even timid audiences to jump off that cliff with him. He’s doubling down on this visit east: He’ll do his latest hour of material, then a live recording of his podcast, Skeptic Tank, on November 10.

  1. The Stand 239 Third Ave, between 19th and 20th Sts, 10003
  2. Until Wed Aug 28
More info

The Yannis Pappas Show featuring Mr. Panos and Maurica

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

With little more than voice affectation, Brooklynite Pappas can transform into an entirely different person. Tonight he’ll portray a few characters he’s got in his back pocket—including two of his online sensations, Puerto Rican transsexual Maurica and ranting Greek vlogger Mr. Panos—turning his stand-up set into a one-man variety show.

  1. Carolines on Broadway 1626 Broadway, between 49th and 50th Sts
  2. Until Sat Feb 8
More info


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