The New York Comedy Festival is a five-day bonanza of comedy shows drawing national headline acts and the cream of the local scene. This year's NYCF takes place in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Beacon Theatre, Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and The Paley Center. Tickets can be purchased on venues' websites, but the New York Comedy Festival's site (nycomedyfestival.com) has a browsable list of every show and a link to its buy-tickets page.
When is the New York Comedy Festival?
The official dates for the New York Comedy Festival are Wednesday, November 5, 2014, through Sunday, November 9, 2014.
Wednesday, November 5
Time Out New York Women of Comedy
Expect to see the absurdly talented likes of Saturday Night Live’s Sasheer Zamata, Late Night with Seth Meyers’ Michelle Wolf, Nikki & Sara Live’s Sara Schaefer and many more.
Comics to Watch
Carolines hosts this NYCF showcase featuring up-and-coming performers hand picked by Comedy Central and the festival's producers.
Schtick or Treat
In this high-concept Halloween show, local comics dress up like their favorite comedy legends and perform sets as those heroes.
Stand-up Chris Laker doesn't just ask guests to bring their jokes to his weekly show; after they're finished with their acts, all of the comics will sit down to solve the world's problems in a brief conversation.
Thursday, November 6
Jim Gaffigan in Conversation with Elliott Forrest
The Grammy-nomminated comedian and New York Times best-selling author, known for his hilarious insight to food, kids and obesity, sits down with Peabody Award–winning broadcaster Elliott Forrest for a special one-on-one conversation about Gaffigan's personal life and carrer.
This Is Not Happening
Hosted by Ari Shaffir, Comedy Central Web series This Is Not Happening features storytellers and stand-ups sharing funny real-life tales. For tonight's New York Comedy Festival edition of the show Ari introduces Jim Norton and Bridget Everett.
LIES. with Sara Schaefer
Get involved in the New York Comedy Festival live taping of Schaefer's newest podcast, where she interviews comedians who are instructed to only tell lies.
The Southern-raised NYC resident and festival-winning comedian, whose debut album, Yelled at by a Clown, topped the iTunes Store comedy and top-ten Bilboard Comedy charts, adds his clean-cut act to the New York Comedy Festival by headlining his own show.
Friday, November 7
Kathleen Madigan: Madigan Again
Madigan, who now has Comedy Central, Showtime and HBO specials under her belt, is proof that a straightforward, hardworking stand-up doesn't have to be a throwback. She creatively blends matter-of-fact observations with confessional tidbits while scrutinizing everything she happens upon with a well-honed sarcasm. One of her biggest fans is Lewis Black, who made her a regular on Root of All Evil, and her most recent special, Gone Madigan, topped the charts on Amazon and iTunes. Presented by New York Comedy Festival.
Each month, Tommy Pope (Montreal's Just for Laughs Festival) and John McKeever (Adam Devine's House Party) host new stand-ups and premiere video sketches bound to go viral.
Nick Vatterott: For Amusement Only Album Release
As evidenced by his appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, stand-up Nick Vatterott is remarkably wily in addition to being very silly. He's got physical and vocal pyrotechnics, and he doesn't mind losing you for a moment to win you back with a surprising payoff.
The Chicago import with three specials under his belt who's regularly featured on Comedy Central's Broad City lights up the stage for this New York Comedy Festival event with his low-key delivery and fantastically sharp wit.
Saturday, November 8
Jeff Ross Presents "Roast Battle"
Roastmaster Jeff Ross brings his wildly popular LA-based show to the New York Comedy Festival and pits two comedians against each other in a three-round boxing-style insult fight. Thick skin is recommended.
Wild and aggressive but not confrontational, Murderfist is about as punk as sketch comedy gets. Raw, committed performances and loopy jokes undermine theatrical unity every time, but the mess this crew makes is well worth any necessary cleanup.
Clown Panties and Other Unpleasant Truths: An Evening With Inside Amy Schumer
Sit down for a New York Comedy Festival exclusive panel discussion with the cast and writers of Comedy Central's Inside Amy Schumer. Available tickets are for the second viewing space.
Get over the politics and the pudding pops, and spend the rest of your life boasting to parents and comics that you spent time with the Cos. His clean, amiable slice-of-life stand-up laid the foundation for everything from his book Fatherhood to The Cosby Show. On tour and in his recent special (Far from Finished), his stories are as sharp as ever.
Sunday, November 9
Best of the Breakout Artist Comedy Series
As part of the New York Comedy Festival, Carolines collects its favorites from a year of rotating stand-ups for its weekly Breakout Artist Comedy series.
HA! The Musical
A musical, behind-the-scenes look at what it's like to be a stand-up comedian. Featuring Christian Finnegan, Kevin Farley, Big Jay Oakerson and other funny stand-ups singing and dancing like they've never done before.
Rachel Feinstein Comedy Central Album Recording
Quick and chatty stand-up Rachel Feinstein, a finalist on Last Comic Standing, is a charming performer who loves channeling her typically Jewish mother. On Nov 9, she records an album for Comedy Central as part of the New York Comedy Festival.
Bob Odenkirk: A Load of Hooey Book-Release Show
The Emmy-winning writer, co-creator of HBO's Mr. Show with Bob and David, producer of IFC's The Birthday Boys and, most recently, Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad is releasing a new book filled with comedy nuggets such as "Martin Luther King Jr's Worst Speech Ever" and "Obituary for the Creator of Mad Libs." Presented by the New York Comedy Festival.
New York Comedy Festival 2013 recaps
Time Out Live NYCF show stars Seaton Smith and Aparna Nancherla
Seaton Smith Who he is: A D.C. native whose magnetic presence and confident act have made him increasingly in-demand around town and across the country. What he does: Produces and stars in online clips as “the pimpin’ referee” and Charlie Smith, the man with a secret organization out to get him; educated white people about black comedy at his TEDx talk; costars in the new John Mulaney pilot (whose new incarnation at Fox will hopefully include him).Why we love him: Without preamble or apologies, Smith hits the stage, and the room instantly wakes up. As he paces, snaps his fingers with the insistence of a furious mom, banters with the front row, sneaks up on his punch lines, dips into character and zooms back out, the audience remains rapt. Even when he assumes the persona of a child molester or talks about his juvenile love of the word nigga, hardly a soul flinches—they’re all laughing too hard to get offended. Aparna Nancherla Who she is: A sweet, sassy L.A. transplant who landed in New York for work but has quickly endeared herself to bookers and fans alike.What she does: Writes—and occasionally appears on—FX’s Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell; performed at Just for Laughs’ New Faces showcase this summer; opens for everyone from Paul F. Tompkins to Tom Green; made a splash on Conan earlier this month.Why we love her: The diminutive and unassuming Nancherla can read your thoughts: “I know,” she dryly confesses as she takes the mike, “I can’t believe I’m a comedian eithe