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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)5/5
Photograph: Mindy TuckerFive top solo shows at the New York Comedy Festival: Yannis Pappas

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.

By Steve Heisler
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

Comedy Stand-up

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.

An Evening with Kyle Kinane

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.


An Evening with Jerrod Carmichael

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.

Ari Shaffir

Comedy Stand-up

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.

Yannis Pappas
Photograph: Mindy Tucker

The Yannis Pappas Show featuring Mr. Panos and Maurica

Comedy Stand-up

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.


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