If the goal of this year’s New York Comedy Festival is to be one of the most diverse festivals ever run, then they have already succeeded. Diverse how? In every way imaginable, in terms of performers as well as selection of styles, formats and concepts. The sheer breadth of comedy selection is incredible as evidenced by the festival’s schedule, just published on Tuesday.
Already announced were a list of impressive headline comedians, at the caliber you would expect of any major fest, and the annual star studded Stand Up for Heroes benefit. Nick Kroll, Nate Bargatze, Bill Maher, Norm Macdonald, Kathleen Madigan, Trevor Noah, Tom Segura, Jenny Slate, Kevin Smith and Jay Mews, Nicole Byer, Vir Das for starters.
Tuesday the fest added a list of over 100 concept shows, panels, album and special tapings, podcasts and stand up shows that draw from headliners, radio and podcast stars, alt comics, club comics, road comics, up and coming comics, new faces, and draws from corners of comedy that we didn’t even know existed. And the diversity! Oh the diversity of racial, ethnic, gender, sexual identity (yes all the letters are represented) and more will make even millennials and bloggers proud, all served up at a gigantic array of venues ranging from the city’s biggest comedy clubs to the most experimental rooms. Every group you can imagine is represented.
If you’re doing it right this year, you will use the New York Comedy Festival to open yourself up to types of comedy and comedians who you never knew existed.
Here’s a few stand out examples. Butterboy with Jo Firestone, Aparna Nancherla, and Maeve Higgins at Littlefield, dad at the Jane Hotel with Alex English, Devon Walker, Gary Richardson and SNL’s Michael Che, Caberet at the Snack Theater, there’s a two-person one woman show with Ester Steinberg and Eric Williams at the Duplex, Erin and Mia Jackson at New York Comedy Club, Petey DeAbreu is bringing his comedy party to Gran Torino, Caitlin Peluffo and Usama Siddiquee have a show at Old Man Hustle Bklyn, Joe Zimmerman and Emmy Blotnick are running a joke machine show at Union Hall,
Recordings! So many recordings. Mike Cannon taping a comedy special at the Village Underground, Aaron Berg is doing an album recording at The Stand, to name a few.
There’s a ton of comedy combining with music or other talents taking place. Matteo Lane is bringing his hit musical show Streisand at the Bon Soir at Joe’s Pub, Comedy and Magic collide with Harrison Greenbaum’s Village Underground show presented by National Lampoon, Murray Hill will be at Joe’s Pub, Musical Comedy at the Duplex,
There are shows showcasing Latinos, Indian comedians of Indian descent, Hack Comedy Show brings two asian guys, Fumi Abe and Michael Nguyen, to hosting an incredibly diverse lineup on Canal Street, there’s a variety show called Asian AF bringing talent from both coasts, Gotham will have an all Spanish stand up show spoken in Spanish with Carmen Lynch, Andrew Schulz and more! Baron Vaughn and Open Mike Eagle are bringing the New Negroes to Littlefield. Five Columbian Americans will showcase their comedy at New York Comedy Club.
In addition to the festival’s headliners in big theaters, plenty more headliners will perform hours or co-headline half hours in clubs and smaller theaters including Rosebud Baker, Matt Richards, Canada’s powerhouse Chanty Marostica, Jena Friedman, Pete Holmes, Emmy Blotnick, Joe Zimmerman, Josh Johnson, Ian Fidance, Adam Cayton-Holland, Joel Kim Booster and more.
SNL Writers are getting a showcase, Hasan Minhaj is hosting a show filled with Patriot Act writers at The Gramercy, Stephen Colbert is bringing his writers and producers for a big Carnegie Hall Show.
There are 3 storytelling shows including Live Edits, The Rejection Show, The Worst with Big Jay Oakerson,
There’s a panel discussion at the Stand with comedians sharing hilariously dark stories about Addiction and Anxiety with Ron Bennington, Chris Gethard, Ian Fidance, Yamaneika Saunders and Mark Normand. The National Lampoon Radio Hour, which is just getting started, is running a live version of their podcast at the Bellhouse. And the ridiculously popular U Up? will be live at Town Hall with Jared Fried. Comedy Bang Bang is coming to the Beacon, Chris Distefano and Yannis Pappas bring History Hyenas podcast to The Stand. And Marie Faustin and Sydnee Washington are live recording an episode of the Unofficial Expert at Union Hall. James Adomian is bringing his podcast The Underculture to Union Hall, and the show that made Bowen Yang a star, Las Culturistas will record at the Murmrr Theater. And Kill Tony comes to the Gramercy on the festivals closing night.
Our favorite comedy contest returns to Carolines with New York’s Funniest. And there’s a woke Japanese Game Show coming to Chelsea Music Hall.
There will be plenty of sketch, and character shows galore. Short films will be screened, documentaries will be shown, musicals will be run, improv will be improv’ed. And there’s even a comedy basketball game as Canada’s Comedy Records takes their competition south to Baruch College.
And if past year’s are any indication, there will be more shows added as the festival start date of November 3rd gets closer.
For more information, go to nycomedyfestival.com, tickets are on sale now.