The 2015 NYCF featured a number of returning favorites, as well as some festival first-timers. Headliners were Judd Apatow, whose Carnegie Hall show featured friend Mike Birbiglia and Adam Sander; Bill Burr; Margaret Cho; Billy Crystal and David Steinberg; Nathan Fielder, Kathy Griffin, Gabriel Iglesias, Norm Macdonald, Bill Maher, Kumail Nanjiani, Trevor Noah, Tom Segura Iliza Shlesinger and Sarah Silverman. The Festival also presented “’Comedy Central Live In Brooklyn,” which featured Hannibal Buress and performances by Nathan Fielder, Nick Kroll and John Mulaney as “Oh, Hello,” Jay Oakerson, Jeff Ross, Roy Wood, Jr. and more. There were conversations with Lewis Black and John Leguizamo, and shows that featured James Adomian, Bridget Everett and The Tender Moments; Nikki Glaser, Chris Gethard; a live taping of Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast with Artie Lange; films from Janeane Garofalo and Larry Wilmore, presented by Wayne Federman; and Craig Robinson with his band, The Nasty Delicious. The Festival also presented the 9th annual Stand Up for Heroes, which returned to The Theater at Madison Square Garden with performances by Chris Botti, Seth Meyers, John Oliver, Ray Romano, Jon Stewart and Bruce Springsteen. The festival also featured panel discussions with the teams behind Comedy Central’s “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore,” and a “Sit Down” with the writers of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” Other festival highlights included the annual Comics to Watch and the New York’s Funniest Competition.
Among other many notable highlights, the 2014 NYCF kicked off with a series of live tapings of Comedy Central’s late night hit @midnight, hosted by Chris Hardwick. Festival headliners were Maria Bamford, Hannibal Buress, Dane Cook, Bill Cosby, Chris D’Elia, Bill Maher, Marc Maron, Tig Notaro, Nick Offerman, Amy Schumer and Sommore. The 8th annual Stand Up for Heroes returned to The Theater at Madison Square Garden with performances by Louis C.K., Jim Gaffigan, John Oliver, Bruce Springsteen and Jon Stewart. The festival also featured panel discussions with the teams behind the Comedy Central hit series “Broad City” and “Inside Amy Schumer” and with the writers of CBS’ the “Late Show with David Letterman.” Other festival highlights included the annual Comics to Watch, the finals of the New York’s Funniest Stand-Up Competition and Jeff Ross’s “Roast Battle.”
The Festival marked its tenth year in 2013 — also coinciding with the 30th anniversary of Carolines on Broadway — with performances by headliners Maria Bamford, Hannibal Buress, Bill Burr, Whitney Cummings, Kathy Griffin, Jim Jefferies, Anthony Jeselnik, Nick Kroll, Bill Maher, John Mulaney, Charlie Murphy, Jay Pharoah, Nick Swardson and Wanda Sykes. Among the many highlights of the festival was a conversation with Larry David and David Steinberg. After three years at the Beacon Theatre, Stand Up for Heroes moved to the larger Theater at Madison Square Garden, and featured performances by Bill Cosby, Jim Gaffigan, Jerry Seinfeld and Jon Stewart, with musical performances by Bruce Springsteen and Roger Waters. Other festival highlights in 2013 included The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, Comics to Watch, the New York’s Funniest Stand-Up competition and panel discussions with David Cross and Nick Kroll.
A 20th reunion of the cast of “The Ben Stiller Show,” featuring Ben Stiller, Judd Apatow, Andy DIck, Janeane Garofalo, Jeff Kahn and Rob Cohen, was a highlight of the 2012 NYCF. Festival headliners were Aziz Ansari, Adam Carolla, Rob Delaney, Jim Gaffigan, Ricky Gervais,Artie Lange, Bill Maher, Patton Oswalt, Brian Regan, Shawn and Marlon Wayans and Robin Williams. Kevin Hart became only the second person to sell out back-to-back shows on the same night in the arena at Madison Square Garden when he brought his “Let Me Explain” tour to the NYCF and the World’s Most Famous Arena. The shows were filmed and later released theatrically to critical acclaim and high grosses. Mike Birbiglia, Ricky Gervais, Patton Oswalt and Jon Stewart all performed at Stand Up for Heroes, which also featured music from John Mayer, Bruce Springsteen and Roger Waters. The festival also featured returning shows like Comics to Watch and the New York’s Funniest Stand-Up competition, as well as performances by the likes of Hannibal Buress, Kyle Kinane, Pete Holmes and Comedy Central stars Key and Peele.
At the 2011 NYCF, Louis C.K. taped his show “Louis C.K. Live at the Beacon,” which he later released on his website, an innovation which quickly became another way for comedians to release their specials directly to their fans. Complimenting C.K.’s shows was a stellar line-up of headlining talent that included Bill Burr, Ricky Gervais, Kathy Griffin, Jo Koy, Bill Maher, Norm MacDonald, Tracy Morgan, Russell Peters, John Pinette and Wanda Sykes. Additional shows in 2011 included panel discussions with the writers of “Saturday Night Live,” the Onion News Network and Comedy in the Digital Space, as well as one-man shows from comedians Kurt Braunohler, Hannibal Buress and Kumail Nanjiani. Stand Up for Heroes returned for a fifth year, with performances by Jim Gaffigan, Ricky Gervais, Seth Meyers and Jon Stewart, with another musical performance by Bruce Springsteen and Rogers Waters.
In its seventh year, the festival featured the likes of Aziz Ansari, Louis C.K., Adam Carolla, Margaret Cho, Kevin Hart, Gabriel Iglesias, Maz Jobrani, Joel McHale, Rosie O’Donnell and Brian Regan. Once again, Stand Up for Heroes was the kick-off event. After three years at Town Hall, the event moved to the Beacon Theatre and featured performances by Bill Burr, Jerry Seinfeld and Joel McHale. The Jon Stewart-hosted benefit also featured musical performances by Tony Bennett and Bruce Springsteen. Other events that took place were panel discussions with Lewis Black, Louis C.K., the cast of Comedy Central’s animated series “Ugly Americans” and a New York Times Center Times Talks discussion with Tracy Morgan. 2010 also saw the first “Comics to Watch” show featuring the best up-and-coming comedians from around the country. Another first time event was an innovative, live online event hosted by Bobby Lee through the Comedy Central owned Jokes.com.