The 2019 New York Comedy Festival’s 16th year featured more than 200 comics performing in more than 100 shows across all five boroughs from November 4 – 10. Headliners included Nate Bargatze, Nicole Byer, Stephen Colbert, Comedy Bang! Bang!, Vir Das, Nick Kroll, Kathleen Madigan, Bill Maher, Norm Macdonald, Trevor Noah, Randy Rainbow, Tom Segura, Benito Skinner, Jenny Slate, Kevin Smith and Jay Mewes, No Such Thing As A Fish, and Betches Media’s U Up? Live. The NYCF also partnered with The Female Quotient (The FQ), a woman-owned business committed to advancing equality in the workplace. The FQ, in partnership with NYCF, made strides to increase female comedic representation both on and off the stage by bringing their signature pop-up experience, The FQ Lounge, to the festival. The FQ Lounge was live at Bloomingdale’s iconic flagship 59th St store in New York City and provided a space to activate solutions for change at this festival of top industry leaders and influencers. Festival favorites Comics To Watch and New York’s Funniest also returned. The festival also featured its first annual Hungry for Laughs event – a night showcasing the talent of New York City’s top chefs and comedians, highlighted by a performance by Randy Rainbow, in support of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC). Stand Up for Heroes – New York’s most anticipated night of hope, healing and laughter — returned for its 13th annual celebration, highlighting a talent-laden week of performances to honor our nation’s impacted veterans and their families, featuring Ronny Chieng, Hasan Minhaj, John Oliver, Bruce Springsteen and Jon Stewart.
In 2018, the New York Comedy Festival, presented in association with tbs, celebrated 15 years of laughter. Headlining the NYCF were Bill Burr, Jimmy Carr, David Cross, Desus & Mero, Dan Harmon’s Harmontown, Gabriel Iglesias, Jim Jefferies, Anthony Jeselnik, Jo Koy, Bert Kreischer, Marc Maron, Jay Mewes, Tracy Morgan, Conan O’Brien, Yvonne Orji, Bryan Safi and Erin Gibson’s Throwing Shade, and Jonathan Van Ness and Antoni Porowski. Venues included the BAM, Beacon Theatre, BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center, the Hulu Theater at MSG, Madison Square Garden, Town Hall, among others. TBS presented a new activation to amplify its presence – the TBS Stage at Sony Hall. TBS took over Sony Hall with three nights of exclusive shows during the festival. In addition to presenting the very best stand-up, the NYCF has celebrated comedy in all its forms by featuring a myriad of diverse programming that includes podcasts and radio broadcasts, conversations, panel discussions, improv and sketch comedy, and film screenings. Festival favorites Comics to Watch and New York’s Funniest, returned. Stand Up for Heroes, the Bob Woodruff Foundation benefit, featured performances by Jimmy Carr, Eric Church, Jim Gaffigan, Seth Meyers, Bruce Springsteen and Jon Stewart. To date, Stand Up for Heroes has raised more than $50 million.
The 2017 New York Comedy Festival marked the beginning of The Festival’s partnership with TBS which included the first-ever TBS Comedy Hub at the new hotel property PUBLIC. TBS and The Festival programmed various activations throughout the week including live shows and podcasts at the PUBLIC Arts performance space. The TBS Comedy Hub served as the festival’s official headquarters where fans and NYCF attendees gained free access to TBS-curated programming, all-star talent and fan-forward experiences. Also new to The Festival in 2017 was the addition of The Second City Pop Up Training Center for which The Second City came to New York City for the first time in partnership with Carolines. The center includes a selection of improvisation, writing and stand-up workshops. Headliners for the festival were 2 Dope Queens, Vir Das, Chris Hardwick, How Did This Get Made?, truTV’s The Impractical Jokers Starring The Tenderloins, Lovett or Leave It, Bill Maher, Jim Norton, Nick Offerman, Brian Regan, Tom Segura, Iliza Shlesinger, Kevin Smith and Ron White. Additionally, Conan O’Brien brought his show CONAN to the Apollo Theater for one week of shows. Stand Up for Heroes returned for its eleventh year featuring performances by Hasan Minhaj, John Mulaney, John Oliver, Jon Stewart and Red Hot Chili Peppers with Leslie Odom, Jr. on hand to sing the national anthem.
2017 Photo Gallery
The 2016 NYCF featured headliners Eric Andre, Fred Armisen, Anthony Atamanuik, Hannibal Buress, Dane Cook, Chris D’Elia, Cameron Esposito, Bridget Everett, Hari Kondabolu, Bill Maher, Marc Maron, T.J. Miller, Tim Minchin, Hasan Minhaj, Tracy Morgan, Trevor Noah and Tig Notaro. Comedy legend Chris Rock turned up at The Apollo to do a guest set on Hannibal Buress’s show, after which he ventured over to Carolines on Broadway and performed with Eric Andre. The festival kicked off by celebrating the 10th anniversary of Stand Up for Heroes, a benefit for The Bob Woodruff Foundation that featured performances by Louis C.K., Jim Gaffigan, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart and Bruce Springsteen. The Festival featured a unique art installation called Paranoia Man In A Rat Fink Room at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, commissioned by Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe. Inspired by the original Rat Fink Room (the world’s first dedicated stand-up comedy club), Paranoia Man In A Rat Fink Room followed a tradition of spatial experimentation where the boundaries between architecture, art, and the subject were dissolved into one continuous environment. The Festival also presented A Conversation with Writers of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt at the 92Y featuring Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. Harmontown Live with Dan Harmon and SNL alum Jay Pharoah both performed at The Gramercy and Jenny Slate, Max Silvestri and Gabe Liedman brought their show Big Terrific to Bric House in Brooklyn. Also featured at the 2016 Festival was Comics to Watch, an annual showcase featuring a wide range of diversely talented young comedians selected by the NYCF as well as New York’s Funniest Stand-Up competition, open to all performers who think they have what it takes to be “New York’s Funniest.”
2016 Photo Gallery
The 2015 NYCF featured both 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 Sandler), 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,” featuring Hannibal Buress with performances by Nathan Fielder, Nick Kroll and John Mulaney in “Oh, Hello,” Jay Oakerson, Jeff Ross and Roy Wood, Jr. 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. The Festival also featured films from Janeane Garofalo and Larry Wilmore presented by Wayne Federman and Craig Robinson with his band The Nasty Delicious. Also presented was the 9th annual Stand Up for Heroes, returning 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.
2015 Photo Gallery
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 “Late Show with David Letterman.” Other festival highlights included the annual Comics to Watch, the finalists of the New York’s Funniest Stand-Up Competition and Jeff Ross’s “Roast Battle.”
2014 Photo Gallery
The Festival marked its tenth year in 2013, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of Carolines on Broadway and featuring 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.