New York Comedy Festival 2012

Arts & Entertainment

by staff, 08/08/2012

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Every night of the week all year-round, big-name comics perform in New York City's comedy clubs. Still, even in a City where high-profile shows are commonplace, the New York Comedy Festival, November 7 through 11, brings an unusual concentration of boldface names, including rising stars and old favorites alike. 

"We go for the best and biggest that we can find," says Caroline Hirsch—owner of her namesake comedy club, Carolines on Broadway, and the founder and producer of the festival, which this year includes Ricky Gervais and Robin Williams. The event is also notable for putting comics on some of the City's most venerable stages—including the Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden.

Here are highlights for all five days of the event. For tickets and more info, check out

Wednesday, November 7
A Conversation with Ricky Gervais, Interviewed by John Hodgman at Town Hall
The British jokester, famed for the original version of The Office, chats in Times Square with John Hodgman (the "PC" from those Mac commercials).

Thursday, November 8
Marlon and Shawn Wayans: The Wayans Brothers Live at Carolines on Broadway
Get two Wayanses for the price of one. The duo also performs on November 9 and 10.

Friday, November 9
Aziz Ansari: Buried Alive! at the Apollo Theater
The Parks & Recreation star (who we also loved on Human Giant) plays the Apollo and Carnegie Hall. Not bad. The Carnegie Hall show is on November 10.

Patton Oswalt at Town Hall
Patton Oswalt is not only a comedian, he's also a fine actor—for evidence, see his performance in the film Young Adult. His witty stand-up has earned him three number one comedy albums.

Saturday, November 10
Jim Gaffigan at the Apollo Theater
See the Hot Pockets guy live at the Apollo.

Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain at Madison Square Garden
The star of lots of stuff (including, recently, the movie Think Like a Man) plays a big show at the "World's Most Famous Arena."

An Evening with Bill Maher at The Beacon Theatre
This performance by political comic and Mets part-owner Bill Maher is likely to include provocative statements on hot-button issues.

Sunday, November 11
David Steinberg and Robin Williams Talking About Nothing That Important at the 92nd Street Y
Even in a lineup full of stars, it doesn't get much bigger than a chance to see Robin Williams—Mrs. Doubtfire himself!in person.

related venues/(7)

  1. 1
    The Town Hall
    123 W. 43rd St.
    Manhattan – Times Square
    NY 10036
  2. 2
    Carolines on Broadway
    1626 Broadway
    Manhattan – Times Square
    NY 10019
  3. 3
    Apollo Theater
    253 W. 125th St.
    Manhattan – Harlem
    NY 10027
  1. 4
    Carnegie Hall
    57th St. and Seventh Ave.
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10019
  2. 5
    Madison Square Garden
    2 Penn Plaza
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10121
  3. 6
    The Beacon Theatre
    2124 Broadway
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
    NY 10023
  1. 7
    92nd Street Y
    1395 Lexington Ave.
    Manhattan – Upper East Side
    NY 10128

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