New York Comedy Festival
by Jonathan Zeller, 10/27/2010
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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 3–7) brings an unusual concentration of boldface names, including rising stars and old favorites alike. Here are our recommendations for all five days of the event.
Wednesday, November 3
Lewis Black at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square
The loud, opinionated and potty-mouthed Lewis Black sits down with Bill Scheft to discuss his new book, I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas. 7:30pm; free.
Jon Stewart Hosts Stand Up for Heroes at The Beacon Theatre
Pricey though it may be, this blowout features performances by the likes of Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, Tony Bennett and Bruce Springsteen. Proceeds benefit the Bob Woodruff Foundation. 8pm; $104.50–$2,504.50.
Thursday, November 4
TimeOut Live at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre
Five measly bucks covers admission to this show, curated by Time Out New York comedy editor Jane Borden. Highlights include the delightfully awkward Adam Wade, who has won the Moth Story Slam 16 times. 7:30pm; $5.
Louis CK at Carnegie Hall
The FX star offers a frank and often absurd take on everyday life in his stand-up routine; one excellent bit starts with his daughter's insistence on asking, "Why?" and ends in an existential crisis. This is a unique opportunity to see him on one of the world's most respected stages. 8pm; $35–$55.
Best of Whiplash at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre
This show frequently draws well-known comedians—past guests have included Janeane Garofalo, Zach Galifianakis and David Cross. If the "best of" tag holds true, you're in for quite a night. 11pm; free. Also November 3 at 11pm.
Friday, November 5
Joel McHale at Carnegie Hall
The star of NBC's Community and host of The Soup tells the kind of biting pop culture jokes that will be familiar to fans of his TV work, and also sprinkles in some stories about his family. 7pm; $37.50–$69.50.
Margaret Cho at The Beacon Theatre
The comedienne and activist, known for material about LGBT issues and heavily accented imitations of her Korean parents, performs stand-up. 8pm; $42–$72.
Saturday, November 6
Tracy Morgan at TheTimesCenter
New York Times reporter Bill Carter interviews the affable New York City native, a star of 30 Rock and an alum of Saturday Night Live. 4pm; $30.
Adam Carolla at Carolines on Broadway
The former star of Loveline and The Man Show currently hosts his own web series, The Adam Carolla Show, which draws 150,000 listeners a day. He'll perform five sets at Carolines during the festival. 7:30pm, 10:30pm and 12:30am; $51.25. Also November 5 at 7:30pm and 10:30pm.
Aziz Ansari at The Beacon Theatre
The hyperactive Aziz Ansari is known for his roles on Parks and Recreation and Human Giant, as the insufferable hack Randy in Funny People, and for stand-up bits about stars like R. Kelly and Kanye West. 8pm; $44–$57.
Sunday, November 7
A Night of Comedy at the Blue Water Grill
The lineup includes Dan St. Germain, a young comic whose performances at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and Comix have generated considerable buzz, as has his writing for The Onion. Almost as impressive as his list of credits? His unkempt red beard. 8pm; $90, including a three-course dinner.