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Tag: New York Comedy Festival (1-6 of 6)

Bill Cosby to play New York Comedy Festival

Hey, New York—ready to laugh?

The 2014 New York Comedy Festival will be led by Bill Cosby, Variety reports, with the veteran comedian playing Carnegie Hall on November 8.

Running November 5-9, the festival will include Bill Maher, Hannibal Buress, Tig Notaro, Marc Maron, Maria Bamford, Carly Aquilino, and Chris D’Elia. Big names making their first appearance at the fest include Amy Schumer and Nick Offerman. Further talent will soon be announced.

Caroline Hirsch, founder of Carolines on Broadway, created the NYCF. Now in its 11th year, it’s produced by Carolines on Broadway in association with Comedy Central.

Stephen Colbert at the New York Comedy Festival: Ten things we learned

The character of Stephen Colbert contains exactly 13.4 percent of the real Stephen Colbert.

At least that’s what Stephen Colbert — the real, Emmy-winning, Second City-bred actor-comedian — told the audience at Thursday night’s New York Comedy Festival panel discussion featuring him and his writers on The Colbert Report. Fans crowded into Town Hall in New York City to hear the man behind the political satirist and one-time presidential nominee share how the writing team works to produce a topical show every night, and how he separates his character from himself.

“He’s very dumb, and it’s an aggressive dumbness,” Colbert said. “You have to drive backwards at every joke.”

Flanked on both sides by 17 members of his writing team on stage, Colbert took questions from the audience, with many asking why only one writer on stage — Meredith Scardino — was female. Scardino responded by asking how the fan knew she was a woman, but Colbert took the serious route. “I don’t know why. We don’t go out there and say, ‘Give me men!’… I don’t look at the name on the packet when I first read it, because I just want to see what it is, I’m just trying to see if it’s making me laugh,” he said, explaining how he went about hiring new writers. “I don’t get the stats on that. It’d be wonderful to have a diverse writing staff, and I’m very lucky to have this staff.”

The rest of the night saw the panel unveiling anecdotes about their pitching meetings, how they approach guests, and what happens when Colbert breaks character. Below, we’ve picked out ten gems the team revealed: READ FULL STORY

Bruce Springsteen rocks, tells dirty jokes, at Stand Up For Heroes event

It was a murderer’s row of comic all-stars last night at the New York Comedy Festival’s Stand Up For Heroes event to raise money for the Bob Woodruff Foundation and America’s injured war veterans. Jon Stewart. Bill Cosby. Jim Gaffigan. Jerry Seinfeld. Hall of Famers all. But who knew the iconic rock star was a frustrated comic deep down? Bruce Springsteen, taking the stage last, not only performed three classic songs, but he set them up with some jokes. Some dirty jokes.

“I’m puzzled,” Springsteen said, after he ambled on stage with his guitar. “I think this is the first night of comedy for a soldiers’ audience where the entire night went by without anybody telling any dirty jokes. I don’t get it. I can’t let that happen… Older man’s having a hard time getting an erection…” READ FULL STORY

'Stand Up for Heroes': Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart, Robin Williams & more honor wounded warriors

“Humor is healing. Music is inspiring.” That’s how Staff Sgt. Robert Henline summed up last night’s Stand Up for Heroes benefit — an annual event for injured service members, veterans, and their families produced by the New York Comedy Festival and the Bob Woodruff Foundation.

In March 2007, Henline’s truck hit a roadside bomb while he was serving his third tour in Iraq. He suffered burns over 38 percent of his body and lost his left ear in the explosion — but Henline held on to his sense of humor. Before the show, the vet worked the red carpet outside of Manhattan’s Beacon Theatre with stars like Ricky Gervais and Roger Waters — and even joked about preparing the Pink Floyd bassist for his Stand Up performance by tossing firecrackers into Waters’ dressing room. READ FULL STORY

Key & Peele revel in Obama victory at New York Comedy Festival

Image Credit: Matt Hoyle/Comedy Central

Obama may have accepted his reelection with dignity and poise, but Key & Peele know what he was really thinking: “I’m gettin’ some booty tonight!”

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, the stars of Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, brought their inventive sketch comedy to NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts last night as part of the New York Comedy Festival, and the first item on their agenda was the President’s victory. Taking the stage to a standing ovation, the comedians opened the night with their popular skit featuring President Obama and his anger translator, Luther. Peele’s Obama impression was flawless, as usual — it’s perhaps the best in the business — and Key spewed righteous bile as Luther, the boorish voice of the commander-in-chief’s id. As the president reflected tactfully on his campaign, Luther’s rhetoric was more to the point: “Thank you, Joe Biden, for not putting your foot in your mouth for two weeks!” and “Black people, we came out to two elections in a row!” And at the first mention of Mitt Romney, Luther literally bounded across the stage, gloating like Terrell Owens in the end zone. Much of the material came from a video released early Wednesday, but hey, it’s still a kick to see a President of the United States doing MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” dance. READ FULL STORY

New York Comedy Fest kicks off tonight: Patton Oswalt explains how it'll make Sandy funny

If comedy is tragedy plus time, then New Yorkers might be ready to joke about Hurricane Sandy. Even if they’re not, chances are that the storm will be a hot topic at the New York Comedy Festival — a star-studded event that kicks off tonight with shows featuring Ricky Gervais and Key & Peele — concludes Sunday with a conversation between Robin Williams and David Steinberg. The Oscar winner and the prolific TV director will reportedly discuss “nothing that important.”

The fest’s headliners read like a who’s who of standup — the list includes Artie Lang, Aziz Ansari, Rob Delaney, Bill Maher, Kevin Hart, and Patton Oswalt, who might just be the hardest working man in showbusiness. Perhaps best known for voicing Remy the rat in Pixar’s Ratatouille, the prolific Oswalt has produced three comedy albums, a variety of EPs, a smattering of comic books, and a memoir called Zombie Spaceship Wasteland over the past five years. He’s also appeared onscreen in everything from broad, popular sitcoms like Two and a Half Men to awards bait chamber pieces like 2011’s Young Adult. But the comedian’s true love is standup comedy — Oswalt has said before that his work in TV and movies is just “extra-curricular” stuff done to support his career onstage.

Before the festival’s first show, we spoke with Oswalt about his comedy, Sandy’s aftermath, and the right way to find humor in a natural disaster — but only briefly, since he had at least eight more things to accomplish that day.

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