new york comedy festival

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Performance Picks: Comedic Compliments, Native Satire, All the Feels

WEDNESDAY

(image via The Center for the Humanities)

This Isn’t Funny!: I, An Moron
Wednesday, November 8 at CUNY Graduate Center’s James Gallery, 7 pm: FREE

Comedy is a strange thing. Many write it off as merely jokes with little meaning, but comedy is one of our biggest and most pervasive cultural forces. So, be careful what you joke about, because hey, jokes do matter and it’s extremely easy to be very funny without tearing down marginalized groups. I see it happen literally all the time. Anyway, tonight you can see performance artist Dynasty Handbag perform their new work that riffs on “white activism” (#resist by buying this shirt about feminism!) and solo shows made by privileged heterosexual women with little self-awareness, which I also see happen all the time. After the performance concludes, the artist will be joined by Morgan Bassichis, Dominique Nisperos, Keisha Zollar, and moderator Bess Rowen for a discussion about the role of comedy in times of political unrest, and how one can utilize the genre to productively take on the establishment.

THURSDAY

(flyer via Union Hall)

Boast Rattle
Thursday, November 9 at Union Hall, 10 pm: $10 advance, $12 day of

Ah, roasts. No, I don’t mean cookouts or that ceremony where you put the whole pig in the ground and take it out after a while. I am talking about the weird comedic ritual of hurling insults in a way some take as complimentary, ultimately. In my opinion, it is too easy to resort to cheap shots in a roast. Unless maybe you are roasting a white man who does not have many redeeming qualities. In any case, at this show you needn’t worry about expecting to laugh at any cruel or dumb retorts. In fact, Boast Rattle is a night of fierce compliments. So, you can sit back and watch Jo Firestone, Josh Gondelman, Mike Drucker, Adam Conover, Shalewa Sharpe, and even Bizzy The Dog cook up their best words of praise to each other. Plus, this edition of the show is part of the New York Comedy Festival, so maybe you will feel fancier in the audience.

FRIDAY

(flyer via Ars Nova / Facebook)

Every Feeling I’ve Ever Felt
Friday, November 10 at Ars Nova, 8 pm: $15

When it comes to feelings, composer and musician Ellen Winter has many of them. So many, in fact, that she’s written an entire show to expose them all to you. Her one-night-only show at Ars Nova (where she also interned several years back) not only has a hefty dose of emotions all along the spectrum (and probably more than one or two tears), it also serves as a showcase of songs she’s written over the years, from renditions of punk songs past to new material from her upcoming solo album. With some rare actual good news coming from the most recent local elections and the inevitable advent of chillier weather and seasonal depression, I have also been feeling many types of feelings. It can always be a treat to experience them with a roomful of others, set to a handful of songs.

SATURDAY

(photo: Theo Cote)

Don’t Feed The Indians: A Divine Comedy Pageant
Now through November 19 at La MaMa, 7 pm (Sundays at 2 pm): $25, $20 students/seniors

One (and certainly not the only) group who has faced hundreds of years of oppression that still continues today is Native Americans. Though their land and livelihood is still largely disregarded today, illuminated by movements like that of Standing Rock and more, the struggles they face are not always splashed on the (virtual) front pages of the news. And when Native or Indigenous people are portrayed in fictional media, it’s equally uncommon that they themselves are the ones telling the stories or even playing the roles. That all gets turned on its head at Safe Harbors Indigenous Collective’s “greatest sideshow of Indigenous people you’ll ever see.”

Created by Murielle Borst-Tarrant of Spiderwoman Theater with music direction by Kevin Tarrant, Don’t Feed The Indians takes common Native stereotypes and subverts them in a satirical, musical night performed by actual Native artists. May the future only bring more and more work like this.

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Two Trump Foes, Bill Maher and Anthony Atamanuik, Make Their Last Jabs

Anthony Atamanuik as Trump. (Photo:)

Anthony Atamanuik as Trump. (Photo:)

While the candidates continue to campaign with just hours left on the clock, two of Donald Trump’s biggest critics, Bill Maher and Anthony Atamanuik, made their final appeals to NYC voters during separate appearances at the New York Comedy Festival. Maher did his “whiny little bitch” routine to a packed house at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Saturday and Atamanuik brought his scary-good/good-and-scary Trump impression to NYU on Thursday.

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Kimmy Schmidt, Big Terrific Added to NY Comedy Festival

Big Terrific.

Big Terrific.

The New York Comedy Festival was already chock full o’ hilarity, thanks to appearances by Bill Maher, Patton Oswalt, Marc Maron, Bridget Everett, Tig Notaro, Eric Andre, and all the rest. Today the fest, put on by Comedy Central, announced some more must-hit events: a panel discussion with Tina Fey and other writers from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and the return of Jenny Slate’s Big Terrific to Brooklyn.

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The ‘Oh, Hello’ Guys Palled Around With Bernie Sanders Before Their Off-Broadway Days

(Photo: @frontrose on Instagram)

(Photo: @frontrose on Instagram)

Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland, uber Upper West Siders, ventured across the river this past Friday to say “Oh, hello” to everyone at “Comedy Central Live in Brooklyn.”

“This is that hipster neighborhood I’ve been hearing all about,” carped St. Geegland (played by John Mulaney), addressing the packed house at the Kings Theatre in Flatbush.

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Nathan Fielder Invented a Way to Keep ‘Douchebags’ From Filming Comedy Shows

(Photo: Dylan Kenseth)

(Photo: Dylan Kenseth)

Boy, did we get an earful back when Broad City screened a sneak-peek of season 2 and we spilled the beans. And who can blame Comedy Central for wanting to keep a lid on such hilariousness? Last night at NYU Skirball Center, during his New York Comedy Festival appearance, Nathan Fielder confirmed that “Comedy Central is paranoid about stuff leaking,” and implored his adoring fans not to film the unaired episode of Nathan For You that he was about to screen.

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NY Comedy Festival Adds Hannibal Buress, Nick Kroll, Bridget Everett and More

The New York Comedy Festival wasn’t exactly hurting for more star power, what with heavy hitters like Bill Maher, Sarah Silverman and Nathan Fielder already in the mix. (Above, peep the loopy trailer for the forthcoming season of Nathan For You.) But it has gone and upped the ante by adding a bunch o’ top-notch acts, starting with a Comedy Central-branded night headlined by Williamsburg’s own Hannibal Buress, at the Kings Theatre.

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Marc Maron Is Coming to Skirball, Which Just Announced Its New Season

Attention, WTFers, WTFuxtibles, WTFineers, WTFuckleberry Finns! Marc Maron is taking his grumbling and grousing out of the cluttered garage from which his weekly podcast emanates and into some far tonier digs.
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