Organizers of the New York Comedy Festival announced today that the 2012 festival will run for five days this fall, from Wednesday, Nov. 7 through Sunday, Nov. 11. Performances and events will take place at New York City venues including the Beacon Theatre, Carnegie Hall, and Town Hall.
Now in its ninth year, the New York Comedy Festival is produced by Carolines on Broadway in association with Comedy Central. The NYCF has featured top comedians such as Louis C.K., Aziz Ansari, Patton Oswalt, Ricky Gervais, Kathy Griffin, Dane Cook, Sarah Silverman, Wanda Sykes, Joel McHale, and many more. But the festival also offers exposure for up-and-coming talent with its "Comics to Watch" showcase and "New York’s Funniest Stand-Up" competition.
"Comics to Watch" was created by the NYCF and Comedy Central to help launch the careers of the next generation of comedians by presenting them in a live showcase for industry executives and comedy fans during the festival. The third annual edition will once again feature a diverse range of young comedians performing at Carolines on Broadway. Last year's show was hosted by roast comic Jeffrey Ross.
For the past five years, the city's best undiscovered comics have been invited to audition for the festival's "New York’s Funniest Stand-Up" competition. According to the NYCF, "New York's Funniest Stand-Up" is the city's largest stand-up comedy contest. The winner receives a cash prize, a chance to open for a headliner at Carolines on Broadway, and a spot to perform in one of the festival shows.
To be considered for the "New York’s Funniest Stand-Up" competition, comics can submit a performance clip via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for entries is Sept. 17, 2012. Comics Nate Bargatze, Myq Kaplan, and Julian McCullough won the top prize in past years. Finalists have also included Mike Vecchione, Helen Hong, Leah Bonnema, and Adam Newman.
The schedule and talent line-up for the 2012 New York Comedy Festival will be announced in August, with additional shows to be announced in September. Tickets will go on sale in August.
"The Festival continues to grow leaps and bounds each year," Caroline Hirsch, owner of Carolines on Broadway, said in a statement. "We're thrilled with the caliber of comedy talent that we’re bringing together for this year's festival. We'll have more comedians performing this year than ever before, we'll be introducing some great new programming, and we'll also be returning to one of the city's truly great venues, The Apollo Theater in Harlem. I'm sure comedy fans will be overjoyed with when we announce our line-up this summer."
Daniel Lehman is a staff writer for Back Stage. Follow him on Twitter: @byDanLehman