Everything NYC Comedians Need to Know for November 2017

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November may be the month of the New York Comedy Festival, but there are tons of other shows, festivals, and casting calls to satisfy your humor needs. To help you find the best of the month, Backstage breaks down our top choices for events around the city in each category.


With a nerdy personality and an affinity for crowd work, Chris Hardwick brings his lovable standup to New York City. If you’re looking for a night of laughs and guaranteed references to “Star Wars,” Hardwick can be seen at Caroline’s on Broadway from Nov. 8–10.

For fans of improv theater, the Upright Citizens’ Brigade Theater New York is putting on “The Best of UCBTNY” as part of the New York Comedy Festival. The production will be putting on two popular shows: “Let’s Make a Website” and “Improvised Seinfeld.” The performance can be seen on Nov. 10 at UCBT Chelsea.

Chris Gethard, known for his scatter-brained, honest, and self-deprecating humor, is releasing “Career Suicide,” his recent comedy album. In honor of its premiere, the comedian will host Chris Gethard: Career Suicide Release at The Knitting Factory on Nov. 3. With topics ranging from living with depression to his comedy career, Gethard is sure to provide an uncomfortable night of laughter.


New York City’s famed New York Comedy Fest returns for its 14th annual run from Nov. 7–12. Along with performances from Tracy Morgan, Trevor Noah, and Lewis Black, attendees have the chance to take part in interactive experiences like a workshop from Second City players and a bar crawl. With so many performances, it’s hard to only showcase a few, so check out the full schedule on the event’s website.

The Knitting Factory is celebrating its 30th anniversary with Knit Ball, a week packed with celebratory shows. One performer audiences are sure to know is Hannibal Buress, who used to host his own night at the legendary venue. The celebration runs from Nov. 14–20.

The world of podcasts is made up of a large range of genres, but there’s plenty of humor for those looking for it at the Brooklyn Podcast Festival. The event, which runs Nov. 14–19, will be at The Bell House and Union Hall. The lineup features a number of comedy podcasts, including Las Cuturistas LIVE: I Don’t Think So Honey!, the Kevin McDonald Show, and Reductress Presents: Mouth Time Live!, and more.

While the New York Comedy Festival is a legendary event in its own right, Stand Up For Heroes, a night of comedy benefiting the Bob Woodruff Foundation, which in turn utilizes the money to help injured veterans. The event’s 11th annual event features standup sets from comedians Jon Stewart, John Mulaney, and more, as well as a musical performance by Red Hot Chili Peppers.


Think your act is funny enough to be featured at a well-known comedy club? Bonner and Company is looking for any act, be it improv, standup, or sketch, that is polished and ready to be performed. The casting call is open until Nov. 30, and any type of acts are encouraged to submit.

Illville Productions is looking for actors to join “Complex(city)s,” a comedy show shot in mockumentary style. Intending to touch on topics such as race and socioeconomic relationships, actors with comedic experience are welcome to try to take the leading roles. More information can be found on Backstage.

Check out Backstage’s New York City audition listings!