The New York Comedy Festival: Our Recommendations

by BILLY GRAY · November 4, 2009

    Starting today, the New York Comedy Festival salutes the local laugh scene's present and future players with a series of shows and panels. While an established event, hecklers, of course, are still welcome.New York is spoiled when it comes to comedy. The best sitcom on television (30 Rock) films in Long Island City. David Letterman offers nightly laughs and, lately, daily tabloid fodder. Saturday Night Live continues to be an institution despite ceaseless complaints that it hasn't been funny in decades, if ever. And dozens of comedy clubs, sleek and ratty, host big names and fledgling talent all over town.

    We recommend checking out the events featuring the acerbic Ricky Gervais (who never fails to interrupt Hollywood awards show circle jerks with withering, often-boozy derision) and lovable homegrown whackjob Tracy Morgan. A panel discussion featuring the writers behind the consistently brilliant Colbert Report  is another interesting option. For more under-the-radar fare, check out Time Out's spotlight on emerging local talent.

    Also on the docket: Bill Maher brings his smug parade to town, Andy Samberg takes a break from his increasingly lame digital shorts (can we all admit that "I'm On A Boat" just wasn't funny?), Dane Cook milks his confounding popularity and, in a very stand-up un-PC move, zero women headline.