The Best of This Year's New York Comedy Festival
The 2014 New York Comedy Festival went down from November 5 through 9 in over 20 venues around the city. It once again boasted a stellar lineup of comics, which made it difficult for us to pick and choose which shows to actually put on our "must see" list. That said, it had to be done and, ultimately, we were beyond happy with the choices we made. So here is the wrap-up of the funny that we were able to catch this year. See also: Comedy's Biggest Names Talk About Their Relationship With New York
Dave Attell's "Comedy Underground" - Comedy Cellar at The Village Underground - 11/4/14
Dave Attell is one of the best in the game, and since greatness attracts greatness, we knew the comics he'd have on hand at his Comedy Underground show would be extraordinary. With two shows lined up for Tuesday evening, we took in the first one because, frankly, we just couldn't wait to get our comedy fix. Always known to support a worthy cause, Attell hit the stage and told the sold-out crowd that raffle tickets could be purchased, with proceeds going to "Mighty Mutts & Ollie's Place," which is an all-volunteer, no-kill organization that rescues and rehabilitates strays in NYC. After a few hilarious quips about Halloween, weird deaths, shark attacks, and out-of-towners, Attell brought up Ted Alexandro, Dov Davidoff, Hannibal Buress, Rich Vos, and Gilbert Gottfried. In all, the hysterical night was a major success thanks to Attell, Comedy Cellar at The Village Underground, and the comics Attell lined up to help him on this "Comedy Underground Live" show. We actually ended up having so much fun, we stayed for the second show as well, which included Jessica Kirson, Kurt Metzger, Ari Shaffir, Big Jay Oakerson, and Gottfried, as well as a sweet cameo by Jeff Ross. The evening also raised $1,600 for Mighty Mutts & Ollie's Place.
Stand Up for Heroes - The Theater at Madison Square Garden - 11/5/14
The eighth annual Stand Up for Heroes show was presented in association with the Bob Woodruff Foundation and brought together music and comedy to honor returning service members, veterans, and their families. A touching night indeed, the sold-out crowd saw and heard inspirational stories and videos, was treated to comedy by Louis C.K., Jon Stewart, John Oliver, and Jim Gaffigan, and rocked out with Bruce Springsteen. There was also an impromptu auction that raised countless dollars for the cause (where, as an added bonus, Bruce Springsteen auctioned off a guitar, one hour of lessons, a ride in his sidecar, and lasagna dinner at his house to two people at $300,000 each). It was an undeniably and incredibly emotional and heartfelt evening spattered with laughter, all in honor of some phenomenal men and women.
Hannibal Buress - The Town Hall 11/7/14
Hot off of the Oddball Comedy tour and killing it on Broad City and The Eric André Show (in a good way), Hannibal Buress packed the house at The Town Hall with patrons eager to hear some thought-provoking banter on why he loves his job, the reasons he doesn't want to perform for the troops, how porn has changed, and a very funny bit on taxis and Uber. He also talked about steroids, how life is all about compromising, taking shit one day at a time (as does everyone), and Olympic swimming, and amusingly broke down the game of baseball. Holy hysterical. Shout-out to Brian Babylon, who also did a tremendous job opening up the show.
Jeff Ross Presents "Roast Battle" - The Gramercy Theatre - 11/8/14
Jeff Ross is the Roast Master, so when he took to the stage at the Gramercy Theatre, he was in full effect to give the crowd what they wanted -- some good-natured ribbing. With a "posse" that included moderator Brian Moses, the "negro wave," and the "house racists" onstage behind him, people were brought together all in the name of fun to catch four epic battles. First up was Jesse Joyce vs. Kurt Metzger (Metzger for the win), Mark Normand vs. Jermaine Fowler and Monroe Martin (Normand won by a landslide of impressive proportions), Bonnie MacFarlane vs. Mike Lawrence (Lawrence for the win, although it was pretty clear that Bonnie was robbed), and the main battle, Big Jay Oakerson vs. Ari Shaffir (Shaffir for the win). Gilbert Gottfried was also on hand as a judge, and shout-out to Oakerson for being late because Gilbert stepped in and did some material that, truth be told, was pretty much the highlight of the evening. Well, Gilbert's impromptu set and when Bonnie told Ross, "You're like Hitler. No one gave a shit about you until you started roasting people."
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