What to see at the New York Comedy Festival

Ryan Matera
The stars of the 2015 New York Comedy Festival are ready to make you laugh out loud.

Watch Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump duke it out in a comedic sketch performed by comedians Anthony Atamanuik and James Adomian at the Bell House on Wednesday. This event is just one of the many hilarious events on the roster of the New York Comedy Festival. Since 2004, the New York Comedy Festival, hosted by Comedy Central and the Huffington Post, has brought the world’s leading comics together for five days in New York City. This year’s lineup runs from Nov. 10 to 15 and includes some of the funniest comics alive, such as Lewis Black and Margaret Cho.

One of the newest stars to comedy is Nathan Fielder, who is performing at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts on Nov. 12. Fielder’s Comedy Central show, “Nathan For You,” has redefined reality television by incorporating a commercial aspect. The show uses humorous stories to help small businesses increase profits. Fielder, who is writer, director and star of the show, was behind sensational stories such as the “Dumb Starbucks” parody. He also staged a viral video of a pig saving a goat from drowning to increase visitorship to a local zoo. At Fielder’s show at Skirball, “Nathan For You” will premiere several new episodes and will be followed by a Q&A.

NYU alumnus Billy Crystal will be at Town Hall in “A Conversation with Billy Crystal and David Steinberg” on Nov. 12. In this conversation, Saturday Night Live alumnus Crystal will sit with “Seinfeld” and “Curb your Enthusiasm” director Steinberg. The conversation is sure to include plenty of nostalgia.

Norm MacDonald will perform nightly shows at Caroline’s Comedy Club from Nov. 12 to 15. MacDonald’s stardom has slowly been returning in the past decade after being fired from “Saturday Night Live” for making an O.J. Simpson joke.

At Skirball on Nov. 13 is Iliza Shlesinger. The Dallas comedian has had two great releases on Netflix in a row and was the youngest and only female to ever win NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” Shlesinger’s humor is playful yet intimidating as she covers the struggles of femininity.

One of the festival’s greatest bookings is Bill Burr at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 14. Every two years since 2009, he has released an increasingly impressive television special (all are available on Netflix). With a loud, smart, angry and brilliant sense of humor, Burr takes audiences into inconceivable scenarios. Tickets for the show are few and far between, but if you could get a chance to see this incredible event it would certainly be worth it, considering Burr is poised to become a legendary comedian.

The festival takes place across several venues, including the nearby Comedy Cellar on Macdougal, Skirball and Film Forum. The New York Comedy Festival is an ode to the modern state of comedy as stars both young and old, accomplished and novice, grace the stage.

Email Ryan Matera at [email protected]

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