An English teacher once learned us that you cannot call anything a "first annual" because until year two, it hasn’t actually been an annual event. But that won’t stop me from sharing with you the news of this week’s first-ever edition of The Hysterical Festival: A Celebration of Women in Comedy, which runs from Wednesday through Saturday at multiple venues in New York City.

The fest’s founder, Desiree Burch, got fed up with stupid old men and the other men (and sometimes even, no, say it ain’t so, ladies) who argue that women aren’t funny and feed this misinformation to the media. "The image people have of a comedian is the ‘lone man at the mic’ — stool, silhouette and all," Burch said. "It’s time we pay homage to the women who have been making us laugh for years, and recognize the next generation of comedic innovators."

If you pick up a copy of today’s Metro paper in the New York City area, you’ll read parts of my interview with headliner Maria Bamford. You also can see some of the many shows listed on my site’s Google calendar. The full schedule is after the jump!

Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2008

6:30 p.m., Tribeca Film Center: NYWIFT Panel, Fierce, Funny & Gainfully Employed, with Linda Kaplan Thaler, Tracy Grandstaff (voice of Daria), and Dana Offenbach. Moderated by Catie Lazarus. $10-$20
7:30 p.m., Comix: Hysterical Festival Kickoff Show, featuring I Eat Pandas, The Apple Sisters,
Claudia Cogan, hula-hooping burlesque star Miss Saturn, and Livia Scott. Hosted by Michelle Buteau. $15-$20
8 p.m., The Tank: Laughing Liberally, Lizz Winstead headlines. Hosted by Katie Halper and featuring Erin Judge, Negin Farsad and Mindy Raf as Leibya Rogers. $5 >> Show will be followed by
screening of the Presidential Debates, featuring liveblogging and a post debate Q&A/Discussion.
9 p.m., Ochi’s Lounge (Comix): Word!, from the page to the stage: Rachel Shukert, Kambri Crews, Allison Kilkenny, Christen Clifford, Catie Lazurus, Cheryl B. and Michele Carlo, hosted by Sara Schaefer. $5
9:30 p.m., Comix: Stripped Stories, Margot Leitman & Guilia Rozzi, with Adrianne Frost, Megan Neuringer, Erin Markey and Bridget Everett. $15-20

Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008

7:30 p.m., Comix: Ambiguously Brown Comedy Hour, with Jiwon Lee, Diana Saez, Aparna Nancharla , Erin Jackson and Retta. Hosted by Desiree Burch. $15-20
7:30 p.m., Ochi’s Lounge (Comix): Sister Solo, featuring Ann Carr, Becky Yamamoto, Erica Watson, Vijai Nathan, hosted by Adira Amram. $5
9:30 p.m., Comix: Baby Mamas of Comedy, with Pat Candaras, Kim "Boney" DeShields, Andrea Henry, Corey Kahaney, Laurie Kilmartin. Hosted by Carolyn Castiglia. $15-20
9:30 p.m., Ochi’s Lounge (Comix): Haterz Ball, with Adrienne Iapalucci, Becky Donohue, Jess Wood, Susan Prekel, Maureen Langan. Hosted by Jocelyn Hughes. $5

Friday, Oct. 17, 2008

8:30 p.m. (and 10:45 p.m.), Comix: Hysterical Femmes, with Veronica Mosey, Hedda Lettuce, Tastiskank, and Sara Benincasa as Sarah Palin. $25-30
9 p.m., Ochi’s Lounge (Comix): Kissing Booth, with Katina Corrao, Shayna Ferm, Jenny Rubin. Hosted by Brandy and Sara Jo. $5
11 p.m., Ochi’s Lounge (Comix): Girls Gone Gay, with Claudia Cogan, Lisa Kaplan, Cara Kilduff and The Lesbian Overtones. $5

Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008

7 p.m., Ochi’s Lounge (Comix): Freaks and Geeks, with Racquel D’Apice, Emily Epstein, Carla Rhodes, Robin Gelfenbien, The O’Debra Twins, hosted by Jen Dziura. $5
8 p.m., The Zipper Theater: Nice Jewish Girls Gone Hysterical, with Michelle Collins, Rachel Feinstein, Rena Zager. Hosted by Susannah Perlman. $15-20.
8:30 p.m. (also 10:45 p.m.), Comix: Maria Bamford. $25-30
9 p.m., Ochi’s Lounge (Comix): Family Hour with Auntie Sara, hosted by Sara Benincasa with Kambri Crews and more. $5
10 p.m., The Zipper Theater: Funny Bones Burlesque, with Bunny Love, Clams Casino, Fem Appeal, Jo Boobs, Pookie Patootie. Hosted by the world famous BOB. $15-20