The 2009 New York Comedy Festival, run by the folks at Carolines in partnership with Comedy Central, has announced the initial slate of confirmed headliner acts for this November. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Aug. 17 (though if you have Citi card privileges, you can start ordering now). The fest focuses on getting big names in a variety of venues throughout Midtown Manhattan, and this sixth year is no different, based on the initial list. Look for more names and shows to be added closer to the event — including a full slate of Comedy Central Presents half-hour tapings, the return of the Andy Kaufman Award competition and all sorts of special shows at Carolines. Here is the confirmed list of NYCF shows so far:

Nov. 4: ‚ÄúSTAND UP FOR HEROES‚Äù a special benefit presented by NYCF and the Bob Woodruff Foundation at Town Hall (in its third year)

Nov. 5:
DANE COOK ‚ÄúDane Cook and Friends‚Äù at Madison Square Garden, 7 p.m.; RICKY GERVAIS ‚ÄúOut of England II‚Äù at Carnegie Hall, 8 p.m.; MIKE BIRBIGLIA ‚ÄúI‚Äôm in the Future Also‚Äù at Town Hall, 8 p.m.   

Nov. 6: BILL BURR ‚ÄúLet It Go‚Äù at Town Hall, 8 p.m.; TRACY MORGAN ‚ÄúTracy Morgan‚Äôs Hard Knock Life‚Äù at Carnegie Hall, 8 p.m.; ARTIE LANGE "Artie Lange Live" at Beacon Theatre, 7:30 p.m.   

Nov. 7: MIKE EPPS ‚ÄúThe Mike Epps Is Rottin‚Äô in the Apple Comedy Show‚Äù at Beacon Theatre, 8 p.m; PATTON OSWALT ‚ÄúPatton Oswalt Live‚Äù at Town Hall, 8 p.m.; THE PALEY CENTER FOR MEDIA – PANELS TBA, 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.   

Nov. 8: BILL MAHER “An Evening with Bill Maher” at Avery Fisher Hall, 7 p.m.; ANDY SAMBERG “Andy Samberg and Friends Live from Town Hall” at Town Hall, 8 p.m.

For more information on applying for the Andy Kaufman Award, keep reading…

Interested contestants must submit a DVD recording of their performance of original material. The performance must not exceed six minutes. The deadline for entries is Oct. 2, 2009. Entries will be qualified and evaluated by a panel of industry professionals. Judging will be based on originality, creativity, spirit, and execution. The use of vulgarity or scatological language will not enhance a contestant’s chance of winning because, according to the producers, neither is considered inherently original nor creative. From the submissions, a group of semi-finalists will be chosen to perform in New York on Monday, Nov. 2. The six most promising performers will then be chosen to perform before a live audience and panel of industry judges at “The Fifth Annual Andy Kaufman Award Show” on Tuesday, Nov. 3 at Caroline’s. A single winner will be selected during the show, which will feature a celebrity host. The winner of The Andy Kaufman Award will receive a cash prize of $2,500, an artistic, personalized trophy, post-event publicity and stage time at Carolines on Broadway.
Contestants must submit an entry form, which can be found on the official website,
www.theandykaufmanaward.com. The website also features more specific details on the rules, submission and posting of videos, criteria, and the winner’s package.