Just when I thought we were starting the Just For Laughs comedy fest in Chicago (we are doing this today), the New York Comedy Festival named its headliners and increased partnership with Comedy Central for its sixth annual week of headliners in the Big Apple, this coming Nov. 4-8, 2009. Tickets won't even go on sale until August, but they've announced that Ricky Gervais will play Carnegie Hall. And in his official statement of such, Gervais said: "Headlining one of the most prestigious comedy festivals in the world is an amazing honor for me. The fact that it's at the beautiful and historic Carnegie Hall makes it all the more wonderful. It's just down the road from my apartment. I can walk to work. (I won‚Äôt walk obviously. I'll take a limo. But I could walk if I had to)."
Also headlining their own shows at the 2009 NYCF: Bill Maher and Tracy Morgan. More talent will be named later this summer. Produced by Carolines on Broadway and United Entertainment Group, the fest will put on shows at 10 venues around Manhattan with more than 150 comedians. Comedy Central had joined as a partner last year (filming a one-hour special in 2008 at the fest for Jo Koy), and this year appears to be aligning its tapings of the 2010 series of half-hour Comedy Central Presents as part of the fest. Those tapings will happen at John Jay College this year.