Shows you’ll wish you’d seen at the 2019 New York Comedy Festival

It’s easy to just rattle off the headliners and say go to them. In fact, several of the biggest names performing this week at the 2019 New York Comedy Festival already have sold out their shows!

Here are shows you still have a chance at seeing last-minute, as well as comedians you’ll wish you saw now, while they’re still easy to see up close and personal in intimate venues and performances.

MONDAY (TODAY), NOV. 4, 2019

  • Häus Party, at Public Arts (8 p.m.). Zach Teague & Drew Lausch host, with performances by Nikki Glaser, Julio Torres, Liza Treyger, Kiko Soirée, Girls With Brown Hair, Vanna Deux, and more.
  • Wetterlund & Friends, at Union Hall (10 p.m.). Alice Wetterlund released one of the first Amazon Original stand-up specials this year. And her friends are top-notch, too: Hari Kondabolu, Dulcé Sloan, Zach Sims, James Harris, Sonia Denis


  • Matteo Lane: Streisand at the Bon Soir, at Joe’s Pub (9:30 p.m.). Lane has a voice to be reckoned with: comedic and musically. I saw him put on this cabaret show at Just For Laughs in Montreal a couple of summers ago, and it’s worthy of all the encores. With Henry Koperski on the piano accompanying him, Lane delivers a knockout performance.


  • National Lampoon Radio Hour, at The Bell House (7:30 p.m.). The original Lampoon radio program launched so many famous funny people’s careers in 1973-1974, and now it has been revived for a new generation of comedians. Can’t wait to see how this funfolds. Starring: Lorelei Ramirez, Meg Stalter, Maeve Higgins, Jo Firestone, Aaron Jackson, Cole Escola, Martin Urbano, Alex English, Rachel Pegram, and Brett Davis.


  • Comics to Watch, at The Stand (8 p.m.; also Friday at 10 p.m.). In previous years, this event had a TV partner; first, Comedy Central, and then Team Coco. This year’s crop may not have a literal guarantee of TV credits by performing, but you should keep an eye on the careers of Sally Ann Hall, Jared Goldstein, Jamie Wolf, Kendall Farrell, Tori Piskin, Skyler Higley, Natalie Perlin, Ali Kolbert, Maddy Smith, Erik Terrll, and Dave Mizzoni.
  • No Such Thing As A Fish,” at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center (7:30 p.m., also 9 p.m. Saturday). Now in its fifth year, No Such Thing As A Fish is at the forefront of the British podcast scene. The team have completed smash hit tours in the UK, Ireland, Australia-including selling out the Sydney Opera House New Zealand, and continental Europe. They’ve also written three books, re-invented the news genre in a BBC2 TV show. The shows will feature the performance of a live, un-edited and unscripted podcast, as well as a first half in which the team talk about the most extraordinary, bizarre and hilarious things they’ve come across in the months since their last gigs.
  • Moses Storm and Joel Kim Booster, at The Bell House (10 p.m.). These two co-stars of the new NBC sitcom Sunnyside would have plenty to share even without the network drama about whether you can still watch their sitcom on TV. What’s TV?


  • Rape Jokes By Survivors, at SubCulture (7:30 p.m.). Topical! Kelly Bachman, who recently performed in front of Harvey Weinsten, hosts a lineup of comedians who’ll be cathartically talking about their own experiences with sexual assault. More laughs than tears.
  • HBO Latino Presents Entre Nos, at New York Comedy Club East Village (8 p.m.). Aida Rodriguez, Erik Rivera, Gina Brillon, Mark Viera all have their own HBO half-hours recently thanks to HBO Latino introducing English-speaking comedy on the channel. They’re all in one spot, one night only.
  • Sheng Wang, at SubCulture (9:30 p.m.). The funniest guy I saw at Clusterfest this year who should be famous but isn’t yet headlines, so go see him!
  • Astronomy Club, at Chelsea Music Hall (10 p.m.). Catch the UCB’s first all-black comedy troupe doing fresh improv for you, then wait for their Netflix sketch series to drop and say you saw them when.
  • Puke Fest with Rachel and Moss, at Union Hall (10 p.m.). A drinking game for stand-up? Hosts Rachel Sennott and Moss Perricone, while introducing each comic, will say a thing that comic typically does. When they do that thing, everyone drinks. One drink provided with ticket. Yikes!
  • Black Out, Comedy In The Dark with Sam Jay, at The Stand (11:59 p.m.). The SNL writer hosts a stand-up comedy showcase where nobody can see you deliver your wicked punchlines, and nobody can see what jokes you laughed at, either. Is the darkest space the safest space for comedy now?


  • New York’s Funniest, at Carolines on Broadway (4 p.m.). Past winners of this annual stand-up competition have included Nate Bargatze, Dan Soder, Michael Che, and Joe Machi. This year’s finalists: Geoffrey Asmus, Tyler Fischer, Dominic Leonelli, Xazmin Garza, Michael Rowland, Erik Bergstrom, Menuhin Hart, Caitlin Peluffo, Rufat Agayev, and Hanna Dickinson!
  • The Unofficial Expert, at Union Hall (5 p.m.). Marie Faustin and Sydnee Washington will have their own sitcom someday, if I have anything to say about it. Hell, Broad City even suggested them as a successor! If you weren’t paying attention then, do so right quick. This is their podcast. They also co-host the Sunday night showcase at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory.
  • The Underculture with James Adomian, at Union Hall (7 p.m.). Adomian’s comedic impersonations are a national treasure, and his podcast involves getting others into the act. I’m presuming it’s not too much to hope for a “Trump vs. Bernie” reunion previewing 2020?!
  • Tinder Live, at Littlefield (8 p.m.). Lane Moore hosts this live interactive experience as we all watch her navigate Tinder in real time. She invites a trio of panelists onstage to provide advice and additional commentary. This month, she’s joined by Jean Grae, Connor Ratliff and Chase Mitchell. How this isn’t a TV show or something already is beyond me (although some TV shows have co-opted Moore’s concept in the past).
  • Let’s Go, Atsuko! at Chelsea Music Hall (8:30 p.m.) A woke Japanese game show hosted by Atsuko Okatsuka, testing three comedians on their ability to answer trick questions on navigating social cues in 2019. I saw it last month at its regular residency at Dynasty Typewriter in Los Angeles. It’s fun times! She’s got Wyatt Cenac, Aparna Nancherla, Judah Friedlander and Larry Owens already lined up for this show, so it’s a bona fide winner, no matter who “wins.”


  • Carmen Christopher, at Chelsea Music Hall (8 p.m.). The one year I got to witness SNL auditions, Christopher dazzled me with his characters and offbeat humor. I don’t cast SNL. Somehow, he’s still eluded the mainstream show biz. Although Chris Gethard has let him run free on tour and on public access TV, and he’s accumulated some bit TV parts here and there. See what’s up his sleeve now.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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