Laughs kick off Friday with start of annual New York Comedy Festival

Sandy Kenyon Image
Friday, November 3, 2023
Laughs kick off Friday with start of annual New York Comedy Festival
EMBED <>More Videos

Sandy Kenyon has the latest report on the NY Comedy Festival.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Starting Friday night some of the city's most prestigious venues will be used for the annual New York Comedy Festival.

It's the brainchild of Carolina Hirsch, who is sometimes called a mother hen to a generation of comics who came of age in the club that bore her name.

Carolines on Broadway has closed, but the festival is alive and well and bigger than ever.

It takes someone with a lot of contacts to pull together so many acts in one city, and Hirsch is just the person to do it.

She may have closed the club bearing her name, but the comedy festival she started almost two decades ago continues.

"We're doing a lot of the shows we did at Carolines at The Hard Rock Hotel, it's called The Venue at The Hard Rock," Hirsch said.

There will be a competition to discover the city's funniest stand-up comics.

"New York City is the comedy capital of the world, like if you want to do comedy, you can do the most comedy here," Matt Koll said.

Vishnu Vaka came from India and Peng Dang is from China - they are part of the group of finalists to promote the show conceived 15 years ago by the festival's founder.

After a decade spent honing her craft, Paris Sashay is ready to break out.

"Now, I know my voice, I know who I am, I know I stand out," Sashay said. "I know I am special and people will see that at the competition."

But first she must get past Brooklyn's Julio Diaz.

"My mom was super religious and my dad kinda wasn't, and it made me feel good when both of them laughed, so I try to keep it down the middle," Diaz said.

One who was previously called New York's Funniest Stand-Up is back to host this year's competition and Ricky Velez is part of an all-star lineup.

The laughs begin Friday night and run through Nov. 12.

ABC7 is one of the sponsors of the New York Comedy Festival.

RELATED | New York's Funniest Stand-Up searches for next comedy superstar

Sandy Kenyon has more on the search for New York's next comedy star.


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More New York City news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.