The 2018 New York Comedy Festival bringing more days of laughs

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The New York Comedy Festival expanded to seven days this year, which is only fitting because thanks to streaming and social media, there are more comics making us laugh in more places than ever before.

Jo Koy is one of the headliners who will play a couple of shows to thousands of people, but he still remembers the first time he played at the club owned by Caroline Hirsch.

"You play Carolines, you've made it," he said. "When you finally get the nod from her that you get to be on that stage, it's like, 'Oh my God, yeah. I'm, finally here.'"

Hirsch co-founded the New York Comedy Festival, and the week-long event has grown to include more than 100 shows at almost two dozen venues throughout the five boroughs.

"And added to that, we have many more women that are doing it," Hirsch said. "When I started, I could count one hand the women I worked with. But now we work with lots of women."

Streaming and social media have transformed the business of comedy, growing it dramatically and drawing performers closer to their fans.

Koy's 369,000 Instagram followers help him sell out big venues and attract many more viewers to his Netflix special.

"I got a half million people that are ready to get a flier with just the click of a button," Koy said. "And that's changed everything."

So much comedy so widely available encourages folks to go out and see more stars live, and that bodes well for the future at Carolines.

"There are more people doing it, there are more people enjoying it," Hirsch said. "More people understanding comedy for what it is, a great art form."

One of the goals of The New York Comedy Festival is to find the headliners of tomorrow. On Wednesday evening, there's an entire evening called "Comics To Watch." And on Saturday, the festival has a competition to find "New York's Funniest" performer.

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