The annual New York Comedy Festival is taking a year off: The 2020 edition of the 16-year-old event has been canceled over concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. The next comedy fest is now set for November 8-14, 2021.
“It’s during times like these when we can all use a good laugh,” said Caroline Hirsch, founder and owner of the New York Comedy Festival and Carolines on Broadway. “But, as they say in comedy, it’s all in the timing.”
Since 2004 the NYCF has taken place each November at such venues as New York’s Beacon Theatre, Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden and Town Hall, among others. Taking the stages have been such comedians as Judd Apatow, Hannibal Buress, Bill Burr, Margaret Cho, Billy Crystal, Larry David, Ricky Gervais, Kathy Griffin, Kevin Hart, John Leguizamo, Norm Macdonald, Bill Maher, Tig Notaro, Nick Offerman, Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman, and Wanda Sykes.
“While we were looking forward with great enthusiasm to bringing the very best comedy talent and fans from around the country and the world to New York City this fall,” Hirsch said, “the circumstances presented by the pandemic will prevent us from doing so,” says “This was an extremely difficult decision to make, but after extensive discussions with the creative community, our partners, sponsors and venues, we came to the unanimous decision that it would not be possible to try to bring the talent and fans together in New York City in a safe manner.”
In 2007, the festival launched the Stand Up for Heroes event to benefit The Bob Woodruff Foundation, which has featured performances by Stephen Colbert, Ricky Gervais, John Mayer, Seth Meyers, John Mulaney, Trevor, Noah, John Oliver, Conan O’Brien, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ray Romano, Jerry Seinfeld, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart, and Robin Williams, among others. To date, the Stand Up for Heroes events have raised over $55 million.