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Published on September 6th, 2011 | by Sharilyn Johnson


New Yorker Festival: who booked this thing?

Since popping down to NYC for the 2008 edition of the New Yorker Festival, covering the Stephen Colbert Q&A and the all-star Political Humor panel, I’ve been wanting to return. This year won’t be the year, but it’s just as well.

It’s not who the organizers have booked. Aside from a hippie-pleasing assortment of film and literary types, there’s enough straight-up comedy on tap: Amy Poehler, Aziz Ansari, and Zach Galifinakis are each going to be “in conversation” on the Saturday of the three-day festival. (The conversation with Steve Martin is billed as “all about art”, lest there be a repeat of the 92nd St Y fiasco.)

It’s the when that really baffles me. Three comedians. Three days. And they manage to schedule the Ansari event directly up against the Galifinakis one. Come on, guys.

If you have to make a choice when tickets go on sale this Friday (Sept. 9), I’d personally go with Galifinakis. Partly because the interview is being conducted by Andy Borowitz, and partly because Galifinakis is a great live interview. His edition of Carl Arnheiter’s Inside Joke at the UCB Theatre back in 2008 was endlessly fun, a taste of which can be found here.

About the Author

is the author of the book Bears & Balls: The Colbert Report A-Z. Called "one of the city’s most discriminating comedy critics” by NOW Magazine, Sharilyn has been covering comedy for longer than she cares to admit. She served as the comedy reporter for Winnipeg's Uptown Magazine for five years, and was the host of the radio show Laugh Tracks for three seasons. Her work has also appeared in the Toronto Star, the Winnipeg Free Press, The Apiary, and on CBC Radio's national comedy programs LOL and Definitely Not the Opera.

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  • The Colbert Report A-Z

    Third Beat editor Sharilyn Johnson presents the ultimate fan guide to The Colbert Report, available from all major booksellers including amazon.com