Everyone knows you need a sense of humor to survive New York. For one week each year, that's a lot easier, as scores of comedians descend on venues across the city for the New York Comedy Festival. This year's headliners include Ricky Gervais, Kevin Hart, Bill Maher and Aziz Ansari. Here are some other under-the-radar shows that are worth seeking out.
Tell Your Friends
One of the city's longest-running alternative comedy shows, Tell Your Friends is being turned into a concert film that will be released next month. This edition features Janeane Garofalo, Victor Varnado, Liam McEneaney and more. (Union Hall, Wednesday)
Stand Up for Heroes
A benefit for the Bob Woodruff Foundation, which supports veterans' needs, this annual event features Robin Williams, Jon Stewart, Bruce Springsteen and more. (Beacon Theatre, Thursday)
Actors and guests including Mario Cantone, Tony Danza and Rachel Dratch, act out scenes from celebrity memoirs. Pray that Arnold Schwarzenegger's book isn't on the agenda. (Stage 72, Thursday)
Oswalt's comedy addresses everything from religion and politics to music and comic books. He's also one of the hardest working comedians around, with dozens of movies and TV shows to his credit ranging from the mainstream ("King of Queens") to the offbeat ("Big Fan"). (Town Hall, Friday).
Oddly Familiar: The Ben Stiller Show Reunion
The cast of the beloved, but short-lived sketch comedy show that boosted the careers of Stiller, Judd Apatow, Bob Odenkirk and Andy Dick, come together once again. (The Paley Center, Saturday)
If you go: The New York Comedy Festival runs from Wednesday through Sunday. Go to nycomedyfestival.com for full schedule and ticket information.