New York Comedy Festival: Kevin Smith, Bill Maher Highlight 2017 Lineup

Kevin Smith attends TheGrill Special Event With Charlie Collier Of AMC -Getty- H 2017
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The 14th annual event will also feature performances from Chris Hardwick, Nick Offerman and Iliza Shlesinger.

The New York Comedy Festival on Monday announced the first batch of comedians set to perform at its 2017 event.

Headliners for the 14th edition of the festival include Kevin Smith, performing on opening night; Chris Hardwick, set for a three-night engagement; Bill Maher at Madison Square Garden; Nick Offerman; Iliza Shlesinger; and Jim Norton.

“There’s no feeling like killing in a big-time comedy festival in the city that first didn’t laugh at you," Maher said in a statement. "Oh, but they’re laughing at me now! Wait, that didn’t come out right…”

The festival, presented in association with TBS and produced by Carolines on Broadway, will this year feature a TBS Comedy Hub at the Public Hotel, with live shows and exclusive content.

TBS' Full Frontal With Samantha Bee will also tape a new episode in front of a NYCF audience, and fans will also get first looks at original series like Tracy Morgan's The Last O.G., the animated Final Space and upcoming seasons of The Detour and Search Party.

Carolines has also partnered with The Second City for a pop-up training center with improv, writing and stand-up workshops as well as limited access to the Harold Ramis Film School.

“We’re delighted to present a talented slate of more than 200 unique and diverse performers who are at the forefront of comedy right now,” NYCF and Carolines founder and owner Caroline Hirsch said in a statement.  “Now more than ever, comedy is breaking boundaries as a way for us to understand and discuss the changing world around us.  Whether providing a sharp-tongued takedown of modern politics or a hilarious escape from the news, these talented performers will provide plenty of laughs during the festival. We’re also thrilled to have TBS as our new partner. TBS brings such an exciting new presence to the festival, including a TBS-hosted home base with the new festival hub that will give fans a more interactive experience. Additionally, we’re bringing The Second City to New York for the very first time, giving people a chance to enroll in classes and workshops.”

Added Michael Engleman, TBS and TNT's executive vp entertainment marketing and brand innovation: "For TBS, this partnership provides us a dynamic opportunity to connect with our fans in new ways, reach new audiences and propel the brand momentum we’ve generated over the past year. The TBS Comedy HUB will be our creative nexus, part immersive entertainment experience for fans, part digital content studio and an incredibly fun way to showcase our shows and talent in alliance with a festival that has a tremendous track record for great comedy and comics."

The festival later added A Toast to the O.G.'s of Comedy, celebrating Morgan and Cedric the Entertainer, which will feature an evening of stand-up from some of the country's hottest young comedians and a sit-down conversation with Morgan, Cedric and comedians inspired by them. Proceeds from that event will go to the Fortune Society, a charity that supports successful re-entry from incarceration. 

Additionally, Conan O'Brien's Team Coco will present Comics to Watch, a stand-up showcase featuring new talent from across the country, and the festival will feature the 10th annual edition of its New York's funniest stand-up competition. Alums of both events include Saturday Night Live's Michael Che, Ali Wong and Ricky Velez. 

More information about the event and a complete schedule for this year's New York Comedy Festival are available here

In total, more than 200 comedians are set to perform at more than 60 shows around the city over the course of the six-day festival, which is set to run Nov. 7-12.

Sept. 27, 2:28 p.m. This story has been updated with additional New York Comedy Festival shows.