The largest comedy festival on the Gulf Coast, Hell Yes Fest, has expanded to 11 days and features stand-up, sketch, improv, film and all kinds of weirdness in between. The festival started Thursday, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 11.
Nikki Glaser, who is featured regularly in sketches on Comedy Central’s “Inside Amy Schumer” and had a part in Schumer’s breakout feature film “Trainwreck” this past summer will headline Monday, Oct. 5 at the Freret Street Publiq House.
Veteran comedian Todd Barry, familiar from appearances in Louis C.K.’s sitcom “Louie,” will return to the festival Oct. 9. Barry is continuing his Crowd Work Tour, parts of which were already filmed in New Orleans and included in his most recent comedy special/documentary.
Tim Heidecker, who has embodied and influenced the fringe comedy style of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming block for over a decade as part of the writing, animation, and directing team Tim & Eric will appear in his own one-man show on Monday at Freret Street Publiq House.
Stand-up shows are only one element of the festival. On each night, audiences will have a wide assortment of shows to choose from. The same strides that the local New Orleans comedy scene has been making in terms of growth, evolution, and refinement are being made in other cities. This year, organizers at The New Movement, which produces the festival, called for submissions from around the country in order to extend the range of acts beyond their already wide network.
“We realized that even though we tour a lot and play festivals all over the place, there are still so many comedians and show formats that we haven’t found on our own,” said Brock Laborde, co-founder and general manager of The New Movement. “So we figured, why not make a way for them to come to us? So many people were just thrilled. It was like there was a door opening for people that had just always been closed.”