A troupe of the country’s most notable up-and-coming comedic talent is descending on the city this weekend when "Comedy Central Stand-up Presents" returns to the Civic Theatre, 510 O'Keefe Ave., for a three-day series of back-to-back stand-up sets.
The shows, which run Jan. 31 through Feb. 2, will feature the network’s next slate of half-hour stand-up specials from 12 comedians. All free to the public, the shows offer a first glimpse of some of the industry’s most promising and emerging talent in comedy, which producers whittled down from a list of over 400 stand-up sets reviewed last year.
“These are the comedians that we’re looking to as the future of comedy and stand-up,” said Anne Harris, Comedy Central’s senior vice president of Talent and Development for the network.
The series, which features comedians presenting half-hour stand-up acts that are aired at a later date this year, is a long-running tradition for the network. Now in its 22nd season, previous versions have included "Comedy Central Presents" and "The Half Hour."
New Orleans has been the filming location for the past three tapings of " Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents," all of which were taped at the Civic Theatre.
“We just can’t stay away,” Harris said. “It’s such a great theater … and the audiences have just, over the years, been more and more fantastic. It’s a great place to bring comics from all over the country. We meet up in New Orleans, and it’s a big celebration all week.”
The series has acted as both a launch pad for up-and-coming comedic talent as well as marked a career milestone for more established comedians. Previous acts have included " Saturday Night Live" members Chris Redd and Michael Che, Nikki Glaser — host of "You Up w/Nikki Glaser" — and Rory Scovel, who co-starred with comedian Amy Schumer in the film "I Feel Pretty" and has a new series, "Robbie," debuting on Comedy Central.
This weekend’s roster includes "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" correspondents Jaboukie Young-White and Dulcé Sloan, New York comedian Nore Davis, Los Angeles-based comic, actor and writer David Gborie, Georgia comic Mia Jackson, who is touring with Schumer, and the Los Angeles-based and Emmy award-winning comedian, writer and producer Sara Shaefer.
The shows kick off Thursday, Jan. 31, and run through Saturday, Feb. 2. Each show includes two half-hour stand-up acts by two comedians with sets starting at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Tickets, which are free, are available via the New York-based ticket listing service TheBlackListNYC.com, where the full schedule and lineup is available.
Those interested must visit the event’s page and pick a desired show, after which they will be contacted with more ticket information and possible alternative shows, if their chosen slot is already full.
During the comedians’ stay in New Orleans, Harris said her team also will be working with a comedy promoter to scout the scene for local talent.
“We’re curious to see what the scene is up to," Harris said. "It’s just such a great week, and the talent has a blast in New Orleans. It’s a big part of the experience."