The usual formula for comedy — tragedy plus time — has gone out the window in 2016. The New York Comedy Festival, which begins today through Nov. 6 with 60 comedians performing 100 shows, is a good reminder that the way to survive is by making a joke that’s funnier, raunchier or more profound than the tragedy of whatever comes at you. You can still score tickets to some of the fest’s best shows, where the only crying you’ll be doing is from laughing too hard.
Samantha Bee showed what we’d been missing without a female late-night host, and Jamie LeeLo is doing her own take at Brunch Night! No suits, no desks, and not your usual cynical after-hours comedy routine: Expect theatrical fun that brings a little of the daytime talk show fuzzies to the rawness of theater after dark. $22, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 6 p.m., Carolines on Broadway, 1626 Broadway
Tribute to Mitch Hedberg
Still can’t look at an escalator or soup without laughing? Then get to Comedy Central Records’ Tribute to Mitch Hedberg saluting one of the funniest observers of this absurd thing called life. His entire(ly too short) body of work is coming out on vinyl, and his friends will spend the evening sharing their best memories, alongside new backstage video and rare clips of the man himself performing. $32.75 and up, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 9:30 p.m., Carolines on Broadway, 1626 Broadway
Trump Dump: The Last Rally
There’s really not much left to do but laugh about this election (but seriously, vote). Anthony Atamanuik has been playing Donald Trump for over a year on the comedy circuit after starting out in Brooklyn, and he’s back in NYC for Trump Dump: The Last Rally, aka “Donald Trump’s last stand against humanity.” Over a hilarious night of soul-searching, the Republican nominee considers whether he should drop out of the election to save mankind, or see it through to the end and become something even more frightening. $35, Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m., NYU Skirball Center, 566 LaGuardia Place
Explain America to Me
Charlie Pickering is a big deal in his native Australia, where he’s worked in comedy for almost 20 years and hosts his own comedic news program. But you don’t know him, and he doesn’t know America, so who better to Explain America to Me than a bunch of comedians? They’re sure to teach him a thing or two, including what to actually put on bread that isn’t Vegemite. $10, Thursday, Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m., UCBT East Village, 153 E. Third St.
Fancy Meeting You Here
The naked statues at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will never not be at least a little funny, but you’ll find lots more to chuckle about at Fancy Meeting You Here, a walking tour of the museum that will gaze deeply into all of the abstract paintings to divine their hilarious true meanings and maybe, just maybe, make sense of modern art. $22, Friday, Nov. 4, 7 p.m., The Met, 1000 Fifth Ave.