Gervais, Silverman, Griffin among event's funny folks
The New York Comedy Festival wrapped Sunday night after a weekend that included conversations with and perfs from comedians such as Ricky Gervais and Sarah Silverman, a panel with the cast of “Saturday Night Live,” and a flasher.
A female fan briefly disrobed at Tracy Morgan’s show for the comic’s benefit; Kathy Griffin, also in attendance and not to be outdone, pulled up her shirt for the aud (she was wearing a bra).
Gervais demurred when quizzed by moderator Bill Carter about whether he’d be hosting the Golden Globes after last year’s much-discussed performance.
“I think NBC have asked me to consider it,” he said, “but they’d have to convince the Hollywood Foreign Press. They (the latter) have a new president now, which is good, because the last one I introduced by saying, ‘I’ve just helped him off the toilet and helped him pop his teeth back in.'”
When pressed about whether or not he was too hard on the celebs at last year’s show, Gervais defended his act. “You know, they’re not wounded soldiers,” he said. “They’re the richest, most privileged people on the planet.”
Johnny Depp, at whom the comic took some highly publicized shots, will be on Gervais’ upcoming mockumentary series “Life’s Too Short” on HBO. “He’s probably the richest, most handsome guy in the world,” Gervais said of Depp. “‘What?! Some little fat guy from Reading didn’t like “The Tourist?!” Oh, I’m not going to do this anymore!'”
While he did nothing to suggest that he wouldn’t be back at the Globes, Gervais did quell the rumors that he was being seriously considered for the Oscars during the brief period between Brett Ratner’s departure and the Academy’s announcement of Billy Crystal as the new host.
“They don’t want to see a little oik like me,” the comedian said. “It’s a night of glamour. That’s not a bad thing; it’s a reactionary, exclusive club. They don’t want me. I’d have to either water it down, which I wouldn’t do, or get fired almost immediately, which I would do.”
The fest’s sked attracted comedians as well as comedy fans. In a panel moderated by Variety’s Steve Gaydos, aspiring writers and performers quizzed the “SNL” cast on the difficulty of breaking into writing, their relationships with hosts and each other, and the nature of the writers-room meritocracy.
“Often you’ll bring something to the table, and it’ll die in front of 40 people who see a lot of sketch,” said head writer Seth Meyers. “The last thing you want to do is go on TV and die in front of America.”
Writer John Mulaney laughed about a scene with Horatio Sanz that featured a notably aggressive chimpanzee. “I love that the scene wasn’t cut,” Mulaney sighed. “The chimp tried to bite Horatio’s finger off in rehearsal and we were like, ‘All right, well, after this, no more chimp scenes.'”
Fest, produced by Carolines on Broadway and Comedy Central, with media partners including Variety, honored Carolines founder Caroline Hirsch in a ceremony on Saturday.