In addition to the comedy clubs, it is possible to observe festival shows in hospitals, homeless shelters, and libraries. The festival has already succeeded in raising $20,000 for various operations, including the organization that assists U.S. troops in finding connections with their families. 22 free shows are organized annually in public libraries, that are aimed at accommodating people who haven't got much money.
Though the New York Underground Comedy Festival is extremely popular among comedians, it is rather difficult to become a member of the show team. Out of 3000 comedians who were eager to participate, only 225 were selected.
As compared to 2003 and 2004, Underground Comedy Festival 2005 underwent major changes. It has added the Upright Citizens Brigade, as well as a new film division that showed the funniest stories. The festival ran October 2-10 in all five boroughs of the city, featuring more than 200 variety acts, performances, and other entertainment. Among the comedians, who were scheduled to perform during the seven-day show, were Christian Finnegan ("Best Week Ever"), Dean Edwards ("Saturday Night Live"), Judah Friedlander ("American Splendor"), Dom Irrera, Otto & George, Bob Nelson, Goumba Johnny, Angel Salazar, Patrice O'Neal, and Barry Weintraub.
Depending on the venue, ticket prices may vary. The Underground Comedy Festival has featured a number of comedians who haven't performed in the Festival before, like Freddie Roman of "Legendary Friars Club Dean," Jim Norton of "The Tonight Show," Keith Robinson of "Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn," Jim Gaffigan and Bill Blur "Comedy Central," Eddie Helms "Comedy Central's the Daily Show," Mike Bochetti "Last Comic Standing," and others.
Among the partners of the festival are Comic Strip Live and the Gotham Comedy Club, and also the New York City Public Library, featuring free shows in the majority of branches.
Today the New York Underground Comedy Festival can boast its seminars, designed to provide comics and audience with possibility to learn more about comedy. One of the most important accomplishments is the workshops that are helpful for both established and emerging artists.
A great number of New York's top comics perform at the Festival in hopes of being discovered in the "Big Apple." George Sarris is proud to have created the festival, which is seen as one of the most celebrated events in the New York City and which attracts thousands of spectators annually.
Starting as a three-night show in 2003, the festival has added many items to its program, turning from three nights to five in 2004 and into seven-day show in 2005. In addition to its major sites, the Underground Comedy Festival 2005 took place on stage of the Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Café, featuring the eminent comedians from all over the country.