Comedy Central New York kicks off Winter Comedy Series

Comedy Central New York


Making people laugh is what Phil Farda does. It’s what he’s good at. He also wants to live in the Mohawk Valley.

A career in comedy and living in the Mohawk Valley? That’s a tricky combination. It’s not like there’s a comedy club in every town – or even in any town.

“Trying to be a comedian in Utica, there wasn’t anything,” said Farda, who with his business Comedy Central New York, has changed the comedy landscape in the Utica-area. “I could either travel or do something here, and the nearest destination was Syracuse. I wanted to create a comedy club destination so you could get that experience.”

Three years ago, that’s kind of what Farda did. Instead of a stationary comedy club, Farda created a traveling comedy club.

“I did a business plan to open a club, but there wasn’t a demographic to support it,” he said. “So, I created a different business model where you can do independently produced shows. So, it’s kind of the same thing when a bar brings in a band, but with us, they can bring in a comedy show or comedian.”

This year will mark the comedy production company’s third year bringing shows to area clubs, bars and restaurants.

They’ll kick off their Winter Comedy Series at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, at Tom Cavallo’s Restaurant in New Hartford. The show will feature Ryan Niemiller of Fox’s “Laughs” as well as Gavin Eddings, AJ Foster and Will Phillips. Tickets are available at and are $10 for general admission, $20 for VIP (which includes preferred high top seating, your first draft beer or wine, and a complimentary small cheese pizza for your table), or $40 dinner and show package which includes general admission and a $25 gift certificate toward food and drinks.

“If you can come out to a show, I promise you will find your next favorite comedian,” Farda said. “These guys may not be as known as high-level comics like Seinfeld or Chris Rock, but they are hilarious and you will want to know these names when you leave.”

About the featured comics:


RyanNRYAN NIEMILLER: Ryan Niemiller, the self-proclaimed “Cripple Threat of Comedy,” shares his hilarious view of the world from the perspective of someone who is physically disabled. Niemiller began his comedy career in Los Angeles, Calif. and hasn’t looked back since, performing in clubs and colleges across the country. Covering topics such as dating, employment, and finding acceptance in a world not designed for him, Ryan tackles the issues in a way that makes you think and laugh. Niemiller’s quick wit, timing, and gimmick only he can exploit makes him unarmed and dangerous.



AJ FOSTERA.J. FOSTER: Originally from The Bronx, Foster began doing stand up while attending college in Utica. He was named Funniest Comic at the 2012 Finger Lakes Comedy Festival, champion of the 2014 Unforgettable Comedy Challenge and runner-up in 2014’s Funniest Person in Rochester Contest. He also was a semi-finalist on MTV’s Yo Momma.




1000369_378005412345939_177671692_nWILL PHILLIPS: Phillips grew up in the Mohawk Valley and as he puts it “was raised primarily on classic rock, warm Genny Cream Ale, and comedy CDs that may have been deemed inappropriate for younger audiences. He was an early bloomer, quickly picking up valuable social skills at a young age by watching ‘90s professional wrestling, a personality trait that almost certainly will rub you the wrong way.” His self-published book “Hollywood Failure” recounts the five-year quest of becoming the “world’s greatest comedy writer.”



37426_407009004062_5136398_nGAVIN EDDINGS: Gavin has opened for such comedy legends such as Bob Zany, Auggie Smith, and Tim Cavanaugh. In 2012, he won the Joke Factory’s title of “Funniest Person in Evansville, IN.” Being raised Mormon, plus homeschooled and rooted deeply in geek culture give Eddings all the fuel for hours of comedic entertainment.






The laughs don’t stop on Oct. 2. You have several chances this winter to beat the winter blues with Comedy CNY.

The newest addition to their lineup includes weekly comedy trivia night at 7 p.m. Wednesdays at Lukin’s, 640 Varick St., Utica.

Hosted by local comedians Phil Farda and Will Phillips, this isn’t your average trivia. The comedy writers bring you trivia they’ve written based on pop culture and current events. The weekly event will feature creative trivia games using elements like sound and photos.

Comedy Central New York Winter Comedy Series 
Oct. 2: “Unarmed and Dangerous” tour, starring Ryan Niemiller
Oct. 8: Jersey Comic Dennis Ross
Nov. 6: America’s Got Talent’s Kevin Downey, Jr.
Nov. 15: HBO Def Comedy Jam’s Kevin Lee
*All shows are hosted at Tom Cavallo’s Restaurant, 40 Genesee St., New Hartford


1466278_363163467163467_1793687757_n[symple_box color=”blue” text_align=”left” width=”” float=”none”]ABOUT PHIL FARDA Comedy Central New York owner Age: 34 Hometown: Utica Farda always wanted to perform comedy, and that became a reality in 2001 when Fat Katz comedy club opened in Washington Mills. Since then, he’s been taking the stage with his comedy around the country. At home in Utica, he’s bringing an element of the area’s nightlife long missing. From comedy writing to private events to hosting comedy shows at area bars, Farda’s business Comedy Central New York combines his love of comedy and not working perfectly, he joked. “I’ve been fired from every job I’ve ever had,” he said. “Ya know, I don’t like working.” After the closing of Fat Katz, Farda went back to a retail job that paid well not to leave. But quality of life and developing a business he was passionate about won out. “I wanted to run my own business and you can make a living as a comedian, but I wasn’t at that level yet, so producing comedy shows, trivia, private events, charity shows, that made sense to me,” he said.[/symple_box]


Cassaundra Baber
The Fuze Magazine

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