Comedians Fight For Shot At The Spotlight (NY Daily News)

It was all for laughs.

NY Daily NewsThe search for "New York's Funniest Stand-up" comic kicked off at Carolines On Broadway Tuesday with pros and wanna-be comedians cracking jokes about family, evangelical Christians, dating, sex - and the MTA.

"You ever wait for the train for so long you look in both directions?" joked MacKenson Louis, 26.

"I was supposed to do 10 years, but I got out in eight," Tom Daddario, 46, said of his marriage.

Model-turned-funnygirl Valerie Jean Garduno, remembered a photo shoot in Africa where a starving Ethiopian woman offered her a piece of bread.

"I was like, 'Thank you, but I'm on a no-carb diet.'"

About 300 people showed up for the first-ever open call for the city's funniest standup award - part of the fourth annual New York Comedy Festival, which opens Nov. 6.

A panel of judges will pick the winner Nov. 5. That person will open for Denis Leary, Artie Lange or Damon Wayans during the six-day festival.

Louis Faranda, a first-round judge, said he looks for originality.

"There is one Dennis Miller. There is one Chris Rock," Faranda said. "If I see a standup and they remind me of someone else, I'm not interested."

Like the others, Daniel Diaz, a Native American in a loin cloth and feathered headdress, had two minutes to show his stuff.

"Thanks for this opportunity, I can't tell you how happy I'm not to be extinct," Diaz, 39, began.

"I've traveled around the world, from Mexico to Thailand, and I've been mistaken for a local, but when I'm at home people come up to me and say, 'Where are you from? Your English is really good. Do you have a green card?'"


Wednesday, October 17th 2007, 4:00 AM


MELISSA GRACE (E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )


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