The New York Comedy Festival has announced the initial lineup for its 15th annual comedy fest in NYC, taking place this November. Headliners include big names in comedy including Tracy Morgan, Conan O'Brien, Marc Maron, Desus & Mero, Bill Burr, Jim Jefferies, David Cross, Gabriel Iglesias, Queer Eye stars Jonathan Van Ness and Antoni Porowski and more. But as is usual, you won't find many women headlining.

So far at this year's fest, there are as many female comedians as there are stars of Queer Eye, a show that last I watched caused me to experience more heartfelt tears than belly laughs. The only two women who have been announced as featured headliners so far are Insecure star Yvonne Orji and Erin Gibson, one half of the Throwing Shade podcast, which will have a live taping at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center on Nov. 9th. More than 200 comedians will perform as part of the festival at various clubs and venues around the city, including Madison Square Garden, Carolines on Broadway and Town Hall, so there is a good chance that a few more female comics will be included in further updates and announcements down the line.

But the initial announcement is another reminder that the NY Comedy Festival has struggled with gender balance throughout its 15 years in existence. Back in 2010, the fest was criticized for the complete lack of any women in their lineup, which prompted organizers to make more of an effort to include female voices.

Looking back over the past couple years, it hasn't exactly been a roaring success: there seems to have been a cap of four female headliners over the past five festivals (except for 2016, which only had a measly three).

  • 2017: Out of 14 headliners, four were women: 2 Dope Queens (Jessica Williams & Phoebe Robinson), Iliza Shlesinger and How Did This Get Made? (June Diane Raphael)
  • 2016: Out of 17 headliners, three were women: Cameron Esposito, Bridget Everett and Tig Notaro
  • 2015: Out of 17 headliners, four were women: Margaret Cho, Kathy Griffin, Iliza Shlesinger and Sarah Silverman.
  • 2014: Out of 11 headliners, four were women: Maria Bamford, Tig Notaro, Amy Schumer and Sommore (also, there were panel discussions with the teams behind the Comedy Central shows Broad City and Inside Amy Schumer).
  • 2013: Out of 14 headliners, four were women: Maria Bamford, Whitney Cummings, Kathy Griffin, Wanda Sykes.

Tickets for this year's fest, which takes place November 5th-11th and is produced in partnership with TBS, go on sale on August 13th; you can purchase them online here.