New Orleans' leading comedy festival takes a step up in 2015.

doug benson photo
Doug Benson

[Updated] For the fourth annual Hell Yes Festival, The New Movement has raised its profile. Huka Entertainment has joined the stand-up and improv comedy crew to help it make this year’s festival more of an event when it takes place October 1-11. Organizers are calling this year’s festival the biggest comedy festival on the Gulf Coast, with appearances by  Tim Heidecker (Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!), Doug Benson (Super High Me, Doug Loves Movies podcast), Neal Brennan (Comedy Central Presents Chappelle’s Show, Half Baked), Todd Barry (Louie, Road Trip), Nikki Glaser (Trainwreck, Last Comic Standing), Neil Hamburger (Tom Green’s House Tonight!, Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!) and more.

This year’s Hell Yes Fest will feature film, sketch, improv and stand-up comedy in 10 venues around the city including its first journey beyond the Bywater and French Quarter. This year, The Freret St. Publiq House will also be a venue along with Siberia, The New Movement , Café Istanbul, Hi-Ho Lounge, The Theatre at St. Claude, The Howlin’ Wolf Den, Byrdie’s, Old Marquer Theatre, and Junction.

The expanded festival is a logical progression of the growth of New Orleans as a comedy market that in the last year has seen performances by Amy Schumer, Marc Maron, Dave Chappelle, Hannibal Burress, Jen Kirkman, Kyle Kinane, Natasha Leggero, and Sasheer Zamata.

This year’s film programming will include the debut of Cracking Up, a documentary that explores the relationship between mental health and stand-up comedy, and “Part 2: Unnecessary Sequels”—a show that feature Clueless director Amy Heckerling fielding pitches for the movie’s sequel.

For details and tickets, visit

Updated September 3, 3:13 p.m.

The spelling of "Huka" Entertainment has been corrected.