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James Gandolfini, Michael Imperioli, Johnny Ventimiglia, Stanley Tucci, Emeril Lagasse, Mario Cantone, Artie Lange, Sarah Silverman & Others to Roast Chef Mario Batali

"Roasted, Battered & Fried" Benefits the Food Bank For New York City and Kicks off the 3rd Annual New York Comedy Festival on November 7

New York, NY October 18, 2006 — Famed chef and restaurateur Mario Batali will remove his apron and clogs, step out of the kitchen and into the fire to be "Roasted, Battered & Fried" for the New York Comedy Festival (NYCF) on Tuesday, November 7, 2006 at Capitale, 130 Bowery, New York City. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Food Bank For New York City, the city's primary supplier of food for the hungry. A star-studded lineup will be on hand to take part in the festivities. Joining Mario on the dais are The Sopranos stars James Gandolfini, Michael Imperioli & Johnny Ventimiglia, actor Stanley Tucci, chefs Emeril Lagasse & Anthony Boudain, comics Mario Cantone, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, Artie Lange, Nick DiPaolo & Greg Giraldo, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy's Thom Filicia & Ted Allen, with tips on roast etiquette by Sarah Silverman.

The New York Comedy Festival is proud to partner with the Food Bank For New York City for this official kick-off charity event for the six-day laugh fest. There will be a cocktail reception at 6:30 PM, followed by dinner at 7:30 PM and a roast not-to-be missed at 8:45 PM. The Food Network's shining star, Batali will not be allowed in the kitchen that night (though he may try to seek refuge back there). But don't choke on your food because the roasters will show no mercy for our clog-adorned friend!

"I couldn't think of a better person to roast than Mario. He's such a great character, it's sure to be a fun evening for everyone," says Caroline Hirsch, owner of Carolines on Broadway and co-founder of the New York Comedy Festival. "It's all for a good cause, and we're thrilled to have a worthy New York charity such as the Food Bank For New York City join us this year."

"The Food Bank is very excited to be part of this wonderful happening," said Lucy Cabrera, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Food Bank For New York City. "The outpouring of support from Carolines, Mario and the hundreds of people expected to attend, moves the Food Bank one step closer to reaching its goal to end hunger in New York City. And while there is nothing funny about hunger, we are looking forward to an evening of good hearted laughter."

Additionally, the New York Comedy Festival has a stellar line-up of stand-up comedy talent to perform at the third annual which runs November 7–12, 2006. Dane Cook, Queen Latifah, Denis Leary, Howie Mandel, Mario Cantone, Artie Lange, Jim Norton, Brian Regan, Susie Essman, Luis Jimenez & Moonshadow, among others, will all participate in New York's week of non-stop laughs. The Festival takes place throughout the city at many of New York's legendary venues. For more information about these and other great shows visit the festival's website at

The Festival's event partners include Carolines on Broadway, The Alliance Agency and WABC-TV, Channel 7, as a media partner. Festival sponsors include Pontiac, Geico, Target and Timeout New York. Radio partners are WHTZ-FM (Z100), WAXQ-FM (Q104.3), WKTU-FM (103.5) and WWPR-FM (Power 105.1). NYC & Company is on board as promotional partner.

Pontiac is a division of General Motors Corporation (NYSE: GM) and markets the G6 sedan, coupe and retractable hardtop convertible, Solstice roadster, Torrent SUV, Grand Prix, and Vibe. New for the 2007 model year, Pontiac is introducing the turbocharged Solstice GXP roadster and G5 sports coupe. Pontiac sold more than 437,000 vehicles in 2005, ranking third among GM divisions in total sales.

Proceeds from the evening will assist the Food Bank's ongoing mission to end hunger in New York City. Food Bank For New York City helps provide the food for more than 250,000 free meals served each day by more than 1,200 nonprofit community food programs in the five boroughs. Last year, the Food Bank distributed more than 67 million pounds of food and was recognized as the 2004 Food Bank of the Year by America's Second Harvest, The Nation's Food Bank Network. For more information, visit For more information about The New York Comedy Festival's "Roasted, Battered & Fried" event, please contact Carol Schneider.

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