CONTEST IS VOID IN NORTH KOREA DUE TO COUNTRY’S LACK OF SENSE OF HUMOR
(HOLLYWOOD, CA) Legendary comedy impresario Jamie Masada, whose landmark Sunset Blvd. Laugh Factory comedy club over the past 35 years has helped launch the careers of countless comics marks this milestone anniversary with an international search for the Funniest Person In The World.
Masada is intent on proving true the lyric, “When you’re smiling the whole world smiles with you.”
“Laughter is a universal language. This is a chance to find alternative ambassadors - the kind that bring diplomacy through a belly laugh,” Masada said. "After all, laughter exists everywhere within the confines of culture and traditions. Laughter based on observations highlighting the disjuncture between ideals and realities and laughter at the stereotypes – as well as the oddballs – of a culture, have been funny for centuries.”
A worldwide audience can now see video sets from contestants representing 19 countries – ranging from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Israel to South Africa, Switzerland and Sweden --- and vote for their favorites at www.laughfactory.com. In addition, people can nominate their favorite U.S. comedians under age 40 for the chance to represent the country in this international comedy contest. Online voting continues until August 31 when 10 semifinalists will receive $1,000 and an invitation to perform a showcase at the world famous Laugh Factory in Hollywood before a panel of celebrity judges and comedy experts.
Five comics will advance to the final round in Las Vegas to perform in front of an audience and live YouTube broadcast. The winner will be determined by a worldwide vote from an online audience that will culminate in October.
Beyond the mantle of Funniest Person in the World, the Grand Prize Winner will receive $10,000 and a paid nationwide U.S. comedy tour.
“After 35 years in the business, we are trying to accomplish something that can influence the world,” said Masada.
"Just imagining this possibility - of seeing comedians from all the cultures of the world – coming together to make people laugh, brings a smile to my heart. In addition of course, there is the possibility of enlightening each other. In what ways are cultures different? In what ways are those differences funny?”
In coming years, representatives from each of the world's 195 countries will eventually be contacted (only North Korea will be exempt "since they have no sense of humor," Masada says) as part of the yearly competition.
Masada hopes that within five years, a majority of the world's countries will be involved. Masada is optimistic since " we may not all understand each other’s language and traditions, but we all understand the meaning of a smile and the impulse to laugh."
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