The Laugh Factory in Los Angeles is one of the most well known comedy clubs in the nation. This year, the popular club is celebrating it's 35 year anniversary. Jamie Masada, owner of the Laugh Factory, has been one of the leading figures in comedy for over 30 years. Masada has been instrumental in the careers of so many including Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey, Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle, Dane Cook, Richard Pryor and Rodney Dangerfield, among others.
In honor of this milestone anniversary, Masada is launching an international search for the funniest person in the world. When asked what initiated the contest, Masada said several production companies came to him to do a special with all the comedians. He did another milestone anniversary before and it felt like the comedians were thanking him and trying to give back to him. "So this time I wanted to celebrate my anniversary by being the one who gives back and trying to bring smiles to the world. I have a dream to bring the world together through smiles and laughter," said Masada. "Religion, diplomacy, and democracy have all failed us thus far and it’s time to focus on something more universal: smiles. And that is why I launched the first annual Funniest Person in the World Competition."
A worldwide audience can now see video sets from contestants representing 19 countries and vote for their favorites at laughfactory.com. In addition, people can nominate their favorite U.S. comedians under the age of 40 for the chance to represent the country in this international comedy contest. Nominations can be made at laughfactory.com/contest-nomination. Online voting continues until August 31 when ten semifinalists will receive $1,000 and an invitation to perform a showcase at the Laugh Factory 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.
Masada won't tell you who his favorite comedian is, as he compares that to asking a parent to pick their favorite child. "I love them all. But, Richard Pryor has a very special place in my heart. He was the first comedian on my stage on my opening night," said Masada.
Find out more about the Laugh Factory and the Funniest Person in the World contest at laughfactory.com.