Congrats to JR De Guzman, the 2016 winner of NBC’s Stand-Up diversity talent search!

De Guzman, born in the Phillipines and raised in California, beat out Raanan Hershberg, Gibran Saleem, Ismael Loutfi, Candice Thompson, Jessica Keenan, Keith McGill, Rojo Perez and Daniel Webb, who all performed in the finalists showcase in November at the Hollywood Improv.

Past winners include Dulce Sloan, Nick Guerra, Gina Brillon, Jon Laster, and Tone Bell. He receives a one-year talent holding deal with NBCUniversal as part of his prize, and also will perform later this month at NACA Nationals, and later this year during the 2017 StandUp NBC regional showcases.

“JR is a unique comic talent who impressed us with his presence and genuine optimism,” said Grace Wu, Executive Vice President of Casting, NBC Entertainment. “I am grateful that our pipeline programs like StandUp NBC continue to introduce us to fresh new voices who will widen the breadth of talent for our shows.”

De Guzman’s comedy career began through teaching music, which explains the guitar. His credits already include global visits to Stand-Up Tokyo and ROR Comedy in Japan, the Jokers Ball in Indonesia, the Badaboom Comedy Series in Amsterdam, and the Edmonton Comedy Festival. He also has appeared onscreen in Coming to the Stage Season 2 on Hulu, Comedy Central’s Kevin Hart Presents: Hart of the City, and MTV’s Acting Out.