The Laugh Factory hosting first Funniest Person in the World contest

It may be impossible to determine who is the funniest person in the world, but leave it to Jamie Masada to try to name a winner, anyhow.

Masada, founding owner of the Laugh Factory comedy club in Hollywood, announced his first-ever Funniest Person in the World contest, with comedians competing from 20 countries around the globe.

“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.”

The Funniest Person in the World contest site has videos up now from comedians representing Pakistan, Israel, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Sweden, Canada, Australia and more.

No American stand-up is on there just yet.

Masada wants you to nominate your favorite U.S. comedian — under age 40?! — to represent America in the contest.

Online voting runs up to Aug. 31, 2014. Ten semifinalists will receive $1,000 and an invite to perform at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood for celebrity judges and comedy experts. Five finalists will perform in Las Vegas for a live audience and live YouTube simulcast, so viewers worldwide can vote on the winner, who’ll receive $10,000 plus 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?”

The contestants online now competing for Funniest Person in the World, 2014:

  • Cameron James, Australia
  • Mark Forward, Canada
  • Mark Little, Canada
  • Jim Brewsky, China
  • Vivek Mahbubani, China
  • Cole Parker, England
  • Steve Royle, England
  • Andre Wickstrom, Finland
  • Ismo Leikola, Finland
  • Mustapha El Atrassi, France
  • Lioz Shem Tov, Israel
  • Yohay Sponder, Israel
  • Eduardo Talavera, Mexico
  • Roberto Flores, Mexico
  • Stefan Pop, Netherlands
  • Mona Shaikh, Pakistan
  • Saad Haroon, Pakistan
  • Waddah Swar, Saudi Arabia
  • Larry Dean, Scotland
  • Deep Fried Man, South Africa
  • Vittorio Leonardi, South Africa
  • Kay Kim, South Korea
  • Rudy Tyburczy, South Korea
  • Archie, Spain
  • Joshua Saxon, Spain
  • Isak Jansson, Sweden
  • Marten Andersson, Sweden
  • Nathanael Rochat, Switzerland
  • Nitin Mirani, United Arab Emirates
  • Jordan Brookes, Wales
  • Matt Rees, Wales

From the rules:

2. ELIGIBILITY: Entrants must be comedians and 40 years of age or younger. Only two entrants are permitted per country. Due to the overwhelming number of comedians in the United States, audience members can submit any American born comedian to be in the competition by submitting their name via email to The comedian whose name is submitted the most often will be the United States Entrant. CONTEST IS VOID IN NORTH KOREA DUE TO A LACK OF SENSE OF HUMOR.

3. HOW TO ENTER: Entrants must be submitted by a comedy expert from their country. All submissions must include a video (maximum of 3 minutes) of the entrant performing standup comedy in his or her country. THERE IS NO ENTRY FEE

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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