KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 — Local comedian Harith Iskander is in the lead to be named Funniest Person in the World come December.
He joins 19 other comedians in the semi-final round which is set to take place on December 5 in Helsinki, Finland.
“The finals of the competition will be held in Helsinki, Finland from December 4 to 10 but online voting is already underway based on the videos we had submitted,” Harith told Malay Mail during a recent interview.
“Judging is based on 50 per cent online voting and another 50 per cent live judges during the finals.”
Harith said he was already collecting relevant materials for the finals, noting that his jokes must appeal to an international audience in order to win the competition.
“During my shows and travels around the world, I have managed to collect much material which can appeal to an international audience.
“Jokes on family matters, parents, food or ghost stories are among those which can appeal to anyone irrespective of race, religion or the country of origin,” he told Malay Mail.
The event is organised by Laugh Factory, a chain of comedy clubs in the US which has seen a number of big names pass through its doors, including Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle as well as Jay Leno.
The winner of the grand prize will win US$100,000 (RM416,000) while the two runner-ups will receive awards of RM41,000 and RM20,000 each. The 20 finalists will also receive US$1000 (RM4,100) each.
Harith is currently leading the online polls with a total of 1.9 million votes followed by Alex Calleja from the Philipines with 1.5 million votes and India's Mino Van Nassau with 753,214 votes at the time of writing.