SEPANG, Dec 14 ― Newly-crowned the world's funniest person, Harith Iskander is confident he can get all of the United States of America laughing with his brand of Malaysian humour.
The 50-year-old who just touched down on home soil today after winning the Laugh Factory's "Funniest Person in the World" (LFFPITW) competition is expected to return to the US soon to fulfil a national tour there as part of his prize.
"America is such a large country you cannot conquer the whole America. I don't want to appeal to Americans, I want to bring my humour there and have Americans be appealed to it.
"I don't think I have to change too much because I know there is a market out there," he told a news conference at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), held right after his arrival from Finland.
He said he was judged by three comedy judges who hailed from the US and Germany during the semi final of the competition and he still managed to score the highest marks out of 20 comedians competing.
"If those three judges can give me the highest marks... it means I have something and I don't have to change so much," he said.
The final round of the competition was held at the Hulli Polo Arena in Levi, Finland with the winner chosen through a global online fan voting system, which was open for 24 hours after the finals.
The energetic Harith said he has yet to plan his US tour due to commitments here.
"Part of the prize is I have to travel to the United States 10 times in order to build my name there and build the Malaysian style of comedy over there,” he said.
He also assured his fans here that his heart is still very much in Malaysia, despite his latest accomplishment.
"I don't plan to move there. I'm a Malaysian and I always want to stay here but I want to be able to bring this part of Malaysia internationally," he said.
Harith, who has been a comedian for 26 years, also considered the achievement as the biggest in his career so far, after he managed to pull a 9,000-strong crowd for his show at Stadium Putra in Bukit Jalil two years ago.
"This is probably the biggest so far but it hasn't ended yet.
"It's not going to stop, I'm going to carry on doing this. You want to make it last as long as possible and see where it goes," he added.
Harith laughed his way ahead of four other contenders: Alex Calleja (the Philipines) who was runner-up, followed by Katerina Vrana (Greece), Mino Van Nassau (India) and David Kilimnick (Israel).
As the winner of the coveted title, he bagged US$100,000 (over RM400,000) and a comedy tour in the United States, while Calleja went home with US$10,000 and Vrana US$5,000.
The LFFPITW competition consists of three rounds, namely Round One, whereby 89 comedians from 56 countries around the world battled to earn top 20 place in Round Two (Semi Final) before five lucky winners competed in Round Three (Final).
Harith, who arrived in Malaysia this morning, was welcomed by three Tourism Malaysia officials.
The Tourism and Culture Ministry had sponsored his journey to Finland.