Comic brain drain? Not on our watch! 2008 Yuk Yuk's Great Canadian Laugh Off lures comics from across the country and around the world with the opportunity for fame and fortune ($25,000!) on Canadian soil

    TORONTO, Jan. 24 /CNW/ - Fed up with the federal government's inability
to protect Canada's comic resources from foreign interests, Yuk Yuk's, the
comedy club chain that launched the careers of Howie Mandel, Jim Carrey and
Norm MacDonald, is leading the charge to keep comics in Canada with the 2008
Great Canadian Laugh Off - Canada's premiere comedy competition, offering a
$25,000 grand prize and boasting its own Comedy Network special.
    Entering its third gut-busting year, the Laugh Off doesn't just woo
Canadian comics with Local Laugh Offs in Yuk Yuk's clubs across the country;
the contest is also partnering with comedy clubs around the world and has open
online, worldwide entry - a move that could potentially help reverse the comic
brain drain and bring more comedians to Canada.
    Last year's winner, Alberta native Paul Myrehaug, has become emblematic
for the potential of Canada's comedy industry. "After 2008, I'll have
performed at all the Canadian Comedy Festivals. I also have my own Comedy Now
special airing on The Comedy Network. These things would have been ten times
harder to land without the Laugh Off."
    Anyone can enter The Great Canadian Laugh Off in several categories:
Canadian amateur, Canadian professional, Local Laugh Off winners,
International amateur, International elite and all remaining comedians. Local
Laugh Offs are being held in Yuk Yuks' across the country:

    Ajax, Ontario          Beginning the first week of February, winner
                           selected by February 29

    Barrie, Ontario        Beginning Thursday, January 17, winner selected by
                           February 29

    Halifax, Nova Scotia   Beginning Wednesday, January 9 for six consecutive

    Moncton,               Beginning Wednesday, January 16 for five
    New Brunswick          consecutive Wednesdays

    London, Ontario        Beginning Wednesday, January 9, winner selected by
                           February 29

    Ottawa, Ontario        Beginning Wednesday, January 16 for seven
                           consecutive Wednesdays

    Toronto, Ontario       Beginning Wednesday, February 6 for four
                           consecutive Wednesdays

    Mississauga, Ontario   Beginning Thursday, February 7 for four
                           consecutive Thursdays

    Vancouver,             Tuesdays/Wednesdays beginning January 22. Final
    British Columbia       to be held on Thursday, February 21 and hosted by
                           Mike Bullard.

    Hamilton, Ontario      Beginning Thursday, January 31 for five
                           consecutive Thursdays (excluding February 14) with
                           the final on March 6

    Vaughan, Ontario       Beginning Thursday, February 7 for four
                           consecutive Thursdays

    Kitchener, Ontario     Dates TBD

    Winners from the Local Laugh Offs, held at Yuk Yuk's comedy clubs across
the country, will be announced shortly. See The 52 finalists for the other
categories will be selected by random computer draw. Please visit for further details or to enter the contest.

    Seven days. 64 acts. Eight finalists. $25Gs cash for the winner.

    Starting April 7, 2008, the 64 finalists will battle for comedic
supremacy in front of high-profile, industry-hardened judges and a live
audience. Then, on April 13, the remaining eight contestants will swap fists
of funny and lashes of laughter, slugging it out for the CDN $25,000 grand
prize. The final show will be taped and aired on The Comedy Network later in

    To enter or for more information visit or Sponsored by EYE Weekly, Comfort Suites City Centre,
The Comedy Greenroom and Via Rail Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Maximilian Nchama or Martin
Waxman, Palette Public Relations, (416) 703-9859 x 17/11,,; Howard Wagman or Kathleen
O'Brien, Yuk Yuk's International, (613) 236-5233,,

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