Financial crisis? Not if you're the funniest! - From bankers to buskers, the fourth annual Yuk Yuk's Great Canadian Laugh Off offers amateur and professional comics the chance to win $25,000 and a shot at stardom in May 2009

    TORONTO, Feb. 3 /CNW/ - The financial crisis has people frowning from Bay
Street to the British Isles. But one talented comic with the gift of guffaw
could help subsidize the scarcity of smiles while laughing all the way to the
    Now in its fourth fantastically-funny year, the Yuk Yuk's Great Canadian
Laugh Off is Canada's biggest open comedy competition, with $25,000 up for
grabs, international competitors from exotic and far-away lands like Auckland
and Winnipeg, and the chance for national television exposure - the finals are
taped for a special on The Comedy Network. Anyone can enter the Yuk Yuk's
Laugh Off in several categories: Canadian professional, Canadian amateur,
Local Laugh Off winners, International professional and International amateur.
    Whether you're a working comic, a banker holding out hopes for a bailout
or a busker hoping to bid 'Adieu!' to the sidewalk, anyone can go to until March 15 and register for a chance to win one of
48 randomly-drawn spots in the Laugh Off and a shot at comedy stardom.
Previous winners, like Alberta's Paul Myrehaug and Ontario's Jeff McEnery,
received their own Comedy Now specials, thanks in part to the exposure they
received from the Laugh Off.
    In a bid to generate additional exposure for participating comics, the
Laugh Off will introduce new, online components for 2009, including YouTube
videos from previous shows, a Facebook group for the contest and a PR blog
about the competition. Stay tuned to for the latest
    "Yuk Yuk's has always been the source for Canadian comedy," says Mark
Breslin, Yuk Yuk's founder and CEO. "With the online components for this
year's Laugh Off, we hope to give aspiring comedic talent across the globe
another channel for exposure while giving those interested in the contest a
one-stop place for updates."
    In addition to the 48 contestants selected randomly through an online
draw, the 2009 Yuk Yuk's Laugh Off reserves 16 spots for winners of Local
Laugh Offs held at Yuk Yuk's clubs. Local Laugh Offs began in early January -
see for show times and details.

              Thirteen shows. Sixty-four acts. Eight finalists.
                         $25Gs cash for the winner.

    New dates
    Starting April 25, 2009, the 64 finalists will battle for comedic
supremacy in front of industry-hardened judges. Then, on May 3, the remaining
eight contestants will swap fists of funny and lashes of laughter, slugging it
out for the CDN $25,000 grand prize. Judges for this show include high-profile
industry luminaries like:

    -   Eddie Brill, talent coordinator, The Late Show with David Letterman
    -   Michelle Daly, director of content, The Comedy Network
    -   Ashley Olivia, executive assistant in charge of talent, Late Night
        with Conan O'Brien
    -   Bruce Hills, chief operating officer, Just for Laughs

    The final show will be taped and aired on The Comedy Network later in
2009. To enter or for more information, visit or Sponsored by The Comedy Greenroom and Via Rail

For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Vitaly Gurevich, Linda Yahya,
Palette Public Relations, (416) 703-9859 x 18, 19,,

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