Popular comedian/actor/TV host Harith Iskander is now a semi-finalist in the Funniest Person In The World contest, organised by legendary American comedy club, the Laugh Factory. Harith, 50, leads the 20 semi-finalists from around the world in terms of votes.
He made it to the top 20 in the first week of Oct with 2.62 million votes, earning him a place in the semi-finals.
"I was the leader in terms of votes when the top 20 were announced, and my closest challenger was Alex Calleja of the Philippines.
The 20 of us will now have our points determined by judges and voters on a 50:50 basis," said an excited Harith in an interview today.
Thanking fans and friends for their strong support, Harith said voting for the semi-finalists began on Oct 17, and he currently leads the 20 with 750,000 votes.
The 20 comedians will be performing before a live audience in Helsinki, Finland on Dec 4 and 5, and only five will proceed to the finals.
The five finalists will again perform on Dec 9. The finalist with the most votes will be crowned the winner and receive US$100,000 (RM400,000) and a US stand-up comedy tour.
Harith, who receives full support from his family, is confident that he will make it far in the competition.
“My 26 years in comedy gives me a strong chance to be a winner. I call on my fans to vote for me to represent our country in the finals, and show the world that we have world class stand-up comedians,” he said.
Harith is one of two Malaysians amongst 89 international stand-up comedians nominated for the contest, with the other being Dr Jason Leong.
Organiser Laugh Factory invited Harith to submit a video of himself doing stand-up comedy in order to be part of the competition.
Each country is allowed to send two comedians, but only one will proceed to the semi-finals and finals.
The five finalists' performances can be viewed via YouTube and fans can view Harith at http://indi.com/7t8vv and vote for him at www.voteforharith.com.