Comedian Kiry Shabazz has been named winner of the 14th Annual StandUp NBC competition, a national search for comedians from diverse backgrounds. Winning the competition earns Shabazz a talent holding deal with NBCUniversal. Basically, this means that he’ll earn sweet cash while NBC looks for (or develops) the right project for him to be part of. This also means we can probably expect to see Shabazz showing up in NBC productions in the near future.
Other StandUp NBC competition winners include Lil Rel Howery, Deon Cole, and Hasan Minhaj, among others.
1,250 comedians auditioned for the competition online or at open calls around the country. Shabazz was chosen and ultimately performed a finale showcase along with 8 other finalists last month at the Improv in Hollywood.
“Kiry’s warmth and relatable humor helped him stand out from an exceptional group of talented comedians,” said Grace Wu, Executive Vice President of Casting, NBC Entertainment. “We are fortunate to have pipeline programs like StandUp NBC that continue to introduce us to fresh, new voices like Kiry’s.”
A Cleveland native, Kiry Shabazz began his comedy career after making the move to Northern California, where he did regular sets at The Punchline, Rooster T Feathers, and Cobb’s. Honing his craft, he won the Rooster T Feathers Comedy Competition, the World Series of Comedy Satellite Competition, and was selected for the Laughing Skull Festival.
According to his Facebook page, Shabazz camped out overnight in San Francisco waiting in line to audition. His story is yet another example of how getting out there and going after the things that matter to you can turn into something great, regardless of your size.