No joke, this is no laughing matter.

Malaysia’s “Godfather of Stand-Up Comedy”, Harith Iskander, emerged victorious in the finals of the “Funniest Person In The World” competition held in Levi, Finland yesterday (Saturday, 10th December). The announcement was made by contest organiser Laugh Factory on their official Twitter account.

The winner was chosen through global online fan voting, which was open for 24 hours after the finals.

Harith beat out 4 finalists – Alex Calleja from The Philippines, Katerina Vrana from Greece, Mino van Nassau from India and David Kilimnick from Israel – to bag the title. He previously defeated 88 other comedians from over 50 countries, including local comedian Dr. Jason Leong, to reach the finals.

Upon Laugh Factory’s announcement, Harith took to his Facebook page to thank his fans for their unwavering support. “I’m glad to be able to kibarkan the Malaysian flag on an international platform, it’s time to put comedy from Malaysia on the world map. I’m absolutely grateful to have fans all over Malaysia, southeast Asia, UK, Denmark, and Australia to support my back. It’s never possible without my fans!” he wrote.

Harith Iskander’s career in stand-up comedy began during 1990/1991, when he was persuaded by a university friend to get on stage in the old Subang Airport Hotel lobby lounge to tell some funny stories. It was at this lounge where a member of the audience saw Iskander and invited him to another function to perform on-stage. Since then, he has performed live at hundreds of shows, rendering his audience giddy with laughter thanks to his hilarious original material.

As the winner of the “The Funniest Person in the World” title, Harith goes home the grand prize of USD$100,000 (RM444,845).

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Congratulations, Harith Iskander!

Sources: Laugh Factory, Harith Iskander.

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