The Semi-finals, the finals and the closing ceremony of the Laugh Factory’s Funniest Person in the World competition took place in Helsinki and Levi, Finland and hosted by Finland’s own, 2014 Funniest Person in the World winner, Ismo Leikola. The mission of this event is to help bring peace to the world, and people together through smiles and laughter. This entire historic week was filmed for a documentary by Snapper Films Oy for the international market.
56 countries from around the world took part in 2016’s competition. The 20 comedians, each from a different country, with the highest vote count was flown to Finland to compete. The semifinals took place in Helsinki on 5th of December and the top 5 moved on to the finals, that was held at Levi ski resort in Lapland on 8th of December. The winner Harith Iskander from Malaysia was announced in the closing gala after Ismo Leikola’s show on December 10th. In addition to the title of “The Funniest Person in the World”, Iskander got the grand prize of $100,000 USD. The 2nd place winner Alex Calleja from Philippines received $10,000 USD and the 3rd place winner Katerina Vrana from Greece received $5,000 USD.
Jamie Masada, the Founding Owner of the Laugh Factory, believes that, “Laughter brings people closer, succeeding where diplomacy and democracy have failed. It is a universal language. This event highlights an alternative ambassador – the kind that brings diplomacy through a belly laugh.”
Juha Wuolijoki, producer of the event and documentary and CEO of Snapper Films Oy, says, “I love this idea, using laughter and smiles to help people put aside their differences and connect on a more peaceful level.”
The Funniest Person in the World at Laugh Factory’s website: www.laughfactory.com/fpiw