Ken Jeong

NBC Universal’s (NBCU) Kendra Carter, Director of Talent Diversity Initiatives, announced today that acclaimed actor-comedian Ken Jeong (NBC’s “Community,” “The Hangover”) will be the spokesperson for NBCU’s 2010 “Stand-up for Diversity” comic search and will be the host of the event’s finale showcase.

The national search seeks to find the funniest comics of diverse backgrounds and will be holding open calls in three major U.S. markets. The most-promising diverse stand-up comedians will be awarded a talent holding deal with NBCU, along with other opportunities to be announced later this year.

“I’m honored to be a part of ‘Stand-Up for Diversity,'” said Jeong. “I’m excited that NBC Universal is making huge strides to further their diversity efforts.”

The highly anticipated talent search begins in New York City on June 28 — followed by auditions in San Antonio on August 1 and San Francisco on September 13. The search will culminate in Los Angeles with a final industry showcase in early December. The promising showcase will present the entire industry with a first look at the nation’s freshest comedic talent as selected by NBCU.

“NBCU is excited to enter its seventh year of ‘Stand-up for Diversity,'” said Carter. “Through this initiative, comedians have been able to launch new career milestones. Since the inception of the program, many participating comics have gone on to sign with top Hollywood managers, agents, and met with leading casting executives. Top ‘Stand-up for Diversity’ finalists also had the opportunity to perform at the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA) and have booked hundreds of college appearances through NBCU’s established partnership with NACA.”

“Being a finalist of NBC’s ‘Stand-up for Diversity,’ definitely opened many doors and presented me with opportunities,” said, Ian Edwards, the top finalist of the event’s 2004 launch. Since being named a top finalist of the first-ever NBC diversity showcase, Edwards has made appearances on “Late Night with Conan O’Brian,” “Bad Boys of Comedy,” “Live @ Gotham,” written for the “Boondocks,” Comedy Central’s “Chocolate News,” and also was a cast member on “PUNK’D.”

This year’s “Stand-up for Diversity” tour kicks off in New York City on June 28 with an open call at Comix Comedy Club — located at 353 West 14th Street — where auditions will begin promptly at 10 a.m. The first 100 comedians will have the opportunity to perform a one-minute stand-up set. Based upon performance, a select group of semi-finalists will have a chance to perform live at the NBCU showcase the following evening where industry executives are invited to attend.

The process will repeat itself in each city and the audience response will be a factor in determining which comic (or comics) will be selected for the “Best of Stand-up for Diversity” finale in Los Angeles.

Open calls and showcases will be held at the following locations:

Comix Comedy Club
Auditions: Monday, June 28 (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)
Showcase: Tuesday, June 29 (8 p.m.)

Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club
Auditions: Sunday, August 1 (10 a.m.- 1 p.m.)
Rivercenter Comedy Club
Showcase: Monday, August 2 (8 p.m.)

The Punchline
Auditions: Monday, September 13 (10 a.m.- 1 p.m.)
Showcase: Tuesday, September 14 (8 p.m.)

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