NBC on Tuesday announced the winners of
its 16th annual StandUp NBC competition, the network's
annual nationwide search for comedians of diverse backgrounds.
For the first time in the competition's
history, two winners were chosen: Rene Vaca and Franqi French, who is
“Franqi and Rene were standouts in
our showcase this year. They are hilarious, relatable and fearlessly
share their personal stories. We couldn’t choose just one winner,
so we decided to name them both,” Grace Wu, executive vice
president of casting at NBC Entertainment, said in a statement. “We
are excited for Franqi and Rene to join the rich legacy of comedic
talent who have emerged from StandUp NBC.”
The competition started with 650
stand-up comedians who auditioned last year through open calls in
Charlotte, Chicago, Houston, Las Vegas, and New York. Online
submissions were also accepted.
A finale showcase starring eight
finalists was held at the Improv in Hollywood late last year in front
of an audience of NBCUniversal television executives, casting
directors, agents, managers, and industry tastemakers.
French and Vaca each received a talent
holding deal with NBCUniversal and will headline next year's StandUp