NBCUniversal Talent Infusion Programs has named JR De Guzman winner of the 13th Annual Standup NBC nationwide search for comedians of diverse backgrounds. With the win, De Guzman has landed a one-year talent holding deal with NBCUniversal. He also will perform later this month for talent bookers from across the country at the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) annual convention, and will headline the regional semi-finalist showcases for this year’s StandUp NBC.
De Guzman was chosen from among eight other finalists out of more than 600 stand-up comedians who auditioned at open calls last year in New York City, San Diego, Nashville and Austin. He, along with the eight other finalists were later featured in a finale showcase hosted by comedian and StandUp NBC alumnus Orlando Leyba at The Improv in Hollywood. They performed their sets in front of an audience of television executives, casting directors, agents, managers and industry tastemakers. The other eight finalists are Raanan Hershberg, Jessica Keenan, Ismael Loutfi, Keith McGill, Rojo Perez, Gibran Saleem, Candice Thompson and Daniel Webb.
Born in the Philippines and raised in California, De Guzman began performing stand-up comedy while working as a music teacher. He has performed for Stand-Up Tokyo and ROR Comedy in Japan, the Jokers Ball in Indonesia, the Badaboom Comedy Series in Amsterdam and the Edmonton Comedy Festival. He has shared the stage with Tim Allen, Margaret Cho, Daniel Tosh, Jerrod Carmichael and Iliza Shlesinger. He recently appeared on Hulu’s Coming to the Stage, Comedy Central’s Kevin Hart Presents: Hart of the City and MTV’s Acting Out. His debut comedy album Dual Citizen, released on SiriusXM’s Laugh USA, will be available February 24 on iTunes and Google Play. De Guzman is repped by the Gersh Agency.
He joins an impressive list of previous StandUp NBC winners and alumni including Deon Cole (Black-ish, Angie Tribeca), Ron Funches (Powerless), Tone Bell (Netflix’s upcoming comedy Disjointed, Truth Be Told), W. Kamau Bell (CNN’s United Shades of America), Lil Rel Howery (The Carmichael Show) and Brandon T. Jackson (Deadbeat, Tropic Thunder).
“Over the past 13 years, StandUp NBC has been a launching pad for some of our industry’s most successful comic talents,” said Karen Horne, SVP, Programming Talent Development & Inclusion, NBC Entertainment and Universal Television Studios. “As with our other pipeline programs, it aims to increase representation of diverse talent in front of and behind the camera. I’m proud that our efforts continue to bring new voices to key industry decisions makers.”
“JR is a unique comic talent who impressed us with his presence and genuine optimism,” said Grace Wu, Executive Vice President of Casting, NBC Entertainment. “I am grateful that our pipeline programs like StandUp NBC continue to introduce us to fresh new voices who will widen the breadth of talent for our shows.”