• Comedy Central, American University team up for Laughter Lab initiative

    American University is partnering with Comedy Central to create Laughter Lab, and they want you to “yes and” social justice.

    “Yes, And… Laughter Lab, a new initiative seeking to help build and support collaborations between comedy people and social justice people, invites you to apply to pitch your project at the inaugural convening in New York City on Tuesday, June 11, 2019,” says the Laughter Lab website. The submission deadline is Friday, April 5.

    Some big names in comedy, including Roy Wood Jr., Abbi Jacobson from Broad City, and Aasif Mandvi from The Daily Show, are also involved in the project, according to American University.

    “We developed this initiative because we believe that comedy can help change the world,” said Caty Borum Chattoo, Director of the Center for Media and Social Impact at American University, through the university website.

    According to Laughter Lab, five original projects will be selected to be pitched at the convening. In the audience will be grantmakers, investors, leading NGO’s and nonprofits, broadcasters, and other industry people. “The goal is to create a coalition around each comedy project to accelerate its impact and influence,” says Laughter Lab.

    Submissions are open to all types of ideas. Examples include: concept papers, completed screenplays, and stage shows. The idea can be for any medium (print, live performance, television, and web video) as long as the idea is comedic (satire, parody, sketch, stand-up, or song), according to the Laughter Lab website. The idea can also be “in any stage of development,” says Laughter Lab.

    Social justice has been quite in vogue in comedy, ever since Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby’s special Nanette revolutionized the medium, and Louis CK’s fall from the top of the comedy world made fans reconsider the artist behind their favorite jokes. There has been a boon of content from women and minorities in comedy over the past year, and the trend is showing no signs of slowing down.

    Applicants are encouraged to submit on the Laughter Lab website.

    Lucien Formichella

    Lucien is a comic and journalist based out of New York City. He also freelances for The Observer. He loves eating. Twitter: @lucien_form

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