COMIC MARK DEBONIS TAKES HOME THE $25,000 PRIZE AT THE SIXTH ANNUAL YUK YUK’S GREAT CANADIAN LAUGH OFF ON MAY 1 IN TORONTO

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For Immediate Release: May 2, 2011

TORONTO, ON – Scarborough can now be called the home of more than one of Canada’s funniest comics – Mike Myers has a street named after him and now Mark DeBonis is the winner of the prestigious Yuk Yuk’s Great Canadian Laugh Off 2011. He has won a $25,000 cash prize and a chance at comic stardom.

Mark Breslin, Founder and President of Yuk Yuk’s said “Mark Debonis’ perfect blend of material and character proves why he won this contest and why he’s a comic to watch in the future.”

Winner Mark DeBonis will be $25,000 richer this week and says this will help him to continue performing but now everyone else’s expectations will be higher. It will be a lot easier for me to bomb now” he says and adds “champions don’t lose, they learn.”

Mark DeBonis is a 24-year-old stand up comedian and in three short years since he began, Mark has performed in sold out shows at both The Rivoli (co-headlining "Opposites Attract") and later at Toronto's famed Second City as the headlining act of NBA Comics. He is also the 2010 Canadian Comedy Award Winner and 2009 Tim Sims Award Nominee. He is also the host and producer of multiple successful comedy shows in and around Toronto.

When not performing in his home base of Toronto, Mark has traveled across Canada and America as part of the 2009 Waterloo Comedy Festival, the Yuk Yuk’s Great Canadian Laugh Off, BiteTV's Stand Up & Bite Me, as has opened for Shaun Majumder as part of the Raising the Roof Comedy Cabaret.

Mark can be heard on XM Radio as a finalist on Canada's Next Top Comic, and on CBC Radio or Sirius Satellite Radio after being nominated for CBC Radio's Cream of Comedy. Mark has also made multiple appearances on Much Music, The Comedy Network, Bite TV, and Sun TV.

The final contestants were Claire Brosseau, Darrin Rose, Eddie Della Siepe and Brian Hatt, all from Toronto, Eric Andrews (Oakville), Massimo (Ajax) and Ian Peet (Nfld).

Judges for this show include high-profile industry luminaries such as:

Michael Cox – Talent Executive for Chelsea Lately

Bruce Hills - COO of Just for Laughs

Ashley Olivia – Talent Coordinator for the Conan O’Brien Show

Millan Curry- Sharples- Vice President of Comedy, The Comedy Network

During this year’s event, 64 comedians came to Toronto from all over Canada to perform from April 22 to May 1, 2011 and it was the first time that the competition was open only to Canadians who have the gift of the guffaw. Each finalist also had a chance for national television exposure simply by performing at the finals on May 1. The final competition will be broadcast in July as a comedy special for CTV’s Comedy Network.

Yuk Yuk’s Great Canadian Laugh Off is Canada’s biggest open comedy competition, with Canada’s largest comedy prize. There are two categories for contestants to enter. Previous winners have received their own Comedy Now specials, thanks in part to the exposure they received from the Laugh Off. Stars that got their start at Yuk Yuk’s include: Jim Carrey, Mike Moranis, Russell Peters and Norm MacDonald just to name a few.

This year’s Yuk Yuk’s Great Canadian Laugh Off is sponsored by Via Rail Canada, Metro News, Town Inn and Suites and The Comedy Network. Follow us on www.yukyukslaughoff.com and on Twitter for more updates and the latest news, a list of comedians competing, profiles of the judges, sponsors, winner video clips, show info and special offers.

For further information: Media contact: Deborah Knight, dkpr public relations inc. (416) 200-3577 mobile


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