NBC has named comedian Mike E. Winfield as the winner of its 15th annual StandUp NBC competition. Winfield was chosen for the prestigious honor from eight finalists including Vincent Bryant, Ali Clayton, Calvin Evans, Sohrab Forouzesh, Jay Jurden, Luz Pazos and Venessa Peruda. 1600 comedians auditioned for the competition.
A Baltimore native, Mike performed on the Netflix comedy special, “Brad Paisley’s Comedy Rodeo,” in the upcoming feature “Pimp,” opposite Keke Palmer and “Liza On Demand” for YouTube Red. He’s also appeared on “Acting Out,” “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “BET’s Comicview.” Now splitting his time between New York and Los Angeles, he headlines top comedy clubs across the country and has a one-hour comedy special releasing this year.
As the winner of NBC’s annual nationwide search for comedians of diverse backgrounds Winfield receives a talent holding deal with NBCUniversal and a headlining spot at the annual NACA convention where he will get to perform for talent bookers from across the country. He will also headline the regional semi-finalist showcases for the 2019 StandUp NBC competition.
“StandUp NBC continues to showcase unique talent who have a signature comedic style. This year Mike Winfield stood out to all of us because of his appealing personality and irreverent point of view.” said Grace Wu, Executive Vice President of Casting, NBC Entertainment. “He is a breakout performer whose career we have been tracking for some time and we are very excited to be working with him.”
Winfield joins former finalists Michelle Buteau (“Isn’t It Romantic?”), Deon Cole (“Grown-ish,”), Lil Rel Howery (“Get Out”), Hasan Minhaj (“Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj”), Phoebe Robinson (“2 Dope Queens”), and Dulcé Sloan ( “The Daily Show”) as alumni of StandUp NBC, one of the network’s tentpole talent infusion programs (NBC TIPS).
Now in its 15th year, StandUp NBC is the annual nationwide search for stand-up comedians of diverse backgrounds. Every year, finalists are selected from open casting calls in various cities across the country as well as from online submissions. They perform at a finale showcase in front of an audience of television executives, casting directors, agents, managers and industry tastemakers at a Los Angeles comedy club. The winner is given a talent holding deal with NBCUniversal and offered a spot on the nationwide tour with the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA). Previous StandUp NBC winners and alumni include Tone Bell (“Fam”), Michelle Buteau (“Isn’t It Romantic?”), W. Kamau Bell (CNN’s “United Shades of America”), Deon Cole (“Grown-ish”), Lil Rel Howery (“Get Out”), Hasan Minhaj (“Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj”), Amanda Seales (“Insecure”) and Dulcé Sloan (“The Daily Show”). For more information, visit NBCUniTIPS.com.