By Steph Rodriguez
Congrats to Sacramento comedian and musician JR De Guzman. On Wednesday, February 8, NBCUniversal named the 26-year-old as the winner of its Standup NBC competition, an initiative that aims to increase the representation of talent from diverse backgrounds both on camera and behind the scenes. Past success stories include Hannibal Buress (Broad City, 30 Rock) and Deon Cole (Blackish, Angie Tribeca).
The competition started last year with 600 entries auditioning at open-call locations from New York to San Diego and came down to eight finalists. But it was ultimately De Guzman’s “genuine optimism” that led NBC executives to their decision according to the Hollywood online magazine Deadline.
As the winner, De Guzman will receive a one-year talent-holding deal with NBCUniversal. He will also perform at the National Association for Campus Activities annual convention later this month for talent bookers and will headline the StandUp NBC semi-finalist showcases throughout 2017.
De Guzman shared the news this morning with his fans and friends on Facebook: “Honored and blessed to be selected as the winner for Stand-up NBC!!!!!!! All I can say right now is thank you to friends, family, comics, people on planes who’ve kept me company…thank you to every single person who has been a positive light in my comedy experience. Big things in 2017!!”