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This summer, MoveOn.org searched the country to find the funniest and smartest comedians to take on Donald Trump, the GOP’s politics of hate, and the pressing issues of bigotry and bullying.
Over 200 comedians across the country submitted stand-up sets, sketch videos, and Donald Trump impressions taking on the election, as well as issues like racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and others. Some of our favorite comedians were invited to perform live to sold-out crowds at the Laughter Trumps Hate showcases in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. Check out this sneak peak:
After much deliberation, three performances in each category made it to the final round of the competition. Our panel of all-star judges—including folks such as Judd Apatow, Adam McKay, Aasif Mandvi, and Negin Farsad, among others—selected one winner in each category. But this is still a democracy, so we counted on MoveOn members to help select the winner of the Crowd Favorite award. Thousands of MoveOn members voted on the nine finalists, and the video with the most votes has been crowned the Crowd Favorite.
Without further ado, the winners are …
Best Stand-up: George Civeris
Best Sketch: “Trumpmerica” by Brian Parise, Steven Carpaccio, J-L Cauvin, and Janelle James
Best Impression: Andrew Knox
And based on the votes of thousands of MoveOn members, here’s the Crowd Favorite: “Make America Great Again” by Kate Chavez, Robin Holloway, and Lindsey Hope Pearlman of Up & Down Theatre.
Some of the jokes are edgy, profane, or potentially offensive, as humor can be. But this is humor in service of an important goal: upending Trump and his allies and calling out their sexism, racism, and homophobia. Don’t start watching in front of your boss or your toddler—but DO start watching in front of your swing voter uncle!
Donald Trump is terrifying, authoritarian, and a real threat to our democracy. We take the threat posed by Trump seriously. And alongside our massive voter contact program, our rapid-response Video Lab, and other organizing tactics, we’re also using humor—because we need to try everything to help put this bully on the ropes and help win this election.
Through November 8, we’ll be releasing the best videos from the live showcases on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Don’t miss out on the fun—be sure to like our page and follow us!
NOTE: To be fair to comedians around the country who could not travel to Los Angeles, Chicago, or New York for the live Laughter Trumps Hate showcases, we did not judge video that was professionally shot at the live shows. To keep a level playing field for all comedians, all of the footage above is the original footage submitted by the talent, not the showcase footage that we taped and will be releasing soon!