Franqi French has won this year's StandUp NBC competition, an annual contest and search for comedians of diverse backgrounds. She shares this year's crown with Rene Vaca, marking the first time in StandUp NBC's 16-year history where two winners have been named.
French, a bi woman of color based in Los Angles, is already a national presence in the comedy world. She has graced the stages of the Kennedy Center, Hollywood Improv, and the Comedy Store, and has performed alongside talented funny people like Fortune Feimster, D.L. Hughley, and Nicole Byer.
Other past appearances include TVOne's The Roland Martin Show and the Black Women in Comedy Festival in Brooklyn, where she headlined.
French and Vaca -- an L.A. native who owned a landscaping business before pursuing comedy -- triumphed from a pool of 650 stand-up comedians who auditioned in cities across the United States. As winners, they each received a talent holding deal with NBCUniversal and the opportunity to headline the annual convention of the National Association for Campus Activities.
"Franqi and Rene were standouts in our showcase this year. They are hilarious, relatable and fearlessly share their personal stories. We couldn't choose just one winner, so we decided to name them both," said Grace Wu, executive vice president of Casting at NBC Entertainment. "We are excited for Franqi and Rene to join the rich legacy of comedic talent who have emerged from StandUp NBC."
Alumni of StandUp NBC include Hasan Minjah, Amanda Seales, Michelle Buteau, Phoebe Robinson, Amanda Seales, and Dulce Sloan.
Watch French's semi-finals performance below -- and warning, there is some swearing.
Be sure to follow Advocate on your favorite social platform
DON'T MISS THE OUT100 SPECIAL 3 DAY MARATHON STARTING NOVEMBER 24TH!
Journey through the year’s influential Out100 – the most iconic and long-standing celebration of LGBTQ+ icons and allies – in a 1-hour television special spotlighting the LGBTQ+ people shaping the world today.