From 1989-1992, New York City comedy show producer/comedienne Mary Jo Wobker, was instrumental in giving many new comediennes their start in stand-up comedy.
After Mary Jo’s sudden death in 1992, Peggy Boyce, along with Mary Jo’s friends, created a women’s stand-up comedy competition in her name. The “Mary Jo Comedy Awards” served as a platform for women comediennes to gain publicity, and cash to further their careers.
In 1998, the program was born in an un-airconditioned YWCA in Ridgewood, New Jersey. For five weeks, amateur and professional comediennes from all over New Jersey signed up to stand-up and try their hand at comedy in front of standing-room-only crowds.
In 1999, based on its success, Bud Light signed on as the title sponsor and the Ladies of Laughter was ushered into comedy clubs, Atlantic City Casinos and even Madison Square Garden.
Now called the Ladies of Laughter, funny women around the United States, Canada, England and Australia, regularly apply for participation.