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.