FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Josh Filipowski 914-629-1225 josh at like2laugh point com

Saturday, June 6, 2020

A Worthy Champion: Whittled Down from 64+ Comedians, Mateen Stewart Wins the 2020 March Comedy Madness in May

Boston, MA / Online Worldwide - Last night the 14th Annual March Comedy Madness (in May) held its Final Four & Championship stand-up comedy event raising money for mental health research, to Zoom and facebook LIVE audiences, with Los Angeleno Mateen Stewart bringing huge laughs and securing the tournament victory.

Having planned the event to be based in Boston, comedians got involved starting in early March to perform in the NCAA bracket inspired tourney at local comedy clubs, pubs, and breweries to raise money for the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, a nonprofit awarding grants to scientists in the field of mental health research. When the COVID-19 pandemic brought cancellations to the scheduled live shows, comedians and the community hunkered down at home. After a month inside, producer Josh Filipowski had an idea: March Comedy Madness - in May - on Zoom.

Of the 64 qualified competitors, not all were comfortable and confident performing on this new online platform, so some spots opened up. Filipowski reached out to comedians he had worked with in New York, California, and even Kentucky to fill the spots.

"March Comedy Madness started back in NYC in 2007 at Carolines on Broadway. When I moved to Los Angeles, I brought the bracket battles to The Comedy Store, The Hollywood Improv, and more. Making my way back east we tried branching out nationwide with a base at the Broadway Comedy Club in New York, and most recently focused on various venues in Boston," Filipowski explained, adding, "I'm fortunate to know a ton of hilarious people, and they know how much fun these shows can be."

For May Fridays Filipowski, the Ref, and co-hosts Casey Durkin and Stirling Smith led audiences and comedians through the head-to-head stand-up comedy match-ups. 64 comedians performed short sets and Zoom polls helped determine winners as they made their way down to one. Each week brought some new and some familiar faces to the comedy meets with past champions and finalists coming to perform and folks zooming in nationwide to laugh.

"Comedy is one thing bringing us all together. Laugh or cry? I would much rather laugh," said host Stirling Smith of the current state of affairs and the decision to continue the shows online.

To cap off the madness, Mateen Stewart edged out New York's Gianmarco Soresi in the final four round and his experience outshined young Emerson student Mary Spadaro in the championship round.

"I have regrets older than you!" Stewart exclaimed to Spadaro. "I never tell people my age... I'm a Hollywood 30. It's not how old you are, it's how old you can play."

Besides aging, Stewart covered the upcoming election, the worst presidents, pick up lines, and Black Lives Matter.

"How do you make a movie called The Usual Suspects... with no black suspects?"

In closing the night he added, "I needed this. We needed this. It's a really hard time. We just want the police to treat us like people. Just imagine if the police was killing horses...If they were killing horses, everyone would be like, 'Why are the police killing all these horses?' Just imagine that. Think about that. And if you ask your black friend they might not have all the answers."

The March Comedy Madness Like 2 Laugh Productions crew has raised $2,600 thus far and hope to grow that number up to and at the wrap party Zoomathon this coming Friday. Follow for details. See for more information on the foundation and their grantees. And please donate today:

BBRF Donor Drive

"I love this. What a great cause," said competing comedian Aaron "Tiny" Smith. "It's funny to have a cause for mental health and then get 64 of your nuttiest friends to help you."

The comedians hope you will help the cause too.

"The Sweet Six" March Comedy Madness in LA WEEKLY Go LA
March Comedy Madness on "Today in LA" KNBC Channel 4
"Pencil This In" March Comedy Madness in LAist
PAID or PAIN?! on "NAUGHTY SHOW #75" on Deathsquad.TV
"HiGHLARiOUS: LA's Premier Stoner Comedy Show" in
"Bad Comedians, Beware: 'Paid or Pain'" in LAist
"Punchline Magazine analysis: the rise of comedian on comedian programming" in LAUGH SPIN
"March Comedy Madness: Fast and Funny!" in THE EXAMINER
"Behind the Scenes: Josh Filipowski, Creator & Producer of March Comedy Madness" in STAGE TIME MAGAZINE
"Vying for a Chance to Own Carolines, Even for a Weekend" in THE NEW YORK TIMES
"Best of Stand Up 2008" in STAGE TIME MAGAZINE
"Comedy: It's All Fun and Games Comedians compete in the 2008 NYC Comedy Olympics" in NEW YORK PRESS
"March gladness: Sixty-four comics go head-to-head in a basketball-inspired tournament" in TIME OUT NEW YORK
"Group Looking To Promote Comedy In Westchester" in The Westmore News
"Comedy Matters" in 15 Minutes Online Magazine
"A Round Of Applause For Stand-Up" in The Item
Caronlines March Comedy Madness on MSG NY
We've got jokes featured in The Complete Idiot's Guide to Jokes!