Gabrielle Rivera, a 23 year old Puerto Rican model, was the decisive winner of the first California Ultimate Laughing Championship in front of over 200 people at the historic Fremont Cinema in San Luis Obispo, California Saturday night.
Rivera was declared “Best Laugher in California 2011.” She triumphed in the “Diabolical laugh,” “Snort laugh,” and “Laugh at Yourself” competitions before defeating 10 contenders in a series of knock down “Laughter Duels.” She said she practices by laughing at herself.
The San Luis Obispo Tribune called the event a “laugh riot” and local TV station KSBY reported that the contest brought smiles to the faces of San Luis Obispo residents.
As the organizer and speaking as a professional laughologist (I’m the director of Laughology, the first feature documentary on laughter), I would never have expected that a model would win the championship. In my (limited) experience, models are usually robots, but this woman really has an authentic, unstoppable laugh. (Gabrielle told me that she got it from her mom.)
Competetive laughter is a new craze, where people compete in positive behaviours instead of negative ones like boxing or ultimate fighting. This was the first ever formal laughter championship in America, but there are already plans for making the contest an annual event in California. Next up: The Czech Republic International Laughter contest on April 12, 2011.
Gabrielle, a resident of San Luis Obispo, told me that she plans to move to Los Angeles to continue her modelling career, and I have a feeling she’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.
The California Ultimate Laughing Championship was held in conjunction with the San Luis Obispo
International Film Festival. The Award is called “The California Joy Crystal. ”
The event was dedicated to Japanese laughter champion, Eito Saiko and the city of Sendai Japan which was hit by a Tsunami. Saiko was missing at the time of the contest, but she has now been found alive and unhurt. The next laughter contest is set for the Czech Republic April 12th.
More photos here.