A BAHRAINI comedian has managed to laugh his way to the top of an international competition.
Waddah Swar was yesterday named the winner of the Kit Kat Comedy Break Show in Dubai.
The 36-year-old was among 200 comedians who auditioned for the reality show, which shortlisted 10 participants to go head to head every week.
He was the only Bahraini in the competition, which aired on Sundays.
He has become the face of KitKat, received $15,000 and will be the opening act for renowned Saudi stand-up comedian Fahad Albutairi during his summer world tour.
"I heard about it (competition) from a friend of mine and she told me to apply," he told the GDN.
"I've been in the comedy scene since 1998. I fell into it almost by mistake.
"I was at a comedy club in Orlando, and a lot of the comedians weren't very funny.
"The owner was standing behind me and told me to get up there if I thought I could do better.
"I did, and asked me to come back the following week and paid me $20."
The show's contestants spent almost two weeks living together in a villa in Dubai, facing challenges given to them by four judges - Mr Albutairi, Lebanese comedian Tony Abou Jaoude, and Emirate siblings and stand-up comedians Ali and Shaima Al Sayed.
"We had to write fresh material every time, while we had a lot of other things going on. I learned a lot from the experience," explained Mr Swar.
"The toughest part was the challenges. They would pick subjects for us, and we would have to write material for it.
"It wasn't just a test of your jokes, you had to put forward your skills, how you interact with the audience, utilise props and funny voices, keep it structured and so on."
The restaurant owner said he joined the show to put Bahrain on the map and bring home the win.
"I wanted to bring the championship to Bahrain," he said.
"I gave it all I had."
However, he faced several difficulties during filming, including being severely ill with salmonella.
"When I was there I got salmonella, so it was very difficult to perform," he said.
"They brought me a doctor who gave me the necessary medication.
"But I still had to go onstage and perform - as they say, the show must go on.
"But after I finished my act, I was so sick that I blacked out backstage."
Mr Swar will soon start preparing for his tour to the UK, US and Canada with Mr Albutairi.
"As part of the prize, I'm doing an international tour this summer with Fahad," he said.
"We're going to the UK, Canada and the US, and we'll be touring for a few weeks in the summer."
He said the sky was the limit with future endeavours.
"I want to take it to the highest level. I have the language and the tools," he said.
"I want to shoot cartoons and movies. I've already started working on voiceovers."