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Philips Media, Compuserve, Comedy Central, and the improv in search of nation's hottest unknown comedy sensation

Compuserve (GO STANDUP)

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Los Angeles, June 21, 1996 -- Move over, Jerry Seinfeld and Jim Carrey! The search for the next comedy genius heads into the 90s, with the first online talent search in new media history. The contest, based on Philips Media's new CD-ROM comedy adventure game, The Improv Presents: Don't Quit Your Day Job, will officially kick off on July 18 and will run through September, with the grand prize winner announced with a live event hosted by Entertainment Drive (eDrive) on CompuServe (NASDAQ:CSRV). The live event will be broadcast simultaneously on eDrive's web site (www.edrive.com) the week of September 2.

An open casting call will be held from June 21 - July 9, 1996. To enter, aspiring comedians merely submit a headshot (GIF format) and a 60-second sample of comedy material (WAV file format) to a panel of independent comedy judges. Thirty-six of the best comedians will be selected by the panel to advance to the second round. Then, for six consecutive weeks starting July 18, six new comedians will be presented each week in a virtual nightclub on Comedy Central's web site and on CompuServe (GO STANDUP). Online users will be able to rate each performance. The comedian with the best response each week will advance to the finals held from August 29 - September 5.

The grand prize includes a trip to Los Angeles, the opportunity to meet Budd Friedman and Mark Lonow, legendary owners of the world-famous Improv and tickets to "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." Voters qualify for weekly drawings and the chance to win T-shirts and copies of The Improv Presents: Don't Quit Your Day Job CD-ROM.

Starting July 8, online users will be able to log into the Comedy Central, CompuServe and Philips Media web sites to get information, view screen shots and download demos of The Improv Presents: Don't Quit Your Day Job CD-ROM, on which the online promotion is based. Additionally, online users will be able to enter weekly drawings to win copies of the CD-ROM and The Improv Presents: Don't Quit Your Day Job t-shirts.

The Improv Presents: Don't Quit Your Day Job CD-ROM takes players to the heart of the sizzling, fast-paced hub of stand-up comedy -- The Improv -- for a backstage comedy adventure. This new interactive role-playing game transforms players into a Hollywood talent scout assigned to discover the hottest new comic for the hot late night "Johnny K. Show." Players must maneuver around the 3D rendered Improv schmoozing with the club's characters in order to launch their chosen comic's career. Be forewarned! Poor comic timing gets players flushed into "Hell's Basement" where they must navigate their way through games and CD-ROM parodies in "The Curse of the CD-ROM Hallways". The two-disc set debuts this July on Windows (run on Windows 95) and Macintosh CD-ROM for US$ 49.99. The CD-ROM includes access to CompuServe, featuring a one-button launch to the Comedy Central web site.

For full contest rules as well as more information on how to enter as a contestant, act as on online judge or learn about the prizes, visit CompuServe (GO STANDUP), Comedy Central or Philips Media. Submissions should be e-mailed to standup@cis.compuserve.com. Materials must be received by July 9, 1996.

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