Joan Rivers looks for opener

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Ten comedians competed to be Joan River’s opening act at the Flynn Space on March 22. Though there was only one winner, three cash prizes were also awarded.

Winner Jason Lorber excitedly opened the night’s comedy act and was followed by routines from the nine remaining comics, battling for spots in future Flynn performances.

Though Joan Rivers was not present, vulgarity and outlandishness was heavy in the air, with laughter all around.  Lorber confidently cracked organic and vegetarian jokes in a red cow shirt, recalling his devotion to “tofu flavored meat.”

“You were right on Jason,” applauded judge Amber LeMay from the drag queen House of LeMay. “That was the funniest material you had since you ran for mayor.”

The audience responded positively to Lorber’s enthusiasm. His humor developed in later jokes when he touched on the TV ‘performances’ from Republican canidates and Jersey Shore’s Snooki

Many of the early comedians’ performances were inconsistent, but they gained focus and maturity during the second act.

Kevin Anglin – one of the three to win a cash prize – drew hysterical laughter from the audience. The self-described “Harry Potter, but with a GED,” had no jokes rejected.  

In one skit, he changed the show  “Hoarders” to “Hoarders: Third World Edition.” It was not only hilarious but full of witty social commentary.  

In a country where citizens feel compelled to buy more and more, Anglin argued that a hoarding situation in a developing nation would consist of “a squirrel, a hubcap and a baby,” nowhere near as materialistic as in America.

The second winner of the competition was Kyle Gagnon, who was unable to steer away from sex jokes. His jokes were very raw and honest, though often on the fence of profane and tasteless for a venue filled with young families.

Vermont native Justin Rowe impressed both the audience and judges for a third-place win with his spot-on Garrison Keillor impressions and a baby-on-board skit. Refreshing and bright, Rowe appeared relaxed in the dimmed spot light.

Be sure to check out Joan Rivers and Jason Lorber on April 26, and future comedy shows at the Flynn for more local laughs.