Laughs for gas12/24/08

Jewish comedy event to benefit heating assistance program

Dec. 24, 2008

By Tim Simard
Observer staff

A laugh-filled night of Jewish comedy is returning to Williston this Hanukkah, and is helping to raise money to heat the homes of low income Vermonters this winter. Moo-Jew Comedy, organized by Burlington comedian Jason Lorber, will once again take over the Asian Bistro in Maple Tree Place this Wednesday and Thursday.


    Courtesy photo
Jason Lorber, pictured above, has once again organized the Moo-Jew.

The comedy nights benefit Project WARMTH, which helps less fortunate Vermonters with heating oil assistance, and fit neatly into the Hanukkah spirit. The Jewish holiday, also known as the Festival of lights, is an eight-day commemoration of the Maccabeans’ victory over the Syrians, when one night’s supply of oil lasted eight days.
“It’s a natural tie-in,” Lorber said.

Project WARMTH is administered by the Champlain Office of Economic Development, which works with low-income people to achieve economic independence.

For the third year in a row, Moo-Jew Comedy is bringing its unique brand of humor to Williston. Lorber said it’s a great time and usually sells out. He said a few Canadians even reserved tables for the event. “We’ve gone international!” Lorber said proudly.

Joining Lorber for the festivities will be two Jewish comedian friends from New York City — Ophira Eisenberg and Myq Kaplan. “It wouldn’t be Christmas without New York Jews,” Lorber joked.

Both Eisenberg and Kaplan have appeared on Comedy Central and tour in the comedy festival circuit. Lorber said they’re looking forward to visiting Vermont and playing in the deep snow.
The Moo-Jew event is non-denominational, meaning non-Jews are invited to attend “as long as they’re loud,” Lorber said.

“It’s really a wonderful community event,” he said. “Everybody gets into the spirit together.”
Lorber, an actor and comedian from Burlington, also represents the city in the state’s House of Representatives. While the professions might seem light years away from each other, Lorber said it “plays to the same strengths.”

Moo-Jew Comedy’s opening night was on Tuesday, Dec. 23, but will also be taking place on Dec. 24 and 25. Tickets are $50 for a four-course meal and comedy show, and the cost includes tax, tip and jokes. Lorber said the dinner would start at “8 o’clock-ish,” with the show starting at “9 o’clock-ish” and ending around “10 o’clock-ish.”

Tickets and reservations can be purchased in advance through the Flynn Theater box office by calling 863-5966. Tickets can also be purchased at the door of Asian Bistro the night of the performances, but not before.

For more information, visit