2019 Judges: VT's Funniest Comedian

Take a look below at the experienced, comedy industry professionals judging the 7th Annual Vermont's Funniest Comedian contest - and get your tickets now!


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Sophia Salador is Senior Associate Producer at Just For Laughs, the world’s largest international comedy festival.

She has been with the company since 2012, working festivals in Montreal, Toronto and Chicago. Sophia works with the programming team to produce all of JFL's Festivals worldwide.

Sophia has judged many competitions in the past, including several years on the jury for the Montreal Fringe Festival and the Montreal Comedy Competition.


Chris Burns is a comedy manager and producer at AGI Entertainment Media and Management.

Prior to AGI, Chris was a comedian, writer and producer who worked on such films as Trainwreck and Date Night, as well as TV shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm and Delocated.

He lives in New York City.

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Jamie Rabinovitch is a producer of live comedy shows in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Her shows have been featured in The New York Times, Timeout Magazine, and The New York Comedy Festival. She has produced over thirty shows in over fifteen different venues, many of which have been partnered with brands that have helped raise money for charities such as RAINN, The Trevor Project, and Safe Horizon.

She works with comedians with credits including Netflix, Hulu, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Conan on TBS, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central, NY Times contributors, New York Comedy Festival, Sirius XM, Just for Laughs, 2 Dope Queens, San Francisco Sketchfest, Vice, BET, Clusterfest, and more. Rabinovitch was selected to produce the 2019 Coca-Cola Regal Films short that will be shown in Regal Cinemas across the country. She is a graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing at the New School.



Jessica Pilot is a comedy producer and talent scout. She scouts and produces stand-up comedy for CBS.

Her previous credits include National Geographic Channel, Comedy Central and NBC. Pilot has also written about comedy for Esquire, Glamour and The Village Voice. Her feature length story in Vanity Fair included interviews with Jon Stewart, Ray Romano, Silver Silverman and other influential comedians.

She created and produced a documentary series for The Village Voice which profiled the lives of stand-up comedians on and offstage in New York City. Guests episodes include: Patton Oswalt, Jim Gaffigan, Colin Quinn and more.

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Jaye McBride is funny, smart and proudly transgender. One of the first trans comedians to work on a national level, she has performs both as a headliner and sharing the stage with comedy greats like Aziz Ansari, Gilbert Gottfried, Jim Norton & Bobcat Goldthwait. Jaye has also been a part of The Boston Comedy Festival, The Maine Comedy Festival and the Great American Festival.

In addition to stand-up, Jaye speaks at high schools, colleges and groups all across the country about being transgender and how we can help trans kids from facing some of the obstacles and challenges she faced. Having transitioned in 2007, Jaye is uniquely qualified to talk about awkward first dates, strained family relationships and self-acceptance.

Jaye is originally from Upstate NY but now lives in Brooklyn, NY where she is the head writer for the reproductive rights group Lady Parts Justice League.

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Robyn Kaszor is the VP of Festivals at Just For Laughs, the world's largest international comedy festival.

She has worked for JFL for many years, producing festivals all over the world — from Montreal to Toronto to Chicago to Australia.

Robyn works with some of the biggest names in comedy today, from Kevin Hart to Jerry Seinfeld and many, many more.



Michelle Barbera is co-founder and co-producer at WICF, which produces the Women in Comedy Festival (April 19th-24th; submissions now open), as well as original podcasts and writing. WICF is open to all comedians of all genders, with a focus on helping to close the gender gap in comedy. 

Michelle has performed, written, and produced comedy in Boston for over a decade. She was a member of ImprovBoston's MainStage for over four years. Michelle has directed numerous improv troupes, sketch shows, and taught improv master classes and workshops. She founded and co-produces the award-winning WMAM films, which has screened films nationally at the Independent Television Festival, Boston Film Festival, Filmapalooza, and her personal favorite, the Zompire Film Festival.

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John Tobin is the co-founder/owner of Laugh Boston, a 300-seat, state-of-the-art comedy theater located in Boston’s Seaport District. In addition to booking talent at Laugh Boston, he continues to produce live shows at Nick's Comedy Stop and many other rooms in the Boston area through his production company, Theatre District Productions. John has been working in professional comedy since 1992, was elected to the Boston City Council five times, and currently works at Northeastern University as the Vice President of City & Community Affairs.

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Laura Manasewich is a comedian from Hartford, CT. She regularly performs stand up and improv comedy throughout New England and beyond. She is based out of the Sea Tea Comedy Theater in Hartford, where in addition to teaching and performing regularly, she served two years as Associate Artistic Director.

Laura has performed stand up in NYC’s She Devil Comedy Festival, and in Baltimore with X-Fest and the Charm City Comedy Festival. Laura hosted for Emma Willmann at the Vermont Comedy Club, and features at Shaskeen Comedy in Manchester, NH, and in Maine with the Portland Comedy Co-Op. Additionally, Laura was semi-finalist in the 2019 StandUp Throwdown at ImprovBoston.

Dogs, snacks, and making people laugh are her very favorite things. Not necessarily in that order.