Favorito is not afraid to go there
By Caroline Fontein
No one likes a bully, but you'll love Vinnie Favorito. He picks on everyone with his edgy brand of "equal opportunity comedy."
"The beauty of my show is you could be the richest person in the world, but once you're in my show you're in the same tax bracket as the white trash guy sitting behind you. I don't care. Everybody's the same in my book," said Favorito during an interview.
Unlike other comedians who use pre-developed material, Favorito derives his comedy from his interaction with people in the audience.
"I have tons of material that I never use because I always feel like the crowd is a lot funnier than I'll ever be," said Favorito.
Stereotypes are the basis for some of his jokes, but most of the time he is able to create off-the-cuff comedy based on information that he gets from people in the crowd. He begins by greeting individuals and asking them basic questions like "What's your name?" and "Where are you from?" Then Favorito turns their answers into hilarious comedy.
"A Mexican working in corrections, that's an oxymoron," jokes Favorito after talking to a male audience member during the show.
His quick wit comes from growing up in inner-city Boston where some of the neighborhoods were less than welcoming.
"I would use my voice instead of fighting a lot of the times. I just became a quick talker. Then I started poking fun of people and it kind of grew from there," said Favorito.
He started performing as a stand-up comedian in 1985, and he quickly became a regular headliner in clubs along the East Coast. He moved to Los Angeles in the late 1990s and started headlining in well-known comedy venues including the Improv and the Comedy Store. He soon became a highly sought after celebrity roaster.
"I don't shun away from anything. Even sensitive subjects - I find a way to find the brighter side of them... Everyone is really treated equally in my show," said Favorito.
With an ever-changing audience, all of his shows are different and people come back just to see what he'll say next. He talks to almost every guest in his showroom regardless of where they are seated.
The intimate showroom at the Flamingo gives everyone a good view of the stage and puts Favorito close to his next "victim." But part of what makes Favorito so entertaining is that he's not afraid to offend anyone.
He spotlights a young woman in the audience and asks what she does for work. After replying that she's in school Favorito asks, "Is it a community college? Because you seem dumb."
People in the audience can't help but laugh at his free-flowing insults. By the end of the show he has made fun of almost every stereotype, but in doing so he also reminds people that it's okay to laugh at yourself.
"This is why I like doing comedy. You have all walks of life sitting together having a good time," says Favorito.