BOISE, Idaho — If you could somehow work Idaho City, a Tinder date that involves the Old Idaho Penitentiary and an impression of Jim Zamzow into a tight 10-minute set in Garden City, you might be Idaho's best comedian.
Those jokes are taken; so is the title -- at least for a year.
On May 21, 29-year-old Dylan Hunter clinched the Sasquatch trophy after the three-day Idaho's Best Comedian competition at the Visual Arts Collective.
Hunter has taken his style of comedy to the stage since 2018.
"My dad used to tell me if you can make one person laugh, you can make the whole world laugh," he said. "And my mom would say, 'what, are you a comedian?' Yes."
Like a lot of comics, Hunter has a style that leans inward or, more accurately, toward his outward appearance.
"Now I just look like Rasputin the used-car salesman," Hunter said during his standup set, in which he also compared himself to "Abraham Lincoln if he gave up" and "Tom Hanks if 'Big' and 'Castaway' were the same movie."
Hunter first stepped up to the comedy stage by doing improv at the College of Idaho in Caldwell.
Yep, he's a homegrown Idaho product -- kind of.
"A lot of people think I'm local making these jokes. I want to come clean: I actually grew up in the Caribbean," Hunter said.
While onstage, Hunter relates his experience doing comedy in Idaho City.
"This one woman kept shouting at me, 'you're Idaho City handsome!'," he said. "That is a real story. I wish I came up with that tag line myself, but that is just something somebody shouted at me, and I was like, 'thank you. I am taking that.'"
More self-deprecating humor from Hunter: "My Tinder profile just said, 'I know, and I'm sorry.'"
"Having that set I've been working on the last couple of years really came together in a way that I haven't seen it really do before. It just felt magical," Hunter said on winning Idaho's Best Comedian.
So, Dylan Hunter, you've won the Sasquatch trophy, what are you going to do next?
"I'll get a haircut, ha ha," he said. "I like this look, but I want to challenge myself to literally shave five minutes of my material and see what else I can come up with."
Beard or no beard, Hunter will always have a venerable Treasure Valley lawn, garden and pet store to help laughs bloom whenever he steps onto an Idaho stage.
"Hi, this is Jim Zamzow here with the conclusion of 'The Three Little Pigs,'" goes one of Hunter's impressions and joke setups. "But the piggy was smart and planted her home during the last thaw of the Idaho spring, when our soil's at its most nutrient-rich, and she kept it that way year-round using our patented three-step patented lawncare program (pronounced "pro-grum")."
Now that he's conquered Idaho, where does Hunter see himself in the future?
"Hopefully not a burnt-out curiosity that somebody's pointing at at some brewery saying, 'that guy used to be the best in Idaho,'" he said.
But seriously, Hunter hopes winning the contest will open doors for him. He'd like to start touring the Northwest. In the near future, he'll be doing his thing Friday, May 27, in a comedy show at Brother Brown's Underground Bar-B-Q.
The Idaho's Best Comedian organizer, Beth Norton, was able to provide all the contestants with head shots, video of their sets and an updated biography -- things comics can use to get gigs at various venues and festivals.
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