Sunday, 13 June 2010
Comedians Vs. Hecklers
Stand-up comedians do not like hecklers. Why? Because hecklers are moronic, self-absorbed, talentless, attention-sucking idiots who ruin not only the carefully prepared and much-worked performances of artists, in so doing, they ruin those performances for the people who paid money to see 'em. Some comedians, like Louis CK, do whatever they can to ignore 'em and move on. But sometimes it's impossible (although even Louis has them ready). Here are a few comedians dealing with hecklers, and in so doing, winning a small victory over the idiots. (Get ready for swears...)
Frankie Boyle is a Glaswegian comic who seems to fall ass-backwards into trouble because he's not afraid to make jokes about sensitive topical issues. Even now he's in the news because he said somethin' about somethin' and the knives are out 'cause they're all just waitin' for him to say somethin'. Here he is dealing with a fellow countrywoman in one of the most effective, cold, clean and very funny 'heckle-owns' ever.
"Yeah...I remember when I had my first beer." - Steve Martin
Understandably, Arj wants to move on after being heckled here. The idiot in the audience doesn't want allow it. So he bites. Takes a chunk. And wins. All done with a lovely smile.
"Sorry, I can't do one-on-one, it's a big place. In a much smaller room...I'd still ignore you, you cunt, shush." - Ricky Gervais
This one's a bit different, because the heckler isn't having a shot at Carr, he's a fan who's fallen into the trap of thinking it's okay to enter into a chatty dialogue with the guy on stage. Jimmy Carr's not my favourite comedian in the world, but he's very good at his job, and he shows it here.
"You wanna know where I got my boots? Okay, they're at the corner of 'You Can't Afford Them' and 'Stop Talking to Me.'" - Amy Schumer
Oswalt has recently dealt with the other pet hate of many comedians: joke thievery. Some wad called Nick Madsen stole huge chunks of Oswalt's material and was caught doing it. Within weeks Columbia valedictorian Brian Corman was busted ripping Patton's 'Physics for Poets' bit during the School of General Studies' graduation ceremony! Liberal arts, indeed.
Here (at 2:23), during a quiet moment in an Oswalt bit, an idiot yelps. Oswalt then spends the next few minutes ripping the guy to bits...and crucially, keeps it funny. Once complete, he seamlessly moves back into the bit. Nice work.
"I always think it'd be fun one night to come out and shoot a heckler...'cause people'd come back and go, 'Don't! He killed a guy last week." - Louie Anderson
As we move on it becomes more uncomfortable. This guy is drunk and ornery and opens his idiot mouth as soon as Richard comes on stage. Drunk or not, he deserves to be pilloried. And kicked out. He gets what he deserves.
"Do you go to Eric Clapton concerts with your own fucking guitar?" - Bill Hicks
Ron Shock is not a well-known comedian but he's been around a looooong time. He was one of the Outlaw Comics, whose members included Sam Kinison and the sainted Bill Hicks. As you can see, Ron is still playing the clubs and he still has to suffer the artistic indignity of pushing shit uphill. He offers the only real choice a heckler should have: shut up or leave.
"Didn't your mother ever tell you never to drink on an empty fuckin' head?" - Billy Connolly
He had to be here. Chicago. This one needs context (which is in a longer clip here). Bill often dealt with idiots, sometimes more than one per show. This woman was not the only loudmouthed ass-cashew that he had to contend with during this gig (people yelling 'Freebird', requesting old bits), but she was the one who finally pushed him over the edge. Most who know it remember the 'drunk cunt' line, but it's the "I want you to go find a fuckin' soul!" that sticks with me.
Simple Rules for Potential Hecklers