[NSFW: swear words galore] Hecklers
, the bane of many a performance. Here you can watch a documentary about Hecklers
[ part 1
- part 2
- part 3
- part 4
] and other critics. Someone at the beginning of that "Heckler" movie says something like, "A show was never made better because of a heckler." If only all of the banter was as funny as when Matt Walsh was heckled at SXSW.
More often, it's like how Kyle Kinane states right off the bat during his act: "Every trainwreck needs a fuckin’ caboose; let’s get it over with,"
before he launches into a semi-drunken 9-minute conversation/shoutfest. But every once in a while, you get the perfect "point, counterpoint" moment.
Let's see how different stand-up comedians react when the social contract of audience/performer is broken.
How to deal with Hecklers? Here are some tips from the pros, and some semi-pros:
KNOW THE CROWD. CONTROL THE CROWD.
• Bill Maher reminds the studio audience of Real Time that the word audience
stems from the Latin, to listen
. Of course, this is after he bum-rushes the first heckler.
• Steve Hofstetter deals with multiple hecklers: he calls out a texting heckler, who is a doctor, no, wait, a lawyer. Steve Hofstetter vs. the Ukelele Audience. He doesn't convert jokes into Celsius when in the USA, either.
• Rich Vos easily maneuvers his way out of what would be a tight spot for many others.
• David Cross loses his timing and is about to lose control of the audience, but is able to rein them back in.
• Louis C.K.'s timing is thrown off too, and he gets the saddest heckle ever. He also loses the crowd and then wins them back.
SHUT THE HECKLER DOWN, NO MATTER THE COST!
• Bill Hicks gives the classic "going nuclear" example.
• Dave Bishop takes his cue from Bill
, then introduces Joe Rogan onto the stage.
• Joe Rogan gets a lot
, and enjoys griefing them.
• Todd Glass unleashes a pre-emptive strike, and wins
• Arj Barker hates hecklers, and wins the audience over to his side.
• Jimmy Merritt hates hecklers, and tries to win the heckler's girlfriend to his side.
• Joe Matarese doesn’t care about the audience
and will take them all on.
• Elliott Chang and Travis Howze both offer free drinks
to their hecklers.
PULL THE OL' SWITCHEROO
• Mitch Hedberg likes to turn
• Zach Galifianakis invites a woman on her cellphone onstage, and caters his act to her.
• [Unidentified] just confiscates the phone and makes a call
• Richard Herring tries to get the heckler to understand how stand-up comedy works,
before suggesting that he and the audience murder the heckler.
• Joe Klocek invites the heckler onstage, gives him a mic, and provides commentary.
BOB AND WEAVE! LEFT!! RIGHT!!
• Jim Gaffigan having a hard night.
• Jamie Kilstein tries, for a moment, to appeal to higher states of thought.
• Gary Owen goes for the low shots.
• Amy Schumer deals a one-two knockout blow.
• Jacqueline Novak needs the heckler to say only two words before shoving those words back down the heckler's throat with a well-reasoned philosophical stance.
• Jamie Kennedy has The Defender of Servers on the ropes!
• Greg Giraldo practiced on guys like this.
REALIZE IT'S JUST NOT YOUR NIGHT
• Jesse Fernandez just deals with it.
• Doug Williams is blindsided by a really mean heckler, Jamie Foxx.
• Realize it's just not your planet.