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Heckleva job, Rummy
December 11, 2006 3:36 PM   Subscribe

Handling Hecklers (youtube filter - NSFW language) In the wake of the Michael Richards fiasco, many lessons have been learned. Is there a better way to handle the onslaught of loudmouths? Some do it with finesse. Others struggle. What if they actually get up on stage and try to fight you? Can they be overpowered simply by being louder and obnoxious? Sometimes they set themselves up too easily. Comedy legends sure can have their own distinctive approach. Even Clinton knew how to handle the pressure. Musicians themselves are no strangers to poor decisons. What's to say about comics who go after their own? There's also the benevolent way. Can you even blame this guy? You can always try to stay classy, but that just seems to exacerbate things. It's definitely topical enough to make skits out of. Here are a few more thrown in for good measure.
posted by Mach3avelli (91 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite

 
Nice post, but there aren't enough heckler-related links. Couldn't you have researched this a little better?

Is joke.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:41 PM on December 11, 2006


FREEBIRD!
posted by Justinian at 3:45 PM on December 11, 2006


I recall that one time a fan threw a lighter on stage hitting David Lee Roth in the head. "That's OK," Roth said, "I know who did it and I'm gonna fuck your girlfriend after the show."

That's handling a heckler.
posted by jonmc at 3:51 PM on December 11, 2006 [2 favorites]


Wow, that country singer, he ruined his own guitar AND alienated his audience. Knucklehead. Maybe he shoulda just walked offstage right from the get-go, like this guy at opera last Thursday.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:52 PM on December 11, 2006


flapjax, go easy on MACH3avelii. Don't turn this into some kind of (wait for it...)


WHIPPING POST!
posted by hal9k at 3:57 PM on December 11, 2006


um, that's the opera... just so's nobody'll think I ain't cultured or nothing...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:58 PM on December 11, 2006


STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN!!!!!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:59 PM on December 11, 2006


What's the Clinton one about? I mean, what's he heckling him about? Something about bombing? Seems like a small forum for a president to speak in, though.
posted by Dasein at 4:07 PM on December 11, 2006


SATELLITE OF LOVE!!!

what, is it just me, then?
posted by thecaddy at 4:08 PM on December 11, 2006


Ahh, the good old days when gentlemen like Country Dick Montana or Jello Biafra would simply spit beer or piss on heckers...... or, well, anyone for that matter.
posted by elendil71 at 4:10 PM on December 11, 2006


"hecklers" that is .... dammit
posted by elendil71 at 4:11 PM on December 11, 2006


What's the Clinton one about? I mean, what's he heckling him about? Something about bombing? Seems like a small forum for a president to speak in, though.

That was during his run-up to the presidency back in 92.
posted by Mach3avelli at 4:13 PM on December 11, 2006


That makes more sense - so what was the heckling about?
posted by Dasein at 4:15 PM on December 11, 2006


Damn you, Mach3avelli - here I was about to post an FPP concerning Roberto Alagna's walkout after being booed. With last night's production of Aida nearly in jeopardy, an understudy walked in - literally in street clothes - and salvaged the lavish opera production. Ah, well - my hat's off to you, but my friend says you're not funny...
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:24 PM on December 11, 2006


yes, but how do i as a semi-pro heckler deal with tall, washed up, racist "comedians" from dead tv shows?
posted by mikoroshi at 4:25 PM on December 11, 2006


Outstanding, creative Youtubery.
posted by kosem at 4:26 PM on December 11, 2006


*slaps forehead at not noticing flapjax at midnite's post*

Okay...well....Oakland's really got it outta control, huh?
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:27 PM on December 11, 2006


saw bobcat goldthwaite once, he just put the mic down, walked over to the guy and farted on his head.
posted by andywolf at 4:32 PM on December 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


Seoul, August 1974 - Japanese-born assassin Mun Se Kwang gets up during President Park Chung Hee's speech and advances down the aisle, firing his pistol. He misses, but a stray bullet hits Park's wife in the head, killing her. The security team wade in, and one of the guard's bullets kills a teenage member of the twelve-strong chorus that are due to sing when the address is through. The would-be assassin is subdued, and taken away, along with the bloodied bodies of the schoolgirl and Park's wife. Park emerges from behind his bulletproof lecturn, waits for the audience to quieten down. 'I apologise for the interruption,' he says, his inflection stone-cold. 'I shall continue with my speech.'

Now that's dealing with a heckler.
posted by RokkitNite at 4:32 PM on December 11, 2006 [2 favorites]


*slaps forehead at not noticing flapjax at midnite's post*

Smart Dalek, all is forgiven. Go in peace.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:34 PM on December 11, 2006


My favorite kind-of-a-heckler video. This guy gets up on the stage at a Tool concert and Maynard throws him to the ground, pins him and finishes the song.
posted by Mr_Zero at 4:35 PM on December 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


I like going to classical concerts and screaming, "FIREBIRD!"
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:35 PM on December 11, 2006 [2 favorites]


Wow, Rokkitnite, is that really true? Dag...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:36 PM on December 11, 2006


!!!
posted by freebird at 4:36 PM on December 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


Awesome post, thanks.
posted by Falconetti at 4:39 PM on December 11, 2006


This post sucks! Get off the page!
posted by notmydesk at 4:44 PM on December 11, 2006


I just saw that Joe Rogan post on digg yesterday and was thinking of a comprehensive post like this. This post is better than I would've done, though. Kudos!
posted by zardoz at 4:44 PM on December 11, 2006


Wow, Rokkitnite, is that really true? Dag...

Yup - and they caught it on camera, too.
posted by RokkitNite at 4:52 PM on December 11, 2006


and they caught it on camera, too.

Link?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:53 PM on December 11, 2006


Not readily available but on record, but Lenny Bruce put on the personna of a nd rate comic who mnages to talk his wy into the best of all venues--he Palladium. There, he bombs and the crowd heckles...he doesn't know how to respond and begins to insult the Irish etc till he is yanked off stage, dressed in drag, and hustled out to airport to be flown back to America. Bruce, a consumate comic,often worried about the life and role of comics and this sort of act expressed his anxiety.
posted by Postroad at 4:56 PM on December 11, 2006


I wouldn't go after some rock guitarists. Like Keith. Just wish there was video of Pete swatting Abbie Hoffman off the stage at Woodstock.
posted by Ber at 5:02 PM on December 11, 2006


Still my favorite is David Cross dealing with the drunk woman who "just wanted to feel it" on Shut Up You FUcking Baby.

For those who haven't heard it, some woman at the show just sort of started to half-sit on the stage and try to talk with Cross as he was in the middle of his bit, until he broke down and asked her what the hell she was trying to do. He then dealt with it by handing her the microphone and having her explain her inebriated self to the rest of the audience while he opened up another beer.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:04 PM on December 11, 2006


2-year-old Sadie deals with a heckler.
posted by horsewithnoname at 5:09 PM on December 11, 2006


You're not funny!
posted by Pollomacho at 5:15 PM on December 11, 2006


Well that was the cutest damn heckle ever.
posted by geoff. at 5:16 PM on December 11, 2006


Steve Martin to a heckler: "Yeah, I remember when I had my first beer..."
posted by Iridic at 5:16 PM on December 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


Very cool post! Funny or no, standup comics have balls for going up onstage alone, without a band or anybody else to deflect criticism. Handling hecklers well is an art form in itself.


Bill Burr from Opie and Anthony dealt with this a few months ago too.
posted by eraserhed at 5:18 PM on December 11, 2006


And also.....I'm surprised that this FPP didn't mention Neil Hamburger...the guy has made getting heckled an essential part of his act, almost to the point where it's performance art.
posted by eraserhed at 5:22 PM on December 11, 2006


Make it funny!
posted by Pollomacho at 5:38 PM on December 11, 2006


Zipper schitck!!!
posted by crank at 5:40 PM on December 11, 2006


hush you Muskies!
posted by stirfry at 5:51 PM on December 11, 2006


I'm surprised that this FPP didn't mention Neil Hamburger

Oh man. I saw that guy open for Tenacious D recently, and it was the longest 30 minutes of my entire life. He took his shtick way too far to be funny. His show definitely wasn't entertaining, and for the majority of the time it was actually boring.

To be fair, I've heard his act can be funny if a good audience is present, but unfortunately that wasn't the case for me. I guess seeing him is sort of like paying a man to kick you in the nuts: it only feels good occasionally.
posted by Drunken_munky at 5:56 PM on December 11, 2006


it only feels good occasionally.

Isn't it more like: it only feels good when it stops?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:04 PM on December 11, 2006


like paying a man to kick you in the nuts: it only feels good occasionally.

Just what occasion would make a swift kick to the nards feel good?
posted by jonmc at 6:17 PM on December 11, 2006


This type of humor makes me very uncomfortable.
posted by ColdChef at 6:18 PM on December 11, 2006


Just what occasion would make a swift kick to the nards feel good?

Clearly, a very special one. Want to come over later?
posted by Drunken_munky at 6:23 PM on December 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


To be fair, I've heard his act can be funny if a good audience is present...

The best audience for Neil Hamburger is a hostile one. "But thaaaaaat's my life! *sigh*" He truly is America's $1 Funnyman.
posted by NoMich at 6:28 PM on December 11, 2006


At least people don't throw rotten fruit anymore.
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 6:38 PM on December 11, 2006


Oh man, this is an excellent post! Nicely done.

And Drunken_munky, from my understanding, Neil's act is never good. Nor should it be. People go to his shows thinking "Oh, God, it's gonna be so terrible it will have to be good!" and leave thinking, "That was just...bad."
posted by piratebowling at 6:39 PM on December 11, 2006


Hey man, what's the deal with the interruption? I don't go down to your job and knock the cock out of your mouth.*


*the old standby.

Nice post.
posted by Divine_Wino at 6:46 PM on December 11, 2006


Great post! The Jamie Foxx link, ("go after") is particularly brutal, btw.
posted by Gilbert at 6:54 PM on December 11, 2006


Fine postage.
posted by parki at 7:09 PM on December 11, 2006


GalaxieFiveHundred: "At least people don't throw rotten fruit anymore."

That's authentic? Amazing. I was sure it was recent and staged, until I went to the main page. There's some good stuff there, some of which was apparently filmed by Edison. Thanks for that.

Oh, and I like the FPP, too.
posted by squarehead at 7:18 PM on December 11, 2006


Great post.

What I would really like to see is a "King of the Fast and Furious One Liners" type of comedian dealing with a heckler.

Someone like Rodney Dangerfield.
posted by Flunkie at 7:29 PM on December 11, 2006


GalaxieFiveHundred, that site is awesome. Thanks!

Looks like Tom Edison beat Letterman to Stupid Pet Tricks by eight decades.
posted by Flunkie at 7:37 PM on December 11, 2006


Squarehead:
That's authentic? Amazing. I was sure it was recent and staged, until I went to the main page.
No, it's not authentic. It's staged. Just not "recent and staged".
posted by Flunkie at 7:59 PM on December 11, 2006


Goddamn. Sadie's vid kinda got to me...
posted by LordSludge at 8:36 PM on December 11, 2006


A story related somewhat to RokkitNite's, this time about one of our previous presidents:

While campaigning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 14, 1912, a saloonkeeper named John Schrank failed in an assassination attempt on Roosevelt. Schrank did shoot the former President, but the bullet lodged in Roosevelt's chest only after hitting both his steel eyeglass case and a copy of his speech he was carrying in his jacket. Roosevelt declined suggestions that he go to the hospital, and delivered his scheduled speech. He spoke vigorously for ninety minutes. His opening comments to the gathered crowd were, "I don't know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose."

It's a famous story and most of you have probably heard it in some form already, but it's a cool tale and is relevant to the post. Though I must admit, Teddy wasn't as hardcore as Park Chung Hee.
posted by kosher_jenny at 9:18 PM on December 11, 2006


No, it's not authentic. It's staged. Just not "recent and staged"."

Thanks for the clarification, Flunkie.
posted by squarehead at 10:19 PM on December 11, 2006


here's something that worked for me long, long ago at an open mike night when i was being heckled:
"say there buddy, you look awfully familiar, i'm sure i've seen you somewhere before, wait a second, oh yes, now i remember, i saw you on tv when you won a silver medal in the special olympics. gimme a hug!"
posted by bruce at 10:59 PM on December 11, 2006


Here's the footage Rokkitnite mentioned, although it's presented in an...unexpected format.
posted by joedan at 11:11 PM on December 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


Flunkie writes "What I would really like to see is a 'King of the Fast and Furious One Liners' type of comedian dealing with a heckler.

"Someone like Rodney Dangerfield."


He does a little of that on his "No Respect" CD.
posted by concrete at 11:20 PM on December 11, 2006


Damn, eraserhed, that Bill Burr clip has some hilarious moments; it's like a comic's wet dream - to just stand there and stoke that hatred, and then still have some of the audience laughing...it sagged a bunch of times, but hell, you try handling that awful situation.

I totally cracked up when he pulled out "So I got a new computer the other day..." about 8 minutes in.
posted by mediareport at 11:39 PM on December 11, 2006


Anyone got an answer key so I don't have to watch all 21 videos to see the interesting ones?
posted by pracowity at 12:17 AM on December 12, 2006


Hey, do I come to your workplace and tell you how to do your job?

*cou(lame)gh*
posted by dreamsign at 1:02 AM on December 12, 2006


One of my favorite responses to a heckler, Tori Amos with the great koan: "Where would we be without our assholes?"

One of my favorite heckles: At an Atari Teenage Riot show in the late 90's, Alec Empire is giving his usual rant of "Fuck the government! Fuck the police!" and the drunk polisci students, shout back, "You got it man! Fuck Alexander Hamilton!"
posted by pandaharma at 3:26 AM on December 12, 2006


wow, great post.
posted by ouke at 3:26 AM on December 12, 2006


Damn, I gotta say, though, a lot of these "comedians" are some seriously malfunctioning people. Troubled souls. Overflowing with burning hatred, raging like lunatics, screaming into their microphones... Really pretty pathetic.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:54 AM on December 12, 2006


A very large heckler beats Pauly Shore.
posted by chillmost at 4:10 AM on December 12, 2006


Maynard is God
posted by signal at 5:07 AM on December 12, 2006


holy shit chillmost, Pauly Shore has always been depressing but jessus.
posted by CaptMcalister at 5:23 AM on December 12, 2006


I already knew Koreans are some of the toughest sumbitches around, but RokkitNite's anecdote about Park Chung Hee gets an eight-point-five on artistic merit. Or something.
posted by pax digita at 5:29 AM on December 12, 2006


chillmost
posted by Mr_Zero at 5:38 AM on December 12, 2006


A very large heckler beats Pauly Shore.
posted by chillmost at 12:10 PM GMT on December 12

'That's for Biodome, motherfucker!' I haven't laughed this hard in ages. Couldn't have happened to a more annoying person. I love it.
posted by slimepuppy at 5:43 AM on December 12, 2006


re: Pauly Shore

Is that what you call "Whacking The Weasel"? I can tell you from personal experience that he's had that and worse coming for a couple of decades now. It's a shame it came from a drunk redneck and not as a lightning bolt delivered by the comedy gods.
posted by Optamystic at 6:20 AM on December 12, 2006


It's a shame it came from a drunk redneck

What? Taking care of the Pauly Shores of the world is one of primary functions of the redneck.
posted by jonmc at 6:34 AM on December 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


During a performance of "The Lion in Winter" on Broadway, Laurence Fishburne was interrupted by a ringing cell phone. Breaking character, he glared into the house and demanded, "Are you going to turn that fucking thing off?" The line earned Fishburne a huge ovation, according to several accounts.

Also, there's this quote from Steve Martin about people who interrupt performances...
Communication has changed so rapidly in the last 20 years, it's almost impossible to predict what might occur even in the next decade. E-mail, which now sends data hurtling across vast distances at the speed of light, has replaced primitive forms of communication such as smoke signals, which sent data hurtling across vast distances at the speed of light. Let's suppose that you want to say, "I am a jerk." In the 18th century, you would have to go around person to person and utter the phrase individually to each one of them. However, here in the third millennium, with our advances in telephone communication, it is possible to say, "I am a jerk" to a thousand people at a time by forgetting to turn off your cell phone and having it ring during a performance of "Death of a Salesman."
posted by Zack_Replica at 7:33 AM on December 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


I was doing a show one night and got hecked by an audience member. I yelled out : Ladies and Gentlemen,
meet Mr. ***hole! The audience cracked up. He yelled out:
Hey! You didn't have to call me an ***hole! Thru my entire act he kept whining that I didn't have to call him names.
Finally, after talking to him. I realized that this guy didn't know what a heckler was to a comedian. So I skooled him.
I told him that he interupted my act then he was fair game for me to shoot him down or silence him. He add that I didn't have to call him an ***hole. All this was going on in front of an audience. They laughed and he got up on stage,
begging for an apology for being called an ***hole....
Then I lost it.....I began screaming at him at the top of my lungs...that's when the audience realized that this was not part of the act and that this jackass was one stupid human being. I asked him to leave the stage. As he was leaving,
I yelled out...Thank you Mr. ***hole. The guy almost cried.
He and about 5 friends walked out and the audience applauded. As I finished the show, the manager told me that the guy and his friends were waiting for me outside.
The fun never ends.
posted by doctorschlock at 8:36 AM on December 12, 2006


When snappy retorts fail, there's always the old standard: Vice President Nelson Rockefeller responds in kind to Vietnam War protestors at a 1976 Bob Dole (bkgd) campaign rally.VIA
posted by cenoxo at 9:20 AM on December 12, 2006


The Bill Burr and Pauly Shore videos are SOLID GOLD. Burr explains why he went off, interspersed with more Philly love:
..RON JAWORSKI, THAT STUPID FAT-FACED POLACK. HOW MANY TIMES ARE YOU GOING TO THROW IT TO ROD MARTIN BEFORE YOU REALIZE HE'S ON THE OTHER TEAM? ..HEY COACH, HE KEEPS RUNNING THE WRONG WAY......

THIS PIECE OF SHIT, WHITE TRASH TOWN. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME ANYBODY WHITE FROM PHILADELPHIA EVER ACCOMPLISHED ANYTHING? ALL THE SUCCESS STORIES ARE BLACK. JOE FRAISER, WILL SMITH, THE ROOTS, ERYKAH BADU. PHILADELPHIA IS LIKE A BIG DUMPING GROUND FOR FAILED WHITE PEOPLE. YOU SHOULD ALL GO HOME AND HANG YOURSELVES BY YOUR WALLET CHAINS. WHAT A BUNCH OF FUCKIN LOSERS
posted by letitrain at 9:36 AM on December 12, 2006


At a Jim O'Rourke show during a laptop-centric song, some guy shouts, "Dude, can I check my Hotmail?" Killed me.
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 10:06 AM on December 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


That Pauly Shore video is sad and scary. There is absolutely no reason anyone in the audience should be able to get up on any stage like that and assault anyone. People laughing at that happening are sad and scary too.
posted by dog food sugar at 10:18 AM on December 12, 2006


I am a hoo-man!
posted by deborah at 12:42 PM on December 12, 2006


Slowly but surely, Joe Rogan will get respect for being a good comedian. His clip was excellent. Bill Burr's is already a classic. I love Bill Hicks, but that clip (which I've seen before) is disturbing.

Great post.
posted by Bookhouse at 2:36 PM on December 12, 2006


Hugely entertaining. Thankyou.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 4:20 PM on December 12, 2006


In the extras of one of the Mr. Show DVDs, the group visits Aspen in disguise and stages a heckling convention for a character David Cross is playing. If you haven't seen it, you should.
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 4:22 PM on December 12, 2006


deborah: Just something about that little girl getting heckled by an older boy -- "You're just a girl!" and her "I'm not... I'm not a girl, I'm a hooman!" Damn, that's just really sad to me.
posted by LordSludge at 7:48 PM on December 12, 2006


That Pauly Shore video is a fake. Thank you for being so cynical about the cynicism.
posted by Captaintripps at 9:30 AM on December 13, 2006


...Pauly Shore video is a fake...

Oops...I totally fell for that... but... yay! My prefered hope that people are not so completely nasty is a little restored!
posted by dog food sugar at 10:31 AM on December 13, 2006


Drunken_munky: Neil Hamburger is one of my all-time favorites! The joke is on the audience, he intentionally drags things out and tells the lamest jokes possible.

One concert, he had a two-minute silence for Princess Di, which started less than 30 seconds after his act did. Killed everything.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:39 AM on December 13, 2006


"this isn't TV, bitch, when you speak i can HEAR YOU" (from the "finesse" link) is killing me dead.
posted by radiosilents at 11:55 AM on December 13, 2006


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