No high resolution image exists...
This week's "Ask The Comedy Guy" question is:
"How does a comedian handle a heckler from the audience?"
Thank you for that question! As most of you know, The Comedy Guy is one of the most easy going people in Sacramento. But nothing gets my ire up like this behavior at a live comedy performance. So, if you read my angry hit piece; "The Things That I Hate" on the SacramentoComedy.Com website, then you know this is one of my personal vexations.
I came to see the professional comedian, not you, the drunk audience member wanting to be part of the act. Laugh, respond only when spoken to and keep your comments quietly to yourself. Unless you have a good 15 minutes of solid, well rehearsed, stand up material, you probably aren’t a better comedy writer than the guy or gal on stage.
When you are shot down or torn up by the person on stage, don’t think you are “adding great material to their act”. You aren’t. You are only showing everyone around you are a social misfit out on a day pass. I doubt that you shout out at the movie screen, (Rocky Horror Picture Show fans are an exception). I pay very good money to be entertained by the professional on the stage. Sit down and Shut The F*** Up!
Fortunately, (or unfortunately, depending on your viewpoint), most experienced comedians have a pocket full of ways to handle hecklers.
First, ignore them. An occasional misappropriated comment from the audience might just be a slip in protocol. Next, they might nicely make a joke "Hey, I don't come and harass you at your job at Burger King" to call the offending party out. Finally, if the comic has the training and experience, they flat outright challenge the heckler, turning the crowd against them.
One of the funniest and least mean spirited example of this is by San Francisco comedian, Joe Klocek. He brought the heckler on stage and, well you can see the result by clicking here. By the way, Klocek will be headlining at the Sacramento Punchline later this month. You can check him and all of the Sacramento comedy events, headliners and Sacramento comedy clubs in the Sacramento area at our website.
Keep laughing until next week!
The Comedy Guy
Steven Bloom is the founder of SacramentoComedy.Com, the Official Guide to Sacramento Comedy. This web site is dedicated to interviews, comedian bios, videos and consolidatiing all of the Sacramento comedy events to a single site. You can send your questions directly to The Comedy Guy at Steven@SacramentoComedy.Com