So in Part 1 I discussed a special breed of heckler I had never dealt with before, The Fan. This guy was a lover of my Youtube clips, the only problem was there’s a lot of material I no longer do and he added to this difficulty by requesting/demanding bits by yelling out the punchline. As I alluded to at the end of Part 1, he was not a lone gunman. No, there was a second shooter in the grassy knoll, 4 seats away from my other heckler. This 2nd shooter was your more typical heckler, drunk and stupid.
Now before I get in farther into this story, I should offer up that also in the crowd was a friend of mine’s 18 and 16 year-old sons. I think she knew what type of a show I would do, but it did challenge me not to go over the top with the hecklers, as I didn’t want the first comedy show they ever witnessed to be a carcass-stripping event.
More background would include the only person I didn’t know at the show was the 2nd shooter, a guy who had come with a friend who is a great fan of my standup. What my friend and I didn’t know was that the 2nd shooter had drank a massive amount of liquor earlier in the day. Since he didn’t seem that drunk and he told me his name was Buford, I figured he was just an asshole. Not sure he isn’t both, but I found out the next day he didn’t remember anything that happened. Let me tell you Buford, I’m not making any of this stuff up. I was a journalism major in college so I have at least 2 sources for the verbal assault that follows.
Unlike my buddy who was yelling out my punchlines, Buford was heckling in a more typical fashion. He thought it was his duty to throw out his opinions on my jokes. A little Buford background help here. He was around 27 years old. He was overweight. He looked and came off a little rednecky, but was sporting tattoos and earrings. He said he managed a McDonalds. Here are my 4 favorite responses to him, when he wouldn’t shut his trap.
- I told him he reminded my of a redneck Dennis Rodman. I looked at him like a redneck hiding under some rapper bling.
- I mentioned that it’s not surprising that he works at McDonalds because I’m sure when women meet you they see you as something they would get off of the Dollar Menu. (Not sure that means anything, but it’s funny.)
- At a certain point some people were getting really frustrated with him, so I warned him that a couple friends of mine here might end up burying him on 15th green. (we were at a golf course banquet hall) I added that it would take a big shovel to do it.
- At one point I finally lost it from his constant talking, so to calm myself down I took my belt off and said it was a gift from me. Take it and hang yourself with it in a closet. I added that this time, though, you won’t be able to yell Mommy and have her come and help you like when you’ve done it before.
That is kind of a fun thing about standup. I have no idea where this stuff comes from. I’ve never said it before and I’m sure I won’t again, because it was specific to my target. (Though the autoerotica/Mommy line might need to make a reappearance some time:) Actually not being able to get too dirty because of my friends teenagers made me more restrained and forced me to be a little more creativity in my slap-downs.
I want to mention that I only get hecklers about 1 out of 10 shows, so don’t think this is a normal thing at my show. I will admit I’m a little too thin-skinned on-stage, so unlike a lot of other comics, I rarely ignore someone who has something to say to me. I’m not sure this always serves me well, but it’s who I am. Some people are raised to run the family law firm or auto-body shop. The laboratory I was hatched was one where I had a father who verbally abused me on a consistent basis. I know only one way to respond when someone tries to take me out of my game. Respond with greater force back. Not always proud of this instinct, but it served me well last Friday night.