It’s a well know fact that on occasion, comedians have to deal with hecklers.
But do let me say this – hecklers are not as common as many people think and most of the time…
It is the comedian who causes the heckling to occur — either with an unfunny act or by delivering material that is offensive and causes a heckling response.
But sometimes, the heckling is unprovoked. Unprovoked heckling is usually due to a patron’s over indulgence of the refreshing adult beverages prior to and during a show.
There are an infinite number of ways that a comedian can deal with a heckler depending what caused the heckling and what the heckler says and how they react to the comedian managing the situation.
What you are about to see in the video below is a professional comedian not only completely destroy a heckler — but do it in such a way that I must applaud him for how skillfully he did it.
The comedian is Todd Glass who was featured among many other pro comedians in the stand-up comedy documentary I Am Comic.
As I mentioned earlier, the vast majority of heckling that occurs is a result of what a comedian says or does.
However, such is not the case in this video — the heckling is a result of intoxication, coupled with a hefty does of stupid.
Now before I get to the video, let me say this:
It takes tremendous courage and skill that can only be garnered from extensive stage experience to deal with a heckler effectively like Todd Glass does in this amazing video, without having to resort to using “stock” heckler lines like many comedians do.
There is much to be learned from this video and my only regret is that I wasn’t there to see it happen live (my comments are below the video):
Here’s just a taste of what you can learn from this extraordinary video:
- Todd sets it up perfectly, keeping the audience on his side the whole time as he whacks this obnoxious woman (who shouldn’t be out in public among other civilized humans) into submission.
- Todd uses little profanity to get the awesome results he needs (which is to get the witch to shut up or leave the room).
- Notice how he distances himself from her when she approaches the stage, not allowing this moron to even share the same space as him. This actually allows him to stay in control and to continue to focus the audience’s attention on her in his favor.
There is a complete episode on dealing with hecklers (Episode 7) in the Stand-up Comedy Secrets For Beginners audio series.
Also keep this in mind…
Todd has been a professional comedian for years and I am sure that he has experienced and handled situations far worse than this.
But was that awesome or what???!!!
Like I said, there is much to be learned from this Todd Glass video on how to provide a full frontal assault on a heckler or unruly audience member without losing the rest of the audience in the process.
I have told comedians this for years:
If an audience is laughing, they are not heckling. In other words…
A comedian’s best defense against hecklers is delivering the tightest act possible.
The next best defense is to get the stage experience to be able to deal with heckling effectively when it does happen
Brilliant! This is a big worry for me – that I won’t be able to deal with a heckler or will forget where I am in my set. Hopefully, experience helps!