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  1. Heckle me, Elmo.

    Tuesday, July 31, 2012


    Dyke. Or maybe lesbian. That’s what he said. Or at least I think that’s what he said. Personally, I never heard him. I found out later from some of my friends who were in the audience. My friend John (see “my little hint of girlyness” in a previous blog) defended me somehow and called him out on it. Lesbian. Really? To call me a lesbian onstage is like waiting for Carrot Top to get up there and then yell, “redhead”. Dyke? That’s different. It’s definitely more aggressive. But like I said, I never even heard it. And at this point, I barely remember it. That’s probably been my only real heckling, because for this blog I’m not going to count drunken fools that randomly yell out things, not just to me, but to every comic in the lineup. I do consider that heckling, but I don’t take it as personally as I did this. Or as I would have taken this, had I heard it. But since I didn’t hear it, it makes me consider the age-old question, “If a heckler heckles in a club and there’s no comic to hear it, does it still make a heckle?”

    I’ve seen people get heckled. I’ve seen it handled well; I’ve seen it handled not so well. I’ve seen a comic “induce” heckling and then in not being able to handle it, freeze up an entire room to the point where anyone following him could say whatever they wanted and get roars of laughter, basically by releasing the staggering amount of tension. Then I’ve never seen that comic again.

    So back to my heckler. Although it was a long time ago, I sometimes think back on it and wonder if I had heard it, how would I have responded? Of course I always go with the harsher word in my mind:

    - “That’s my name, don’t wear it out.”

    - “If you’re in the market for lumber, you’ve come to the wrong place. Although if you’re a gentleman looking for lumber, maybe the West Village is the right place for you after all.” ( a somewhat local reference, as well as informative for tourists)

    - "Ooh, are we playing homophobic mad libs, now? Man, I can’t wait to hear an adverb!"

    I’ll admit it feels nice to close someone down, especially if you know they’re ruining the evening for everyone in the audience. Even if they aren’t directly heckling me, it’s nice to shut someone up in a way that’s better than just saying “shut up”. I’m talking about in a way that says “I’m smarter than you and everyone here knows it. And now you do too. So there. Take that back to your office water cooler on Monday morning and whine about it. At least it’ll stop you from rambling on about Dance Moms for one day.


    Of course having written this, I realize the next time I step foot on stage, I’m going to get heckled. And I’m sure I’ll think back on this blog in the process and wonder if I’ve spent enough time working on it. It’s not something I would ever look forward to or wish on anyone else. Unfortunately, it seems to come with the business and you just have to be prepared for it, as much as you can prepare for something that tends to happen spontaneously. I’m sure I’ll deal with it somehow. But on the bright side, I hope to hell they call me dyke.
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  2. 1 comments:

    1. i like your inventory of responses so far if you should need them.

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