Taking advantage of rude people
To keep your focus"
animals have been drinking!"
Yahoo in the Audience
Sometimes an audience member shouts out a comment or insult that has nothing to do with your act or speech.
You can ignore the Yahoo's interruption if:
However, if the audience both hears/sees the Yahoo's interruption, and respond
to his remark, then you have two choices:
- Most people did not hear his remark.
Remember: it doesn't matter what you see or hear from the stage/podium.
The only thing that counts is the audience's perception.
Yahoo in the front row is whispering nasty comments just loud enough for you
hear, the house does not know this is happening.
Squelch him, and you risk losing the sympathy of the crowd instantly.
If a Yahoo
is making faces at you from almost anywhere in the house, few if anyone in
the audience will be aware.
- Even if everyone hears/sees the Yahoo's interruption, they may not care that
How can you tell?
He will get no response from the audience.
In this situation, give him
the same thing: no response!
- Ignore said interruption only if you can get away with it, and still keep the audience on your side.
him if you can read how the audience regards him--usually ranging somewhere
loving him for
saying just what they had on their mind
down to hating
The only way to get good at squelching hecklers is to consciously practice it a lot.
Unlike in the 1950s when the average age of folks attending comedy shows in expensive
night clubs was mid-forties,
in today's comedy club the average age is about
In the 1950s, the audience dressed well and drank hard liquor (a distilled or
spirituous beverage) like brandy or whiskey.
Whereas, younger audiences are more likely to be drinking a fermented beverage,
like wine or beer.
Plus, many misguided comedy club owners have the MC start the show by asking
the audience not to heckle.
Youth, dressing down, relatively inexpensive combination of admission and drink
prices, less alcohol in patrons and ignorant club management all combine to create
a serious problem for stand-up comics:
Not enough heckling!
Yes: in this quintessential American art form in which traditionally one citizen would get up to address his/her fellow citizens on a level playing field, the tables are now turned.
What to do if we are to bring back equality between performer and each audience member?
Learn how to provoke the audience into heckling.
While still keeping control of this entertainment event.
Because stand-up comedy in its purest sense is really three acts:
1) The act
2) The act to defend the act
3) The act to sell the act.
While you are learning the act to defend the act,
you will also be learning the act to sell your act during media
with goofy interviewers whom you must learn to tame gracefully!
•Get in touch: 415-877-4424
Comedy Coach & Co-Writer
PO Box 992
Mill Valley, California 94942-0992
last updated: Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 12:29 pm and Sunday, January
6, 10:50 pm PST.
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