Handling Hecklers

Gaby Dunn is an aspiring female comedian who came to my attention because she recently posted about an onstage experience with an aggressive heckler.  This is the kind of thing that normally files under my news radar, but I follow several comedians on (Dam You!!) Twitter, so I get more “inside baseball” news from that scene that the average Tim.  I am attracted to the humor and quick witted intellect of comedians because I recognize those same traits in myself.  My family and friends think I would find myself in a crises of cognitive dissonance if I took a census regarding the collective mindset on the aforementioned trait similarities, so don’t look for a Poll Daddy link in that regard any time soon.  But I digress.

Gaby is crabby.  Outtakes from her story:

Then, I start my actual set and do my first two jokes, which go pretty okay. I start another joke that is vaguely sexual – not crude, not crass – mainly silly and that goes well too. The next joke I do is about my boyfriend.

Rim shot! So far so good….

As I start the joke, someone yells, “Does your boyfriend know?” referring to the sexuality joke I’d just told.

I gotta go listen to these jokes, but I digress.

I start to tell the joke about my boyfriend again, and at the midway point, the same voice yells something else derogatory about my boyfriend, homophobic and misogynistic towards me

Who the hell does this guy think he is, trying to get away with such politically incorrect bullshit? A Republican presidential candidate?  Or a comedian? Seriously though, it isn’t  suppose to be his act.

“Sir, if you’re gonna talk to me, you need to come to the front because I can’t see you.” I think calling him out like this will shut him up.

Yeah, and half the country thinks Jeebus is gonna come riding down on a unicorn and sweep them all up to Heaven before Obama gets re-elected (they pray), but we have reality to deal with.  After all, this is comedy we’re dealing with. Next time think “Danger Will Robinson, Danger!”

NOPE. Instead, he marches to the front and now I see he’s a TERRIFYING looking crazy man I hadn’t noticed in the crowd. He comes way too close to the stage and in my fear, I gesture that he needs to sit in the front, not come on stage with me which seems to be his plan.

He comes to the front when you told him to?  What kind of special crazy is that?  Is this a comedy show or The Price is Right?  But I digress.

I am horrified. He’s completely derailed the act I’ve worked hard on, ruined a night of me doing my job which I’d spent all day looking forward to (and I’d waited an hour to get on stage), embarrassed me and made me feel worthless in front of my friends at the show and my fellow comics and is really, really scaring me.

The hurt of that extra lonely hour waiting to get onstage really put the story in perspective for me.  Inviting this nutjob to the fore, instead of evicting him and mocking him relentlessly as they tazed his whimpering ass on the way out, cost you street cred and the adulation of the crowd.  Google Youtube for proper comedic responses in similar situations.  Gaby buckles to the pressure and leaves the stage without finishing her set.

“Now, because of you, no one’s gonna hear the punchline of that joke. ”Then, I get off stage.

Believe it or not, this is the point in the story where things started to go truly wrong for Gaby.  Something that makes even her interminable one hour green-room delay pale in comparison.

The creepy guy is waiting for me at the bar.

There is no way for me to get to the door without him seeing me. I am supposed to meet my boyfriend at a cafe four blocks away, but if I walk out alone, he’ll follow me. I am trapped.

I prefer a large, friendly-yet protective canine as a travel companion in those situations, but a gun, tazer, pepper-spray or swift kick in the balls is obviously more widely employed.  While pepper spray and tazers hardly ever shit on the carpet, neither will greet you with rapturous affections at every opportunity like the aforementioned.  Advice to Gaby and any other females, comedian or otherwise, man up.  Not to be confused with “my man is four blocks away and can’t help me”.  Please take this opportunity to assume personal responsibility for own personal protection Gaby!  This is not an advertisement for the NRA, because as I mentioned, I prefer dogs to guns.  Dogs sleep lighter than guns.

Best wishes on Gaby Dunn’s future success in comedy.


4 thoughts on “Handling Hecklers

  1. Wow. Fucking, rape culture. I love how while belittling and condescending to a woman who was harassed and assaulted in her workplace, you fail to condemn in any way the actions of the man who was doing the harassment (save in the context of his being a heckler, which is NOT what the main problem with his behaviour was) – and finished up by mocking her fear and judging her for not carrying weapons to defend herself. It’s great how you encourage us to “man up”, because that would legitimately solve all our problems. If women could just become men at will – well, Gaby wouldn’t have been the victim of misogyny OR stalked and harassed by this asshole, and we’d be at considerably lower odds of being raped!

    Check your fucking privilege, and stop victim-blaming, you colossal ass.

    • You see how it works? Approved in place of banned. The biggest victim in her story was her common sense, having decided that inviting the turd up front was a good idea. Security would have likely been happy to arrange his exit had she so desired. At no time was her physical security at risk. Quit asking for special privilege. I get heckled, name called and abused with regularity. It comes with the territory. You don’t see me whining about it.

      If you had any character yourself, you wouldn’t hide behind a cloak of anonymity when making such vulgar and misguided comments.


      • How about this. I’ll stop asking for “special privilege” when rape doesn’t happen to one in six women in their lifetimes. I’ll stop asking for “special privilege” when we as a society stop perpetuating rape culture. How about you look at the “special privilege” that comes with your sex, unearned and unasked for, before you start accusing women of wanting “special privilege” when they legitimately fear for their safety? Of COURSE her physical security was at risk. You understand that rape isn’t just a fairytale, right? It happens. Regularly. Every street, every city.

        You recommend women carry guns, tazers, pepper spray, train themselves in self-defense and lead around huge dogs all the time — but if a woman is harassed and stalked by a strange man, she’s overreacting if her first response is to be afraid? And to you, this is all just a story you can use to your advantage – draw more people to your blog. Hilarious stuff, rape and sexual assault! I’m sure your stand-up act is just wonderful, if this is the quality of the material you deal with.

        I fail to see how my identity or lack thereof has anything to do with your bigotry and your active participation in rape culture. I really, really hope you don’t have to go through the unimaginable horror of yourself or someone you love being sexually assaulted in order to learn that it’s NOTHING to joke about.

  2. My participation in rape culture? I have no clue as to where you come with with such wild ass accusations, but it mirrors the bullshit of the Girlyban Apologetic Society so it isn’t something unique. There are no sexual assaults or rapes under discussion here that have ever come to my attention. There is, at the foundation of this Girlyban dialogue (LOL), a poor lonely bastard in a heavily secured hotel elevator, with a penchant for coffee and perhaps a taste for girls with Bozo hairstyles. Certainly no rape,not even an accusation of fondling. This is followed up by random anonymous (nothing inspires confidence like a lack of conviction so weak a person isn’t willing to stand in the spotlight and take ownership of their words) insults. In your case, aimed toward me, but the pattern seemed to be set in the post elevatorgate environment, as the brainless minion of GAS all emulated their Queen Bee. Another failed attempt by GASbaggers at tarring the messenger. I could cry about it, roll into a ball and do internet posts and videos about the metaphorical raping of reality, but some of us got more sanity than others. Just my luck I guess. Enjoy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.