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5 Ways To Deal With Comedy Hecklers

Take a lesson from the stand-up pros. And more importantly, keep your mouth shut.

 

Method 1: The Resigned
Done best by: Jim Gaffigan
 



It’s hard to imagine anyone being mean to Jim Gaffigan, as he always seems like the sweetest guy on stage. Still, that didn’t stop these drunk assholes from trying to ruin his set, causing Gaffigan to fire off a volley of ego-shattering jabs while also still sighing resignedly at the very fact he was having to do it in the first place. The lesson here? If your heckling is so bad that the comedian seems bored while putting you in your place, then you are one shitty heckler.

Method 2: The Charm Offensive
Done best by: Richard Pryor
 


One way to keep a crowd under control is to not rise to the bait. Richard Pryor  - and really, who in their right mind would fuck with Richard Pryor, anyway? – shows us how to do it here, batting away repeated insults with a joke and a smile, always remaining laid back and charming. That is, until the 3:10 mark on this video, when someone insults his mother. Big mistake.

Method 3: The “Fuck This Guy”
Done best by: Richard Herring



Most comedians prefer to shut a heckler up quickly and get on with their act, but sometimes – if the heckler is a drunk, shouting douchebag, for example – that’s not possible. And that’s when you pull out the “Fuck This Guy” method, ably demonstrated here by Brit comic Richard Herring. After repeated attempts to shut the guy up with humor, Herring eventually snaps and rips the offending noisemaker apart, turning the crowd against the heckler and finally having him bundled out of the building by security. This may be the only time that a public incitement to mass stabbing has ever been appropriate.

Method 4: The Clinical Assassin
Done best by: Jimmy Carr



Another British comedian, Jimmy Carr welcomes hecklers with the calm politeness of a serial killer, which is appropriate, because once he’s lured them in the front door by making sure the crowd is paying attention to them, he utterly destroys them. Clearly prepared with a stinging comeback for virtually any heckle, you can positively see the glee in his eyes when someone has the balls to try it. Most of his responses tend to be of the playground insult variety, but since he’s always prepared to take it much, much further than the heckler, he always comes out on top. Just like your mom did last night.

Method 5: The “This Is Just Sad”
Done best by: Louis CK



Leave it to Louis CK to point out the utter pointlessness of heckling – he sounds almost sad as he explains to this group that their heckles are the dumbest things he’s ever heard. And let’s go on record here: If you just made Louis CK sad, then you are a bad, bad person. 

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