I hate hecklers*. I remember some time ago watching Justin Moorhouse doing a corporate gig for a radio station I used to work for. It wasn't going very well. The audience were a mixture of p#ssed c#nts and tw#ts, none of them were interested in seeing any comedy. The poor bloke was dying on his ars#. Justin's claim to fame at the time was the fact he'd appeared in Phoenix Nights. In the first series one of the comedians they book at The Phoenix is heckled with the following line: "Tell us a joke we know son". Now, being an uber geek I know that this line has been lifted from a real life incident when someone shouted it at Peter Kay** when his act wasn't going to well once.
I was drunk and bored so I shouted out the line from the show. He looked me right in the eye and replied: "yeah, it is a bit like that isn't it? Look, I'm sorry everyone, I'm not really a comedian. I'm going to put my fee behind the bar and get out of here. Sorry."
Off he went, a broken man. I was horrified. I hadn't ment to garner that reaction.
While we were at Edinburgh me and the lady watched the fantastic Sarah Kendall doing a stand up set at The Stand on Saturday night. It was a boozy atmosphere but the context was totally different, here people had paid to see comedy. She opened with a few observations after which a bloke sat next to me went "bang!". She looked over at him and asked "bang?". He was sat at a table with three girls all of whom looked very embarrased to suddenly be sat so near someone who had drawn all the attention of the room upon their table. "Huh, yeah, bang". He replied slightly less confidently.
"Sorry everyone but am I missing something here? Bang? That makes no sense at all. Does that make sense to anyone else? Bang?"
"So, it's him that looks like a c#nt not me?"
"Just so long as we've all got it clear, he's a c#nt."
AUDIENCE: MORE LAUGHS.
Beautiful. The bloke in question sort of slumped into himself. He was drunk but now he was an annoyed drunk. He'd been put in his place by a woman. You could see he really didn't like that. She stormed the gig and yet all the way through it he refused to smile. I caught his girlfriend nudging him and asking what was wrong; "she's just not funny" he tried to say over the sound of huge laughs coming from the audience.
Ultimately he passed out and was carried away by his girlfriend. I like to think that she destroyed him with her comedy.
*Does this mean I'm admitting to a certain ammount of self loathing? I think it does. I hate it when I do that.
** READER'S VOICE: Hey, wowzers Nick, how do you know that? are you mates with Peter Kay?
MY REPLY: No. Quite the opposite is true. I'm a geek with no friends who watches DVD commentaries.