Doing professional stand-up for a living is obviously not a typical, nine-to-five gig. Comedians don’t clock in, sludge through the day, then clock out just so they can rinse and repeat until death comes calling. Comedians are free to let loose and unload on a regular basis. Comedy isn’t necessarily easy though. For example, I have no clue if even half of what I write, which is intended to be funny, is getting a laugh. But I try anyway and hope the internet doesn’t attack with pitchforks.
Professional comedians however are right out there in the spotlight no matter what. When a heckler wobbles up to the plate, it’s up to comedians to retaliate by firing curve balls back at their faces. Sometimes a comedian battling a heckler will give you a taste of sweet sweet justice. Other times the encounter will result in an awkward mess. Whichever way the wind blows, and whatever the venue may be, the outcome inevitably ends up on the internet. With that in mind, what follows are 15 stunning examples of comedians vs. hecklers.
15 Offended Christian Attacks Jim Gaffigan On Radio Show
Of all the comedians currently out there...scratch that...of all the comedians in the history of comedy, very have been totally clean. Jim Gaffigan however is one of the rare comedians who has managed to be thoroughly awesome without dropping curses every two seconds. To be clear, I'm fine with comics who go either route. However, the Christian caller who heckled Jim during the radio interview posted above is clearly the most easily offended person in existence.
The caller's main gripe was that mentioning or joking about religion (or politics) is apparently inappropriate and awful. Has this woman ever seen other people do stand-up? Forget about context, being topical, freedom of speech...this caller simply felt Jim talking about religion for any reason was highly offensive. She even demanded free tickets to Jim's show as 'an apology'. Jim's response to her was priceless. "Why would you want to come and see a sinner like me?" Keep in mind; aside from just being clean, Jim is also a Catholic comedian, in a world where tons of comics are atheists who goof on religion relentlessly.
Thanks to modern technology comedians are no longer limited to being heckled while on stage. Now they can be pestered via social media from the comfort of their home or while out and about. As you'll note from the sample above, a heckler/troll named 'kay_kay' was thoroughly roasted for daring to give some questionable relationship advice to comedian Kevin Hart.
Apparently the Instagram user 'kay_kay' thought getting personal and warning a celebrity comedian about his fiancée, Eniko Parrish's possible ulterior motive was a solid idea. As you can see, Kevin took the passive aggressive advice about as well as you'd expect. The comedian proceeded to rail into 'kay_kay' with a barrage of insults the entire internet could read, enjoy and share endlessly. Kevin even capped off his verbal onslaught by informing his supposed fan that her "ugly old lady hands" looked like tree bark. Ouch.
13 Wannabe Comedian Gets Heckled By Other Comedians Via Twitter
Back in 2013, former high-profile Australian sports agent, Ricky Nixon was suspended by the AFL Players' Association for having an ''inappropriate personal relationship'' with a 17-year-old girl. Understandably so, it took exactly no time for comedians on Twitter to obliterate him. However, the online attack was more personal than usual. The tweets were a direct response to Ricky's announcement that he was giving football a break and going into the world of comedy.
What follows is just a small sampling of the utter roasting that the disgraced Nixon received as his welcome party into the comedy industry. @Tommy_little tweeted: ''Ricky Nixon is thinking about taking up comedy, the only downside is that his girlfriends won't be old enough to be allowed into the gigs.'' @Wil_Anderson tweeted: ''Ricky Nixon is going to do stand-up. This makes me feel much better about my plans to hang with schoolgirls dressed only in my undies.'' And lastly, @Hannahgadsby tweeted: ''I for one can't wait to hear Ricky Nixon find the lighter side of a predatory culture."
12 Hannibal Buress Dismantles Heckler
The clip above featuring comedian Hannibal Buress destroying a drunken heckler could easily serve as an instructional video for how to properly handle hecklers. Hannibal dealt with the drunk in the darkness shouting at him by thoroughly deflating the man. He then proceeded to both pat himself on the back for his successful career while brilliantly mocking the heckler for his pointless behavior.
I can't stress enough how much you need to view the clip above. Hannibal obliterated the man with the style and finesse of a true pro. The best part was Hannibal's comment about the heckler being a 'social terrorist' with an insane need for attention. Not content to just ruin one or two people's nights...Hannibal's heckler aimed higher by trying to ruin the night for 1100 people.
11 The Surprisingly Apologetic Heckler
Amidst all of the non-stop vitriol and rage we often see between hecklers and comedians, the video above is actually a breath of fresh air. This tame, but memorable incident took place back in 2009 while President Obama was in office and still a frequent subject of discussion for anyone with a mic. Comedian Erin Jackson was at the Washington, DC Improv doing her thing when she casually mentioned an 'adorable' swing set which Obama had installed for his children.
It was at that moment that someone (Likely not the biggest Obama fan) shouted out "That's my tax money!" Instead of roasting the man, Erin remained pleasant and civil. She simply informed the heckler that the Obamas actually paid for the swing set themselves. The shocking part of the clip is that the man then simply apologized. Interactions like this, which end without bitter conflict, very rarely happen. On that note, let's get back to our regularly scheduled nastiness...
10 Richard Herring Mercilessly Trolls A Heckler
Sometimes a comedian has everything completely on lock despite a heckler's best intentions to be a disruptive nightmare. As you'll see in the clip above, the heckler did his best early on to shout random nonsense at comedian Richard Herring. However, the man's pointless attempts to ruin everyone's night were shut down repeatedly.
Richard went on to troll the heckler and even dared him to continue by allowing moments of silence for the heckler to contribute further brain vomit to the show. Later Richard even gave the heckler an opportunity to tell his own jokes. As the heckler began Richard turned the tables and heckled him back. Unfortunately, the situation eventually went completely into the toilet and soon the livid, cursing, heckler was escorted out.
9 Zach Galifianakis Confronts A Heckler And It's Incredible
Zach Galifianakis unique brand of comedy is a thing of beauty. Anyone who intrudes on Zach's show pretty much deserves the public humiliation they'll inevitably face. With that said, the clip above is a great example of Zach at his best, turning a tedious heckler-type situation into a hilariously awesome time for everyone.
In short, the woman who got on Zach's nerves in this clip was guilty of facing away from him during his show and talking on her phone. Zach surprisingly allowed her up on stage and proceeded to ask her clunky questions which only hammered home his incredible ability to turn an awkward encounter into something very memorable. The young woman, who clearly wanted attention, got it. The absolute best part of the vid comes at around 4:45 BTW.
8 Joan Rivers Goes To War Over A Deaf Joke
The late Joan Rivers was well known for being the last comedian on earth you wanted to heckle. Nevertheless, when Joan made a Helen Keller/deaf joke while performing in Wisconsin, an offended man in the crowd began heckling her. The man's reason was allegedly that he had a deaf son and found the joke to be in bad taste. Joan responded by informing the heckler that her mother was deaf as well, so she knew what it was like to have a loved one with the disability. Eventually Joan exploded and said “Oh, you stupid ass! Let me tell you what comedy is about. … Comedy is to make everybody laugh at everything and deal with things. You idiot!"
One of the things hecklers never seem to get is that while they sit there freely laughing at others being mocked, the second it hits home they quickly cry foul. However, if comedians weren't allowed to make fun of anything potentially offensive, they'd have no material at all.
7 Steve Hofstetter Gets Heckler's Girlfriend To Abandon Him
Comedian Steve Hofstetter has a way of dealing with hecklers that is subtle yet harsh. The video posted above is a perfect example of how an obnoxious drunk should be dealt with. The ordeal began with a man in the crowd randomly shouting crap and childishly cursing at the comedian. The heckler's annoying prodding was disruptive, however the booze-induced idiocy didn't throw off Steve Hofstetter.
As the heckler pressed on, digging his hole even deeper, he admitted to Steve that he "doesn't give a sh*t" what anyone else wants and was cool with ruining everyone's good time. Steve told the heckler to "learn to give a sh*t" since you know...other people actually do matter. Once Steve officially had enough he cleverly shifted his attention to the man's girlfriend and informed her that she should "find a good man". That verbal slam of course made the crowd explode. Steve then had the heckler escorted out, but as a bonus, the heckler's girlfriend remained behind to continue watching Steve's act. The ditched heckler was then mocked a bit more by Steve just for good measure. Meanwhile the crowd, and the heckler's (likely ex) girlfriend enjoyed the rest of the act.
6 Dave Chappelle Gets Into It With A Trump Voter
What do you get when you mix a pissed off Dave Chappell with a random heckler? Well you get the hilariously awkward mess, which occurred at the Savoy nightclub. Prior to the incident, audience members with cameras already had bothered Dave, as that's one of his pet peeves.
However, when a guy strolled through the crowd and yelled "I voted for Trump!" Dave quickly forgot about cameras and instead focused his comic genius on the heckler. Security immediately swooped in and confronted the heckler as if they were the X-Men protecting Professor X from Magneto. They booted the pro-Trump heckler so fast Dave barely had enough time to land his best line on the guy, "I've never seen a **** get circled by security whilst wearing an argyle sweater." Dave went on to comment about being shocked that the supposed Trump supporter was black. "Black dude in a room full of black dudes who voted for Trump...Didn't think you would see that tonight?"
5 Heckler Randomly Makes Out With Comedian Josh Nasar
Apparently not all heckler vs. comedian battles devolve into nasty insults and someone being thrown out. In the clip above, comedian Josh Nasar was performing on stage, and talking to different people when suddenly a woman heckler decided to ask if he was gay or straight because he was waving his hands around.
Josh confronted the woman and they comically shushed each other. The situation seemed to hit a boiling point when the woman stood up and literally got right in his face. However, once the heckler was right in front of Josh, he asked her "Do you want to make out?" She replied with a 'yes' and then they kissed. WTF? I know the internet loves to scream 'Fake!' on stuff like this so you be the judge. In any case, the sudden kiss was about as unexpected as humanly possible.
4 Friars Club Roasting For The Ages
The above clip from the Friars Club is likely the exact type of video you came here hoping to see. Although the vid clocks in at only 4:49...that's 4:49 worth of pure, heckler roasting, comedy gold. What comedian Harrison Greenbaum did to a hopelessly drunken heckler in this clip, was the verbal equivalent of Ramsey Bolton flaying an enemy.
What's great about Harrison is that he delivers each cutting jab to his victim with a polite smile and an almost friendly tone, which only makes everything he says sting even more. Harrison meticulously led the man into answering personal questions and then proceeded to bash the heckler for his responses. Naturally the boozed up heckler fell for it repeatedly. In reality all the heckler had to do was stop talking. The thing is, if a heckler knew when to be quiet, they wouldn't be a heckler in the first place.
3 Rodney Dangerfield's Take Down
When it comes to comedy, Rodney Dangerfield is considered one of the all time greats. That fact however did not seem to matter to the heckler who can be heard in the clip above giving Rodney no respect. At one point during Rodney's act a man, likely seated in the a**hole section of the audience, decided to take a cheap shot at the legendary comic. As you'll note, around 5:00 into the vid, the heckler abruptly screamed 'what do you do for a living?' It was an odd thing to shout because at that point in the clip Rodney's show was going fine, so the insult was random as hell.
Rodney acknowledged the heckler in his own typical style by telling him he 'finds guys' for his sister. Even though this clip is over twenty years old, and Rodney has long since passed away, the burn can still be felt.
2 Warning: Ear Piercing Heckler Takeover Contained Below
Comedians don't always come out on top as is evident in the disastrous video featured above. I'm almost at a loss describing the ridiculous mess that takes place in the 1:25 video. I also wasn't joking about the 'ear piercing' thing in the title either. This vid should NOT be watched with the volume turned up. In fact, you'll likely be tempted to mute it altogether so as not to pollute your ears with the sound of countless hecklers shouting nonsense and cackling like hyenas on meth.
If I've thoroughly talked you out of even watching the above clip then let me at least attempt to give you a rundown of what happens in the video. The event was apparently for stand-up comedians competing for a trip for two to Vegas. However, what it turned into was a glaring example of what happens when hecklers take over. The result is comedians are shouted down and there's lots of obnoxious noise. Hecklers 'winning' means the world loses.
1 Sometimes The Only Thing Left To Do Is Smash A Guitar Over A Heckler's Head
Lets wrap up this comedy related article in an appropriate way...with some old-school, VHS documented, violence. The clip posted above needs to be watched from start to finish to be fully appreciated. What began as a standard routine ended with a heckler getting pummeled with a guitar over his head. Those with weak stomachs don't worry, there's zero blood and the guitar beat-down occurred off-camera. The video concludes with the image of an empty stage and an abandoned mic. For our purposes, the shot of the lonely mic is practically artistic.
The comedian who handled his heckler 'WWE style' is Kenny Moore. The now infamous video features the comic at a club doing his thing, when a heckling couple got under his skin. The crowd was legitimately shocked and quickly turned on the comedian after the guitar smash. A woman from the audience can be heard saying, "That wasn’t necessary". Still trying to wrap his head around the inevitable repercussions of his actions, the comedian quickly stated, “Okay, show’s over” and promptly left the stage.
I'll save you the Google research time regarding the aftermath. WGN-TV in Chicago, tracked down Kenny Moore years later for a followup. After the incident, Moore was arrested; he spent the weekend in jail and also had to pay "about five thousand bucks.” The comedian also revealed the incident was life changing in that it let him know he had to deal with the stress caused by his military service. “I did a tour in the Rangers in Vietnam, so I had some problems...that was kind of a wake-up call for me. It wasn’t long after that that I checked into my local VA clinic. I urge all the veterans out there that are having anger issues to do the same." The comedian even went on to publicly apologize to the heckler who he assaulted.
All's well that ends well...I guess?