This past week, comedian Daniel Tosh was blasted for using material having to do with rape. A member of the audience interrupted Daniel’s set to say, “Rape is not funny!” Daniel Tosh then began his rebuttal of the heckler. He went on to say something to the effect of, and I’m paraphrasing here, “Wouldn’t it be funny if this lady got ganged raped right now? Like, right now?”
Upon reading that, you may feel the Daniel went too far. I personally don’t. He attempted to deal with a distraction that he had not planned for while doing his set. As a comic, you do the very best you can to control the situation only to ‘smoothly’ transition back to your act. The art form that is stand up comedy is supposed to be as uncensored as possible while maintaining an air of quality and talent. There is no denying that Daniel Tosh is a hilarious and great comic, but even a great comic can fall prey to having a joke completely backfire. This is the curse of all stand up comics. We try new material on a regular basis and sometimes push the envelope to touch on issues that no one dares speak publicly about. Yet, somehow, a good comic can take even those sensitive issues and share the lighter side of things. Sometimes, we fail and a joke goes terribly, and when you add a scum of the earth heckler to the mix, it can turn ugly!
If you go to a stand up comedy show, be prepared to hear the worst. Be prepared to see the comics on stage bring out the ugliness that makes us do what we do. Be prepared to either relate, identify, sympathize or empathize with us. Be prepared to hate a few jokes, like a few joke and LOVE a few jokes. Be prepared to be taken on a ride that you would not otherwise be taking if you weren’t at the show. Above all, be prepared to sit down, SHUT UP and be entertained! Remember, NO ONE IS KEEPING YOU IN THAT SEAT THAT YOU PAID FOR! Get up and leave if you don’t like the performer or the content. A comedy show is NOT you’re opportunity to be heard! The performer has earned the right to be heard because of all of the blood, sweat and tears they have had to endure to be able to grace that stage! It did not come at a small price!
Look back at any stand up comic’s controversy that you’ve seen on the news and you will find that, inevitability, there is ALWAYS a HECKLER at the root of the problem!
Remember Michael Richards, (who played Kramer on Seinfeld), and the whole racist tirade he went on a few years ago? He did what he thought he could do to deal with a heckler, but it went horribly! He should NOT have had to deal with that distraction! He is a performer that people paid big money to see. Why would anyone want to ruin it for everyone else in the room? That’s exactly what that heckler did. Why are those pieces of scum not made to face the same retribution from the public? They are more to blame than anything that was said on stage! Just once, I’d like to see one of those maggots sued by audiences for ruining what was supposed to be a night of entertainment and laughter. Just once!!