Why do people talk during comedy shows? If you are an audience member that paid your hard earned money ($10 cover charge, 2 drink minimum, parking etc.) to listen to people tell jokes... why in the world would you disrupt the performer?
I did fifteen minutes at Esquire Lounge tonight and as always, I recorded my set. In listening back to it, I had about as good of a beginning as I could have had. The audience was small (twelve non-comedians) and despite being interrupted constantly, I had a really strong ten minutes.
At about the ten minute mark... a rude lady that I will refer to as "Stupid Woman" interrupted a joke I was telling three times. "Stupid Woman" kept trying to tell me that her husband, "Ass Turd Monkey Fucker" has a room in his house that he masturbates in. The crazy thing she wanted me to know was...."HE DOESN'T EVEN CLOSE THE DOOR!!!!11!!!1!"
I pointed out to "Stupid Woman" and her merry band of assholes that I didn't care. Sadly, this just made things more disruptive and more awkward. This table of five people continued to interrupt until I eventually told them "Go die in a fire" (a line I stole from my friend Jay Szech). I could have handled this situation way better. They were almost half of this audience and making fun of them only made it more awkward. This table was too drunk and too obnoxious to reason with. In hindsight, I should have wrapped up my set and ignored them.
If I'm performing or watching a show, I have very little tolerance or patience for hecklers. These people weren't even hecklers. They were those stereotypical drunk people at the bar that thought they were the life of the party and didn't care about the people around them. I hate when these people think they are "participating". Talking during a show doesn't enhance the show or "help" the comedian. It messes with the timing of jokes they've been working on and hurts their sets.
There are people who say things like "they are just having a good time" or "they paid money... they can do whatever they want". To that I call poppycock. It is great that they came to have a great time and as an "entertainer" I do my best to that. But if you want to get drunk, crack one liners and talk about your husband's masturbatorium then go to another bar. Don't go to a comedy show. I know you paid money to go there but so did other people.
Tonight wasn't a complete bust. Esquire Lounge has potential to be a good room. It is a nice space and the people that run it are very nice. Overall my set was solid. It is frustrating because I feel like it could have been one of my better sets. Instead it ended up being very average and ended in death wishes (which even after a cool down period...I don't take them back). I figured out the wording on a joke I have been trying for a while... It killed tonight. That's the nugget I'll take away from a night that was pretty annoying.
I'd like to give a shout out to my buddies C.J. Stottuth, Chris Logan and Alabama for having really good sets under less than stellar conditions.