Saturday, 30 March 2013

A heckler walks into a bar!

After performing at Best of British in Melbourne this week I've found myself in the bar downstairs having a drink, the bar is all hustle bustle and the rowdy drunkenness you'd expect of an evening in a busy city centre. For some reason at 23:30 they decide to put a gig on there, there isn't a stage and the acoustics don't reach the back of the room so when the gig starts everybody just keeps going about their business spare a few people sat at the front who try politely to listen over the racket. I've been stood at the back watching budding new acts going on and testing the metal of their love for comedy. It's been hurting my soul to watch it, these guys are at the stage where they'll gig wherever and whenever they can for the sheer passion and they have been going one by one into a battle they can't win. Some of the sweetest people I've met and now call my friends taking turns at being demoralised. I got asked if I wanted a spot on thursday and I said no, I like a challenge but this gig is damaging, I abhor everything it stands for and I vowed I'd never do the gig.

Last night as I watched the same fate unfold there was an added element to the treachery; a chunky Aussie lad in his mid 20's heckling throughout stood stage left, just 6 feet away from the performers. Bear in mind there is no stage to elevate the acts equipping them with the illusion of power, they just had a bully shouting in their face as they tried to coerce a response from a disinterested crowd, he was spewing insults and abuse to new acts, some were too inexperienced to handle it but that was immaterial anyway because no-one had enough of the crowd on their side to disempower him. the odd heckle retort here and there but the dude was winning. I stood at the back of the room furious at what people, who were only guilty of pursuing a dream, had to put up with.

My friend Dan Willis had agreed to close the "gig" for a few beer tokens but mainly to call me a pussy for turning the gig down. As he got called onto stage I had a rush of blood to the head, I grabbed his arm and said "When you're finished bring me on" I didn't know the compere and I was new in town so this was the only way I could see to hijack the gig, I had the red mist.

Dan done a fantastic job of playing to the few that were listening and had them laughing despite the commotion around the room and he kept jabbing the heckler with put downs every time he got involved, he set the room up perfectly for what I had in mind. 

He brought me on to the most attention the "stage" had seen all night and I started doing the routine with the quickest route to multiple punchlines that I had in my arsenal, the heckler started immediately, I ignored him like he wasn't there, I don't even know what he was saying because I completely blocked it out, I was sticking to the game plan. When I got the laugh I was looking for from the few listeners I turned slowly towards the heckler "Sorry for keeping you waiting I was just establishing to these people that I was funny before bringing your world crumbling down around you!"

Then I just LET RIP on him, I don't know what come over me I felt possessed, I just wanted to reduce this bully to nothing and it was working, the crowd got behind me so I could ride the applauds and had time to articulate my feelings, he was trying to come back but I wouldn't let him finish a syllable, there was no stage but I felt ten foot taller than the ignorant fuckwit, he just stood several paces in front of me and had this pitiful look on his face like he was going to wet himself. He'd tried to humiliate my comedy brothers and offended me directly in doing so, the safety catch was off. After several minutes of dismantling him and bringing his pathetic existence into a cold hard reality I turned back to the crowd, I was so locked in the moment I hadn't realised the people that were otherwise ignoring the gig had tuned in to watch my verbal assault. The room for the first time was a proper gig. "I've done what I've came here to do but now that I've got your attention should we make this a show!?"

I give them some material to close the gig and he tried one last attempt to step on the gig but the minute he opened his mouth I just pointed at him, I didn't turn to look at him or break from the emotion of the bit I was performing, I just pointed at him, and he stopped in his tracks. The audience reacted like I did a magic trick and when they settled I carried on with the bit. I felt like Ceaser the dog whisperer! 

I wish I could remember what I said in my rant to him but even if I could I wouldn't put it in this account because I'm not here to brag about how funny I think I was, in fact I recall using a lot of stock put downs and obvious insults, my pride in the situation comes from the fact I could have walked away from the gig, it was nothing to do with me, but something come over me, an overwhelming urge to do the right thing. I wasn't going to watch my friends drown just because I didn't want to get my clothes wet.

When I got off stage the heckler tried to high 5 me... I left him hanging and hit him in the dick! Fuck the cunt!

Some of the crowd merged as an entourage and we had a celebratory pub crawl! 


  1. You should have battle rapped that bitch :) Well done!

  2. Awesome mate!!! Just awesome!!!