Sydney’s finest comics explain how they take on the trolls of the stand-up scene
I usually start by letting them know that they are not going to win, given that I have a mic, PA, lights, talent and wit. Then I start to slowly dissect their heckle and give them tips on how they could improve it for next time. I follow that up with questioning at length their motives for heckling in the first place. Then I conclude by shitting on the heckler’s soul leaving them feeling hollow and with no will to live.
Hecklers boggle my mind. I mean, live comedy is a service that an audience member has paid for, yet they want to ruin it – it’s like hiring a plumber and when the broken pipe is finally fixed you kick it in. Way to go, Captain Halfwit. There’s no sure way but, rest assured, if someone heckles you at something other than a stand-up comedy night a restraining order is a nice option.
I guess my approach is to engage with them. I generally find that the more you know about someone who yells out from a dark corner of a crowded room, the funnier they become. Sometimes they retreat, hide and pretend they never yelled out in the first place. But most of the time they’ll give you something you can play with. Some of the best moments I’ve had on stage have come from having a good chat with a heckler.