Thursday December 6th, 2012 – Sault Ste. Marie, MI
I am in a foul mood right now, and I need to get over it. I will, but not for a while. I had to fight a babbling drunken woman who would NOT shut up through most of my show tonight, and I did not enjoy it in the least. I’ve had to deal with idiots like this for a lifetime, and I have had my fill.
This was the worst case scenario, as she was sitting right in the front row and was a little older and looked like someone’s mother. She had a high pitched squeaky voice that kept getting louder as the show went on, and I could hear her every slurred rambling word as I tried to finish my set.
I tried to be polite the first half a dozen times she interrupted, but after a while I had to lay into her pretty hard which I never enjoy - even though the crowd always does. They were going crazy with delight as I ripped her a new one, and I was just wishing it was over. I’ve been here before.
Steve Allen has a quote I have referred to often that says “Sooner or later every live performer gets tired of having to entertain drunks.” I am SO there, and I’m having a harder time hiding my disdain for those who do it. It’s flat out rude, but most of the ones who do it are totally clueless.
In fact, 99% of them will come up after the show and want to babble even more. They actually think they have helped the show, and will often go off on another tangent and tell me about some irrelevant detailed facet of their life I didn’t need to hear about and I’m trapped with no escape.
That’s exactly what happened tonight, and I just wasn’t up for that kind of torture. She backed me into a corner and I could smell her boozed up breath as she demanded to know why I was so rude to her when all she was doing was ‘helping’. I tried to flag down a security guard, but they didn’t see me and I had to sit there in pain as she blocked other people who wanted to say hello.
The sad part was, it was a very nice audience and they really enjoyed the whole show – heckler destruction included. The drunk herself called it ‘hackling’, and several people picked up on that as they came up afterward. These are delicate situations, as I can’t be mean even though I’d love to just smack her in the face three or four hundred times with the business end of a snow shovel.
I’m sorry this has to be a part of the business, but on the club level it always has been and isn’t about to go away any time soon. Very few places police an audience, and nobody but a comedian knows how difficult it can be to work around situations like this. Everyone thinks we must like it or something, and when we throw out lines and the crowd laughs they assume we’re handling it.
Ripping ‘hacklers’ is a skill I have always been able to rely on, but after thousands of them it’s lost any appeal whatsoever. I don’t care if the audience always loves it or not, I’m past it. Why is it so difficult for someone to just sit there and enjoy the show they paid to see? I never got that.
Unfortunately, quite often they have been let in free and aren’t there for comedy at all. But they ruin the night for those who are. I’m sorry this happened, and I really like the people at Kewadin Casino. They treat comedians well, but this happens everywhere. Drunks are not in short supply.