Heckling Comedians

Inspired by the conversation our class had with Maggie Farris and the Louis CK video on heckling, I would like to offer up some of my thoughts on the subject. While there are many, many things that I have seen in comedy routines and other forms of comedy that have been deeply offensive and wrong (for example, rape jokes), I think that no person should ever heckle a comedian while they are at a show. I think that, in that instance, where someone makes a rape joke, like Louis CK did, there are much more appropriate ways to handle the situation. While you may have qualms with the content that the comedian is producing, the best solution is to either not laugh to protest the bit (or whatever it is) in that way by showing the comedian that it is not funny to you, or to just leave the show. The first method, in my opinion, is the most effective solution that allows you to also hopefully enjoy the other parts of the show that you probably paid for, and likely wanted to see (since you are the one that wanted to go). If you do not feel that you are comfortable staying, or that the bit has ruined the show for you, you can leave, and it will most likely produce the best alternative for you (as opposed to staying and enduring the rest of the show). There is nothing good that can come from speaking out against the person on stage, who is likely VERY prepared to handle your heckling, in an audience full of people laughing at the same person on stage. In my mind, you are best served to either keep to yourself and tough it out, or walk out of the performance. You will do nothing to change the atmosphere (however toxic it may be) if you decide to open your mouth at a performance. The person on stage is getting paid to do what they are doing, and you have already contributed to that. Just keep it to yourself, or leave. This is one of the only situations in life where I would recommend following this strategy, but I think that it is an appropriate recommendation. If anyone has any thoughts on this, especially in opposition to my opinion on the subject, I would love to hear them. There might be some exceptions that I missed!

Thanks,

Jaren

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