15 Oct Dealing with Hecklers – how this top Melbourne Comedian keeps his cool
There is no excuse for rudeness. Not ever. And comedians have a harder time of it than most when heckled during a comedy performance. Like a cup of tea, everyone has their own preferences in variety and the way it is brewed. In a society where there are more taboo subjects and increasingly more emphasis placed on being politically correct, humour can be an arena filled with hot coals (read hecklers) and stepping on them will bring on a torrent of abuse. What is a professional corporate and family comedian then to do? Simple. Keep it professional. Work clean comedy.
When heckled during a comedy performance do you respond by being on the quick and turn the tables around with a clever comeback? Whether this approach works or not, you’re just maintaining an energy you don’t really want to have in a room that you’re owning.
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It’s a rare character trait in a comedian to appeal to everyone’s sense of humour. As a professional comedian it works to your advantage if you ‘work clean’. By so doing you avoid unnecessary compromising situations that can get ugly. Heckling happens, be prepared.
Here are my favourite top tips on how to deal with heckling:
- Best to try and ignore the heckle. No one else might have heard. But if this doesn’t work, try steps 2 and 3.
- Keep a professional level head. Be conscious that there might be impressionable young people in your audience.
- Have a heightened sense of awareness of what is comedy acceptable material. Everybody enjoys good clean humour.
The gift of laughter lies in its transformative power. Laughter heals. It is infectious, too, that means one joke has the same effect as a ripple in water. Having built an enviable reputation as a valuable corporate entertainment choice, Joe Avati is a top-rated world-class comedian in Australia. And these are just some of the ways he deals with the heckle. Now you know what goes on in the engine room.