Never heckle a comedian

Posted: July 15, 2008 in animals, funny
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

A heckler is a person who shouts a disparaging comment at a performance or event, or interrupting set-piece speeches, for example at a political meeting.
The term originates from the textile trade, where to heckle was to tease or comb out flax or hemp fibres. The additional meaning, to interrupt speakers with awkward or embarrassing questions, was added in Scotland, and specifically perhaps in early nineteenth century Dundee, a famously radical town where the hecklers who combed the flax had established a reputation as the most radical and belligerent element in the workforce. In the heckling factory, one heckler would read out the day’s news while the others worked, to the accompaniment of interruptions and furious debate.
Heckling was a major part of the vaudeville theater. Sometimes it was incorporated into the play. Milton Berle’s weekly TV variety series in the 1960s featured a heckler named Sidney Spritzer (German/Yiddish for “Squirter”) played by Borscht Belt comic Irving Benson. In the 1970s and 1980s, The Muppet Show, which was also built around a vaudeville theme, featured two hecklers, Statler & Waldorf (two old men named after famous hotels). Heckles are now particularly likely to be heard at stand-up comedy performances, to unsettle or compete with the performer.

Billy Connolly once named a comedy album for a Heckler, “Raw meat for the balcony” a true classic.
Generally when heckling a comedian it is not a good idea at all, and if you are drunk it is even more dangerous. Check out some of the best.

Billy Connolly

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Comments
  1. Joe Jeffries says:

    Hi, very interesting blog. You might be interested in my live review of John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett: http://jeffingmarvellous.wordpress.com/

    Hope you enjoy it 🙂

    Joe

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