Drunks. Wiseguys. Louis C.K. wannabes. We’ve all had ’em. Here are three ways to deal with these show-stopping pests.
1. The Steve Martin Method
Dude in the fourth row drowning you out with his commentary? This one works well if you’re monologuing, or already downstage.
Look out to the audience, smile fondly and say, “I remember my first beer.” Then continue your scene.
(From Martin’s autobiography, Born Standing Up)
2. The Tom Vest Method
You’re doing a grounded two-person scene when a couple of dweebs decide to have their own conversation. Loudly.
Calmly walk downstage (or simply turn to face the audience).
Lean your upper body over, as if you’re sticking your head through an open window.
Yell “Shut up!”
Pull your head back in and mime closing the window. Bonus points for locking it, or pulling the curtains shut.
3. The Matt Folliott Method
For fearless performers only.
Bring the heckler up on stage and make them part of the show.
Matt did this during a show at Comedy Bar, and basically used the (by then mute) heckler as a silent scene partner. Genius.
Got any tried and true methods you’d like to share? Post a comment below.