The act of heckling performers has to be as old as time itself. I'd bet even way back in the prehistoric, early days of mankind that whenever one cavemen got up to entertain his fellow cave dwellers that some neanderthal in the group would heckle him midway through his bit.
It just seems to be part of the human condition for those in the peanut gallery to feel the need and right to shout out their criticisms, even if unjustified, at those giving their all onstage. Those onstage include stage actors, musicians, comedians (perhaps the number one target of hecklers), and even politicians. Additionally many self appointed critics have also been known to scream out their feelings at the movie screen, proving that heckling is meant as much for the benefit of fellow audience members as for the performer(s).
And even though it comes with the territory, especially for stand-up comedians, it has to be pretty tough for those up onstage, already performing a demanding draining job, to have some uninvited (often drunk) loud-mouthed bozo scream out his/her dissatisfaction with your performance. For the rest of the audience, however, a heckler hounding a performer can often result in some entertaining interplay between the two parties. Of recent performer/heckler altercations, probably the one that first pops into most minds is the November 2006 incident at the Laugh Factory comedy club where Michael Richards (aka Seinfeld's Kramer) went off on a nasty tirade on some African American audience members (see below). How he handled it is a textbook case of what not to do if you wish to remain active in showbiz, especially in these camera phone/YouTube digital days when every move is being documented to be later used against the respective parties.
But every performer handles hecklers differently and it is pretty interesting to study the different approaches applied. Below I have included video clips of some that deserve a peep, such as the late great stand up comic Bill Hicks who, in a bit that superficially seems to rival Kramer's, really rips into a female audience member-- even using the "C" word on this woman. But the key difference is that, even in his most riled rant, he stayed in control and remained entertaining -- even if the audience didn't know where he was going with the bit. And at the end he made fun of himself. More importantly, it was within character - the sort of thing that you might expect from the notorious comedian who ruffled many feathers by always telling it like it is (or was).
As a kid I grew up around Southern California’s custom car culture. My Dad did custom auto body, paint and design. He was constantly chopping, welding, re-chopping, re-welding, filling in some Bondo here, pounding out a dent, re-filling in some Bondo there, pounding out another fender, painting, taping off, re-painting, all performed on some innocent Detroit family car, transforming your average Ford or Chevy into some kind of mutant So-Cal testosterone by-product of too much sun and youth. The smell of Bondo, the polyester fiberglass resin used to fill in holes, is the smell that takes me back to my childhood! I may just drive a ’97 Toyota, but my heart has always been wrapped around the 1934 Ford Roadster my Dad owned when I was a kid. There was, and is, nothing like cruising around town in a hot rod - the rumble of glass-packs, or the pure simple beauty of pin stripping or the swagger of flames painted across the polished curves of a vintage fender and hood.
West Coast custom car-building legend Boyd Coddington has died at the age of 63. Coddington had been hospitalized during this past holiday season, but the cause of death has not yet been released. Born in Rupert, Idaho, in 1944, Coddington started to build cars in his parents' garage as a teenager. He became a machinist by trade, and at one point worked for Disneyland on the graveyard shift, but by day he would tinker in his home garage producing one car at a time. His designs soon captured the imagination and spirit of Southern Californian car-culture fans. Presently Coddington’s shop in La Habra, California has some 70 employees working in a 50,000 square foot facility which includes an in-house body and paint shop.
Amoeba Music and Phil Blankenship are proud to present some of our film favorites at Los Angeles’ last full-time revival movie theater. See movies the way they're meant to be seen - on the big screen and with an audience!
Saturday March 1
When the going gets tough... the tough take the law into their own hands.
& The Marlboro Man
New Beverly Cinema
7165 W Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Writer / Producer Don Michael Paul scheduled to present this rare screening of his action comedy cult classic!
Mar 8 Streets Of Fire
Mar 15 Can't Hardly Wait (10th Anniversary!)
Mar 29 The Funhouse