Don’t go to comedy shows?
What I mean is, DO go to comedy shows. But please, in the name of the most high, don’t go to a comedy show if you can attribute any of the following to yourself:
-You are looking around and are a member of a bachelorette party
Bachelorette parties are an American institution for the ladies. One of your “gurliez” is getting married and you want to celebrate locked-downedness of their vagina. That’s important for girls becoming an “honest woman” which is important because of hormones and stuff. The only real problem with this is these groups love to loudly celebrate with wild drinking, tiara wearing, penis shaped things, and loudness. Again, all of that is completely ok, but not at a comedy show. The performer shouldn’t have to contend with your group. To be perfectly honest, you can interrupt my set if one of the group (the hottest one, preferably) has sex with me. You know what, as long as it isn’t the fat one, I’m good.
-You are shocked when you hear things with which you disagree and feel compelled to vocalize this displeasure
There’s been a lot of this in the news. I hate when people say “Comedians are always trying to push the envelope.” That makes a really funny joke sound as if it were written solely to offend or shock, which is almost never the case. Good comics simply write what they feel is funny. If that joke is about murder, or violence, or race relations, or rape, then so be it.
People are sensitive, which is completely ok. Sometimes you’ll hear something that upsets you, offends you, maybe even hurts you. If that’s the case, we’re sorry. But that apology is very specific in its meaning: I’m sorry that I offended you does not mean I’m sorry for doing the joke. There’s a huge difference. Your being offended doesn’t mean I’m sorry and will never do the joke again.
Recently Daniel Tosh made blogheadlines (not an important thing at all) across the world for a rape joke he made at an audience members expense. He joked about rape, a contentious subject, and offended a female audience member. She immediately vocalized her disdain which most likely infuriated Tosh, who said it would be hilarious if she “got raped by like five guys right now.” She was appalled, demanded her money back, complained to the owner, wrote a blog, and got the attention she wanted. Here’s the thing about Tosh’s joke: it’s very funny. In a room with 150+ people, how would five guys rape one girl? It would never happen. Someone would call the police, multiple people would definitely protect this girl. He was obviously not serious. If Daniel Tosh saw her being raped, he would certainly not laugh. Jokes are not real, they’re intended to be funny, and that joke is funny. It’s impossible to make someone understand that a joke is just a joke and not intended to harm, but sadly, almost no one understands this.
-You are unable to understand that you are the member of an audience at a performance
I was born in 1986, and at age twelve, I got my first job. I was a paperboy for the Buffalo News. Nothing happened between my birth and that. The job required me to get up at 7 AM on weekends to deliver papers to my street. Side note: I made something like $150 a week. To this day, it remains my best work to pay ratio job, except comedy sometimes (VERY sometimes). After delivering, I was unable to fall asleep, so I would watch TV until my family woke up.
This is how I began to learn about stand up comedy.
I remember watching a man stand in a room holding a microphone telling jokes and watching in amazement. When my dad came downstairs I asked all about this, specifically; “What the hell is this guy doing?” He explained that this man’s job was to make people laugh in a place called a “comedy club” which is specifically there JUST to be a place you can laugh all day.
I knew what I wanted to do right then and there. Of course, I thought you could just say or do anything and people would love it, and this is because one of the comedians did a Michael Jackson impression, then ate Oreos, which is symbolism I didn’t understand at 12.
The point is, it was 1998, and this TV channel was playing late-80s early-90s era stand up wrought with crowd work, one liners, bad jokes, celebrity impressions, and a shit load of insulting the man in the front row. To add to the craziness, I remember audience members heckling the comics on stage, which is crazy to me because if I were one of those comics, I’d despise someone for yelling out during my television opportunity.
To this day, I think comedy shows make people think of that era, that if they sit up close they will be ridiculed, and that they are encouraged to participate. This couldn’t be more wrong.
-You can’t stop looking at your cell phone
Don’t look at your fucking phone. We can see you. Stop it.
-You can’t stop talking
We understand that table chatter can happen, and we even like to pretend you’re talking about how funny we are, when really we know you’re laughing about a funny meme someone put on Facebook. You wouldn’t talk at an opera, or a play, but why would you want to go to either of those things anyway?
-You’re a selfish person who feels that they should be part of the show
Comedy shows, for whatever reason, make people feel that they can join in in some way. Sometimes, a person may yell an addition to a joke. For example, at a show a few months ago, I said something about America on stage, and a member yelled “Fuck yeah.”
Another time, a girl was talking loudly, I asked her to stop, and she responded “Well, you aren’t funny.” Trust me, I WAS BEING FUNNY.
In both instances I was very annoyed. In the former example, the guy who yelled “Fuck yeah” purely did so because he had seen Team America and was simply quoting the film’s iconic song. Despite this, he invited himself into the show without being welcomed, and interrupted me. I was annoyed, but since his response was meant to be friendly, I smartly elected to make a quick joke about how I love the national anthem. And all in all, it was quickly forgotten.
In the latter, the girl was a plain bitch, idiot, moron, piece of shit, diarrhea eater, and jerk. She was simply embarrassed that I called her out in front of her friends and about 70 other people. A person like her is the worst kind of audience member at a comedy show you can find. Most likely, she’s simply there because she didn’t have anything else to do, and her friends persuaded her to join. This is already a bad situation. She is only attending based on her not having anything else to do which ALREADY means she’s disinterested. I think comedy is something you have to be excited for. Her boredom, rather, her INDIFFERENCE in being there put her whole table at a disadvantage. She immediately starting talking at the beginning of the show, and no amount of comedy talent could dissuade her otherwise. She absolutely ruined the show for everyone, even though she was put down repeatedly and asked to stop. It even elicited some seriously hilarious moments in the evening. I still think she doesn’t deserve the attention.
Don’t ruin something someone is trying very hard to be good at.
Thanks, just don’t go to comedy shows.