I think it's not terribly uncommon for people to go to a comedy club, not like what they see and think, "Geez, I can do better than that" -- especially if you've had a bit too much refreshment, but it's not necessary. You might just want to impress your date. Or simply be deeply arrogant. Lots of reasons. Though drinking helps. Or hurts.
What some people do is heckle. What some really stupid people do is think that they can take a trained professional on and do so with zero preparation. Because it's just that easy.
That's what happened when some guy from an audience told Joe Klocek that he should be onstage. And because the spirit hit him at that moment, Klocek said, sure. Come on up.
And for the next seven minutes, Joe Klocek delivered what is probably his most-memorable set, pretty much relying on his new co-star to lead the way.
This happened five years ago in San Francisco, and the video that resulted has followed Klocek around since. In talking about it, he said --
"I am grateful that a 5 year old set I did continues to give me exposure. It does feel a little weird that a 7 and a half minute video is becoming the thing I am most known for, but I am not complaining. It was a standard night really. I was just in the moment and having fun and went where things took me. In an odd sort of way it was very program. I was totally in the moment and if you compare my heckler clip to the hundreds of others on line you notice I don't really insult him by yelling harsh things at him. I deflect his words back at him and direct the energy. I feel like it happened so naturally and ended perfectly when it did. I didn't intend to shame anyone or teach them a lesson it was just like I said, being totally in the moment and seeing where it would go. It was a blast, too."
In fairness, he does shame the guy a little bit (which isn't to say the guy doesn't deserve it). But as Klocek notes, it doesn't come across as mean-spirited or hurtful, since he is indeed just following the lead of what the guy is doing. It is natural, and he isn't yelling insults. In fact, it's fairly gentle, especially compared to what others might have done.
This comes thanks to Valerie Alexander, of SpeakHappiness.com. So, you know it's got to be happy. Unless you're a heckler...
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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