Nothing funny about drunken hecklers

December! The most wonderful time of the year!

Unless you’re a comedian appearing in a comedy club packed with people who think the most appropriate way to celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus is to drink industrial quantities of booze before staggering into the venue and sitting as close to the stage as possible so nothing can get in the way of their enjoyment.

Not that they intend being amused by the comedians they’ve paid to see. No, their enjoyment comes from being amongst a group of pals in Santa hats, loudly heckling, interrupting, swearing and generally behaving like chief guests at a moron convention.

Lacking the ability to behave themselves in public and the talent & steel nerves it takes to stand on a stage and make an audience laugh for half an hour or more, these braying donkeys reserve their loudest laughs for their own ‘hilarious’ comments.

I can’t think of a more pointless exercise than spending money to watch a comedian and then amusing yourself by shouting out half-witted insults which you mistakenly believe are funnier than the carefully-honed material being performed by the professional on the stage.

It’s no better for comedians booked as the ‘cabaret entertainment’ at a company’s Christmas dinner and dance in a hotel function room.

Because a crowd of (mainly) young people – all dressed-up and raring to let their hair down on their big night out – don’t want to sit quietly for 45 minutes listening to some poor soul trying to make them laugh.

If the crowd’s started drinking, they’ll soon tell the comedian he’s not wanted…very bluntly!

Comedy is the only form of entertainment where this happens.

You never hear of a drunken audience member at the circus who decided he could do better than the trapeze artistes risking their lives above his head and began climbing up the rope ladder to show them how it’s done.

Nor has any opera been interrupted by a drunk in the stalls who, believing he possessed a better voice than the leading tenor, climbed on stage, elbowed him out of the way and took his place. Mind you, that might be fun to watch!

Personally I relish getting in amongst the audience at my shows, so drunken hecklers don’t worry me. Because, the next day, while they’re nursing a massive hangover, I’ll be paying my fee into the bank!