Humour the best way to deal with hecklers

Unless you’re a fan of American stand-up comedy, you may not have heard of Amy Schumer. She emerged in recent years and developed into a younger version of the late Joan Rivers.

Although as outrageous, insulting and downright rude that Joan could be on stage, she didn’t pepper her act with four-letter words like Ms. Schumer.

Since 2013 she’s had her own TV series, “Inside Amy Schumer”; she makes hit movies; and when she tours, she no longer plays cramped, sweaty comedy ‘clubs’ in basements where you go down several steps, physically and socially. This girl sells out arenas.

So you’d think with all her success, having managed to survive through the early years – and it must be far tougher for comediennes starting out than it is for their male equivalents – during which time she learned her stage craft and how to write and deliver exceptionally strong, funny material, she’d be immune to criticism from the press and the paying public.

But that just isn’t the case. She recently played the 02 Arena in London and packed the place out.

But there were posters all around the place warning audience members that, not only were they banned from filming or recording her show – which is fair enough – they were also banned from heckling her!

I’m not keen on hecklers, but they sometimes add value to a comedy show if the comedian can hit them with enough amusing insults to make them realise they’re being obnoxious.

If they’re too drunk or too stupid to realise their comments are spoiling the show for everyone else, they should be ejected.

But only when the comedian has exhausted every heckler put-down in his or her repertoire.

So with all her years of experience, why did Ms Schumer or her management put a ban on hecklers at the O2?

It may be connected to an incident at a show she performed in Stockholm in which a heckler shouted out something Ms. Schumer took exception to and she had him thrown out.

It was a crude comment, but hardly the most earth-shatteringly offensive insult she would have heard. Amy’s a powerful stage presence and could easily deal with idiot audience members.

That said, if you come to see me working, please don’t shout out what that man in Stockholm did. Because I will not get my boobs out for anyone!