I attended a comedy show where Mr. Snapper & Mr. Buddy performed this evening. I've been to enough shows at comedy clubs to know how they run. Hell, this evening I was accurately speculating on some of the jokes we'd hear from people I'd never seen perform before. But I'm a good person to have in the audience because I laugh loudly and applaud loudly, and I'm polite enough that I don't comment on the things that I don't like during the show.
I sat with an acquaintance of a friend at the show, not someone I knew at all. I chit-chatted before the show with this fellow from flyover country who had never been to a comedy club before. I thought he knew what to expect, but obviously he didn't. You see, he got up during the second-to-last comic's set and shouted at the comic, then threw his water bottle toward the stage before storming out of the club. He didn't like being picked on, especially when it came to jokes of a sexual nature, and he apparently had no idea how comics work.
Two things about comedy shows:
- Comics often pick on the audience. I think it's pretty cheap to seriously rag on the people who are paying for your performance opportunity as your material, particularly people you don't even know. ("I bet that guy in the trucker hat knows how a dick tastes. Am I right, ladies?") Talk about your mother, your menses, your terrible relationship (all things that also irk me as topics, but you have to talk about something I guess), but don't get too douchy with the people who are feeding you laughter or they may just stop laughing. (Gently ribbing friends is acceptable in my book.) Or they may get up and yell and throw a water bottle in the direction of the stage. Comics, time to creatively mine for some new material.
- Comics often pick on the audience. If you're going to attend a comedy show, know that at least one comic will pick on the audience. The smaller the audience, the more likely it will be you -- more than once during the course of the show. Don't take it personally. The don't really know you, and neither do the other people in the audience. Unless you're on a first date and are afraid that sex will be removed as an option directly and only because of an interaction with a comic, just let it slide. (And if you are on a first date, maybe make a stupid joke to your date on the way to the car. "So, that lady comic said she wanted to jump on my dick. Hilarious, right?")
- You are there to see the show, support the performers, and interact with them when invited. Even if you hate the jokes ("Am I right, ladies?), you should still strive to maintain an interested and supportive demeanor while you are in the audience. If they are so horrible that your facade cracks, go to the bathroom until their set is over. It's much better to leave the room and check your text messages than be that guy.