Tuesday, April 29, 2008

And Such Small Portions!

This past weekend. I'm sitting backstage at a comedy show waiting to go on. The opening act is a very funny comedian. Yet a member of the audience is giving him a hard time and heckling him.

Why was this audience member heckling this comedian?

Because the comedian onstage was not the headliner!

Typical human behavior. A person comes to see a specific headliner. So why show any patience whatsoever with the opening act? Unfortunately this type of ignorant behavior occurs on all levels of show business.

I recall Steve Martin saying he did the same material when he was an opening act as when he was the headliner. And of course people ignored him and talked through his entire set when he was the opening act. Probably the same people who would later love him as the headliner. It's all in their perception.

But the key piece of information to my story, is that this heckler has never actually seen this headliner perform. So it's not like he's waiting impatiently for Wayne Newton to come on out. He's waiting impatiently for an act he's never seen before. Me.

Yes I'm the person this audience member supposedly wants to see. Yet this audience member couldn't identify me in a police lineup. He doesn't know any of my material. He's never seen my show before. The only thing this gentleman knows is that this opening act is not the comedian he has paid money to see.

If I had snuck out onstage and performed as my own opening act this audience member would have given me a hard time. Because I'd be an opening act. His criticism would have nothing to do with my ability and everything to do with my status.

This kind of shallow greedy behavior has become way too pervasive in our megastore driven society. No one has the time to actually listen to anything new anymore.

It's as if we need Starbucks to tell us what is good art.


Check Raise Chin said...

Just heckle him back like that Kramer dude did besides Rob you must be used to this considering the heckling you've received at the poker table...hahahaha.

Steve said...

I remember seeing Sonic Youth open for Neil Young at the Nassau Coliseum around '91. Same situation. All the idiots around me booing and screaming for them to get off the stage when Sonic Youth did some crazy feedback shit, and then cheering like lunatics when Neil and Crazy Horse did the same exact shit.

Mitchell said...


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Good luck--and who won the all-in 10's against A-K suited?