Comedians reveal the best heckles they’ve received on stage

Feb 13, 2015

Greg Fleet had an interesting moment on stage in Scotland.

Greg Fleet had an interesting moment on stage in Scotland. Source: Supplied

THE urban dictionary describes a heckler as: “A person who says s**t while someone is trying to do stand up comedy to screw him up because he’s an ar**hole”.

But even comedians are willing to admit that every now and then hecklers can hurl some hilarious lines.

Some of Australia’s most famous stand up comedians have revealed to the best heckle they’ve received on stage:

Greg Fleet — Ad Lib-Oration

I was doing a gig in Edinburgh and a guy that I couldn’t see yelled from the darkness, “F**k off”.

Fairly standard di**head heckling.

I replied “No, why don’t you f**k off”.

He then called from the dark balcony in a deep and scary Scottish accent, “No, f**k off, I’ve got a crossbow”.

I thought “He PROBABLY doesn’t have a crossbow” but ‘probably’ is not a word you want to use when deciding if someone does, or does not, have a medieval weapon trained on you.

Cal Wilson — Undercurrents

My best heckle actually happened offstage. I was flyering in the rain for my show in Edinburgh. I handed a flyer to a very posh elderly lady, and said “It’s a show about all the people I could have been if I’d made different decisions.”

She looked me up and down and said “Was one of THEM a success?”

It was so brilliantly cutting, my jaw actually dropped.

Still, I now use it for material and take comfort from the fact I’ll be telling that story long after she’s died ...

Cal Wilson was dissed by an elderly lady.

Cal Wilson was dissed by an elderly lady. Source: Supplied

Lawrence Mooney — Surely Not

I was doing a “smokers morning” at the Shepparton Football Club (read as all you can drink, strippers and a comedian).

I was filling in for Matt Hardy whose mother was ill.

The president introduced me thus, “This next bloke wasn’t our first choice but the other comedian had to pull out because his mum was crook, so here’s Lawrence Mooney”.

I was dying from the word go, no traction and not a laugh.

Some bloke at the back of the room yelled out, “I wish your mum was crook”.

That has to be saluted.

Tom Gleeson

In Ireland, I paid out a guy up the back for being drunk. He replied, “Are you making fun of me because I’ve got brain damage?”

The gig slipped away from me after that.

Tom Gleeson made fun of the wrong person.

Tom Gleeson made fun of the wrong person. Source: Supplied

Celia Pacquola — Let Me Know How It All Works Out

I was on stage in London and I was talking about being in a long distance relationship between London and Melbourne.

A very drunk woman yelled out “I understand darlin! I’m in a long distance relationship too!”

I said, “Really? Where’s your partner?”

She replied, with complete seriousness: “He’s at the bar.”

Dave Hughes — PUMPED

My best ever heckle was from my mum early in my career when she yelled out, “We paid for your education.”

Justin Hamilton.

Justin Hamilton. Source: Supplied

Dave Hughes was heckled by his mum.

Dave Hughes was heckled by his mum. Source: Supplied

Justin Hamilton — Snacks!

I was performing at the Sydney Opera House when in the middle of my routine I dropped a c-bomb.

As I looked down there was a woman who was in her seventies looking at me.

I said to her, “I am so sorry about that.”

She replied, “That’s alright, it’s a word in Scrabble and if Scrabble is okay with it then it’s fine by me.”


Many years ago I was performing with a few of my fellow comedians at the Windsor Tavern — a place that had a reputation not so much for comedy but rather getting glassed in the face for accidentally looking at someone without asking for permission.

I was the MC and as I looked down in the crowd I spotted a young attractive girl sitting next to an older, very heavy looking biker.

As I started to talk to the girl, her father said to me, “Hey watch it mate, that’s my daughter”.

Being a fully-fledged coward, I quickly brought the first comedian on, Jimmy Rice.

He opened with a routine about the movie Indecent Proposal where Robert Redford offers Demi Moore one million dollars to sleep with him.

Jimmy then points to the girl with the killer biker father and ask, “Would you have sex with me for one million dollars?”

There was a few seconds of silence, then the biker father says to Jimmy, “A million dollars? Mate, just buy her a fu**ing beer”.

True Story.

Akmal Saleh has a great story about a bikie in the crowd.

Akmal Saleh has a great story about a bikie in the crowd. Source: Supplied

Bev Killick — Killick Bev

About five years ago at the Comedy Club I asked the question, “Who likes doing housework?”

This guy yells out loudly, “I don’t because I’m the breadwinner”.

To which I said “Well darling, I’m here to tell you us girls are off carbohydrates so you can stick your bread up your a*se!”

I’ve now incorporated that heckle and response into my routine.

Puppetry of the Penis

Puppeteer Master Simon Morley: We were doing a rural tour in Victoria, trying to raise money to take our show to Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival.

We found ourselves in a small pub outside of Castlemaine and on this particular night, I was sporting the mother of all hangovers.

Time came and the show must go on. All was fine till we reached the audience participation section of the show where we perform the Fruit bat.

For those unaware of this particular installation, it involves me doing a handstand, while a member of the audience holds my ankles.

I, a little too quickly it seemed, chose a little old lady a few rows back because she was chanting “Choose me! No one ever chooses me!”

Not quite heckling, more pleading.

As I called her up, my partner Friendy tells me, “Shouldn’t have done that mate!”

Before I could get an explanation, I realised that maybe this run of the mill Nanna might have had a little too much to drink.

Up I go into my Fruit bat position and our Nanna quickly becomes, what we now call, a slider.

I feel Nanna’s hands leave my ankles and slide down to grip my thighs. I then hear her exclaim to the audience that she was about to “kiss ar*e!”

She then proceeded to nuzzle.

At this point a combination of the fruity Nanna and my wicked hangover caused me to crash to the ground, hoping the Nanna would relinquish her iron grip.

This proved to be incorrect.

Nanna wasn’t letting go and to the floor she came, still with her nose wedged firmly in my nether regions.

You might think that would have to be the strangest image imaginable, but no!

My partner Friendy quickly comes to my aide and takes the Nanna by the ankles and tries to drag her off me but she wasn’t letting go.

So here is a fully grown naked man, holding a fully clothed Nanna by the ankles, dragging her from the nether regions of another naked man lying and wriggling in uncontrollable fits.

Puppetry of the Penis creator, Simon Morley.

Puppetry of the Penis creator, Simon Morley. Source: News Limited

Puppeteer Jaymie Wilson: Puppetry of the Penis was doing a show in Auckland and for that night we had an interpreter for deaf people providing sign language for our show.

There was a point in the night where my stage partner Sammy fakes an accident so he can leave the stage. So while he was off stage I had a bit of a banter with the gentleman who was signing along with what we were saying,

“Gee,” I said, “Sammy is hurt bad, I guess you are going to have to take his place”.

He signs what I said and the audience laughs.

“I heard rumours that you have a pretty big dong.”

He signs and the audiences laughs again ... I’m two for two!

Then he signs something else, which got even a bigger laugh with the audience clapping and cheering.

It wasn’t until I was backstage that I found out that when I said, “You have a pretty big dong!” he replied in sign language, “It’s bigger than yours”.

Puppetry of the Penis performers Simon Morley and David Friend.

Puppetry of the Penis performers Simon Morley and David Friend. Source: Supplied

Tahir — The Complete Guide to being a Racist

I once did a show called Habib On Parole at the Enmore Theatre and a lady stood up and stormed out yelling, “This has nothing to do with prisons!”

And when I was performing Lord of the Kebabs in Melbourne, this bloke (who had a few drinks in him) heckled loudly, “P**s off ya bunch of refugees!”

We had an ensemble cast with various backgrounds.

Best part was we found out later on that he was born in Poland.

Ignorance at its best and in this case the audience turned on him.

Hannah Gadsby — Donkey

One time I was doing a bit of a self-deprecating routine — classic Hannah — and this old bloke in the front row just yells out, “Nah … You’re alright”.

Best therapy I’ve ever had.

Hannah Gadsby received positive affirmations from the audience.

Hannah Gadsby received positive affirmations from the audience. Source: Supplied

David Williams — Cool Genes Man!

The subject of best heckle is a little ambiguous and I reckon it can be broken down into two parts, namely:

A) The heckle that has provided me with the best opportunity for a comeback.

B) The best heckle that has completely destroyed me and my performance.

Let’s start with A) I’m mid show and things are going splendidly.

I notice (like all comedians) the one person in the room who’s not laughing.

She is a well dressed middle-aged lady throwing me some serious stink-eye and I can’t resist.

I tell her I can feel the chemistry between us and that we’re meant to be together.

I can see something in her snap and she stands and yells, “You belong to Satan! You are Satan! The devil on earth, I see Lucifer inside you!”

There’s no better way to bring out the devil in me than by calling it out.

I guess correctly that she has a cat (not a giant leap).

I tell her, “I see your sins through the eyes of you cat, I hear your sins through its ears, I know what you do at night when you think you’re alone, your soul is mine.”

She ran from the club hysterically screaming, “No! God no! God forgive me!”

Everybody laughed and hooted and I felt terrible.

Now the ego destroying B) *Names have been changed. As a single touring comic I sometimes have fleeting romantic encounters.

It’s also quite common to lose track of where you’ve been when you perform in one town one night and another in a different state the next, over and over.

With that in mind I was playing a decent sized rural city in Queensland (it’s always Queensland BTW) and I was feeling ... well ... a little frisky.

Towards the end of my time I notice a beautiful woman in the front row and launch into a routine designed specifically to interact with beautiful women.

It’s getting big laughs and I’m feeling in complete control, until, as a part of this well-rehearsed routine, I invite her onto the stage.

To introduce her to the audience I ask her name.

She replies “My name? You want to know my name do you? It’s Jenny. You picked me up last year doing this very same bit then never replied to any of my messages”.

The audience lose their collective minds.

She then turns to them wiggling her little finger and said, “And by the way girls, he’s not worth it!”

Thank you and goodnight.

Tom Ballard — Taxis & Rainbows & Hatred

I asked a rowdy buck’s party in the crowd if they were heading to a gentleman’s club after the show.

One of the bucks responded, “Nah mate, we’ve already been!”

That’s how much respect the art of stand up comedy has, it’s considered more depraved than stripping.

Tom Ballard used to host the Triple J breakfast show.

Tom Ballard used to host the Triple J breakfast show. Source: Supplied

Jimeoin — Jimeoin ..Is It..?!

There was an incident in Darwin when a heckler said something and then I said something funny back and I intended to move on, but this guy kept coming and was talking over my punchlines.

A guy two rows back stood up, lent forward and gave the guy the biggest clip around the back of the ear and then sat down.

The place erupted. Enough said.

Things got a little bit heated at a Jimeoin gig in Darwin.

Things got a little bit heated at a Jimeoin gig in Darwin. Source: Supplied

Nath Valvo — Happy Idiot

At a gig in Queensland last year — a few minutes after the show — two guys approached me and one of them said “Hey, I loved your stuff.”

That’s always a nice thing to hear!

He then immediately introduced me to his mate with, “This is my friend Brad, he hated it”.

Brad just stood there and nodded to confirm the statement.

I went cray cray awkward, shook his hand, said, “That’s OK! Thank you, Brad!” and ran away.

Why did I say thank you to the guy for hating my show?

That’s like thanking someone for telling you they don’t like your haircut.

Please be kind. Comedians are very needy.

Damien Power — I Can’t Believe I Cared

One time I was on stage and I mentioned Star Wars and a guy yelled out, “My dad died in that war!”

I stopped and said, “What does that mean? Was your dad Obi Wan Kenobi?”

He said, “No, he played one of the storm troopers in the new Star Wars”.

I was like, “Wow!”

Damien Power is performing at the Adelaide Fringe this year.

Damien Power is performing at the Adelaide Fringe this year. Source: Supplied

James McCann — McCann You Feel The Love Tonight?

A few years ago, during the great Adelaide locust plague, I was doing a gig and I noticed a man in the front row who kept banging his fist on the ground and fidgeting in an odd way.

After some minutes of this, I asked him what he was doing.

“Making a dead bug pyramid”, he said, and indeed upon closer inspection the man was systematically crushing locusts and organising their corpses into a neat pile.

The gig never really recovered from that point.

Frenchy — Frenchy in Live and Lanky

I was in Toukley (bogan area on the Central Coast) and halfway through my set, some clown yelled out, “Do you have a foreskin?”

I was like “WTF?”

He took that to mean that I didn’t hear him and he yelled it louder, “Do you have a foreskin?”

I said, “Ask your mum, she knows!” and then got on with my joke. Mum jokes never get old.

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