by Michael Schultz on July 17, 2014

Even the best and biggest stars get questioned and heckled. All-star New York Yankee baseball player Derek Jeter was heckled at the all-star game recently.

Some fan kept yelling “overrated”. Jeter, like the pro that he is, responded with a solid whack into right field for a double.

Hecklers are often surprised by the results of their outcries….they may just be what the performer is looking for to awaken them and  to spur them on to greatness!

“Ford draws cheers and jeers in raucous debate.”

by Michael Schultz on July 16, 2014

Sounds like pure entertainment. That’s the headline from last night’s mayoralty debate in the Toronto area. Freshly back from rehab, Mr. Rob Ford stands his ground and makes Toronto politics anything but boring. The newspaper reported that,” …it was Mr. Ford who provoked the biggest response, including noisy interjections and heckling.” Anything but dull.

Here’s a look at the proceedings:

Anyways – I’m back from a little summer sojourn and apparently so is Rob Ford.

Oh No , They’re Heckling…………

by Michael Schultz on June 19, 2014

Here’s Rick Mercer on his show featuring the Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball team. It’s part Damn Yankees, part Bull Durham, all hilarious.

First he gets booed in the bullpen as he learns to throw out the opening pitch.

Then as he heads to the mound that evening he can feel voice of the fans and he says; “Oh no, they’re heckling.”

An enjoyable piece of baseball, heckling and Canadiana:


Isn’t Democracy Wonderful? or Sometimes the Bubble Needs Puncturing……

by Michael Schultz on June 19, 2014

Neil Honeyman makes a couple of excellent points in this article from Sun Star. He points out the benefits of heckling from George Bush in 2003 to life in the Philippines, to happenings in Australia. Heckling is alive ad well and serving a real purpose. I particularly like his idea that when leaders and people in authority act as though they are in a ‘bubble’ – that bubble may need to be punctured – heckling can do that.

By Neil Honeyman

An Independent View

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

HECKLING, that is interrupting a public speaker with derisive or aggressive comments or abuse, has been a manifestation of genuine democracies for hundreds of years. To heckle attained its present meaning in the mid-17th century when there was much to heckle about.

In 2003, the United States of America (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) invaded Iraq, without United Nations agreement. The invasion was justified at the time by intelligence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and could use them. Not everyone believed this. The non-believers were later proved correct. In late 2003, the US President George W. Bush visited the UK where he was greeted with much heckling about the Iraq war. He did not take offense. He beamed at his hecklers and said ‘Isn’t democracy wonderful!’

Not yet in the Philippines.

Last Thursday, while President Aquino was giving his Independence Day speech at Naga City, a college student standing 45 meters away from the stage at Plaza Quince Martires started shouting “Free Benito Tiamzon and all political prisoners and scrap all forms of pork! DAP, Ibasura!”

The student, Pio Mijares, attending Ateneo de Naga University, was quickly taken away by members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG).

Mijares was charged at the Naga City Prosecutor’s office with “tumults and other disturbances of public order.” He was also charged with “assault against an agent of person in authority.”

I am disappointed.

It is a sign of a mature democracy that any person at any time may express dissent. It is regrettable that the dissent, expressed by Mijares, was suppressed. “Tumults” is a large, confused noise caused by a large mass of people. Mijares did not engender tumults.

Around 500 members of the rights group Karapatan-Bicol held a rally at Naga City but were prevented from getting close to the site where the President was speaking. We agree if the rallyists intended to overwhelm the speech.

Independence Day marks the time when Philippine sovereignty was transferred from the Republic of Spain to the United States of America. This was completed at the Treaty of Paris on 10 December 1898. No Filipino was invited to the treaty negotiations. Is Independence Day really a cause for celebration?

Heckling has useful purposes. Firstly, it causes the speaker to realize that there is an adversarial opinion. Does PNoy know about the Benito Tiamzon case?

Secondly, it can cause the speaker to respond. There is nothing better than a quick and articulate put-down to the heckler by the speaker to cause the crowd to be more supportive of the speaker.

One is left with the impression that PNoy operates in a bubble in which his acolytes endlessly reassure him that everything is fine. Heckling punctures the bubble. Sometimes the bubble needs puncturing.

The Australian government recently unveiled a budget which was not well-received by the populace. Included in the unpopular items was a significant increase in tertiary education fees. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop went to the University of Sydney to explain the reason for the fee hikes. She was jostled and heckled. On camera at least she seemed to accept the angry students’ protest to hazards of the trade and smiled benignly. There were no arrests of the unruly students.

We wish the PSG would not intervene until and unless PNoy is in physical danger.


Heckling Blondes

by Michael Schultz on June 18, 2014

This joke reminds me of something from a comedy act in 1961 – I was slightly amazed to see it circulate recently:


A ventriloquist is sitting onstage at a comedy club. He and his dummy are spurting out really crude blonde jokes, when a blonde lady sitting in the audience stands up.

“I’m so sick of you people who think blondes are stupid. It’s because of you that I have had to try harder to prove myself at work and in the community. There are just as many dumb people with red or brown hair. There are just as many smart people with blonde hair.”

“Gosh, Miss, I’m terribly sorry. I was just telling jokes, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.”

“Shut up! I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to that little jerk on your lap!”

Her Majesty’s a Pretty Nice Girl…

by Michael Schultz on June 9, 2014

Apparently though – Dennis Skinner has a lot to say.

He’s a Labour Party MP in England who has made a tradition of heckling the Queen in the House.


He has also been in the House since 1970 so he must: a) know his way around it and b) be popular with his constituents.

He has been quipping the Blackrod – a symbol of the Queen – for some time at the official opening of Parliament. In fact, he’s become a staple item – with everyone expecting him to mutter something. Whether he’s telling the Queen to ‘pay her taxes’ or asking vital questions like “have we got Helen Mirren on stand-by?” , Dennis has been a regular thorn.

The “Honourable House” gets rocked by this heckling MP….perhaps the real “Dennis the Menace”.



Jim Gaffigan’s Most Unusual Gig…

by Michael Schultz on June 8, 2014

Well, we were laughing again with Jim Gaffigan at the Sony concert venue last night in Toronto. Jim came in for two shows – we took in the first. A beautiful concert hall and an odd crowd to say the least. But that’s not what’s important…

Gaffigan is an intelligent guy – I’d like to see him cut a little deeper that Hotpockets because I think he has the chops. Every so often his work and writing goes there. I’d like to think the schtick about food and being overweight is really just a comedic creation like Mike Myer’s Wayne Campbell. Maybe it is.

There wasn’t really any heckling last night. At one point a security walkie talkie went off during his performance…he had to respond…did, and then didn’t miss a beat getting back to his material.

Here’s Gaffigan talking about a late Friday night headlining performance a few years ago on Long Island at the Governor’s Club. Jim noticed a member of the audience ‘mooing’. He thought , it’s Friday, people have been drinking, it’s been a long week and he’s from the midwest so someone is using cow calls. He tried the regular dealing with the heckler strategies with lines like ” that’s intelligent…let’s moo.”

It persisted. So he goes into the audience with the microphone to check out the ‘heckler’. Lo and behold, and unbeknownst to him, there are a number of handicapped people in the audience. The culprit – actually a severely handicapped fan – was someone lying on a hospital bed using a keyboard to emit sound.  Gaffigan had not  been given a heads up about this situation. Big surprise.

Here’s Jim Gaffigan talking about his most unusual gig:


Harsh Heckles

by Michael Schultz on May 30, 2014

Mat Ricardo talks about his ‘harshest heckle’….while street performing in Covent Gardens….a great place to see buskers. This one is more than harsh ….it’s disgusting.

Meanwhile, several other comedians weigh in with their ‘harshest heckle’. Whether it’s dodging ashtrays in the air, being threatened with a shotgun, or being dismissed by your own mom, these folks have seen it all:

Bouncers were brought in for a reason.

11 Very Odd Heckles

by Michael Schultz on May 28, 2014

Most heckles are odd- unexpected and often personal. Here is a selection of comics talking about being heckled. In this case it is the ‘oddity’ they focus on.

For example, one remembers a (electric) fan coming on during her performance and it felt like the fan was heckling her. Another talks about patrons falling asleep – wouldn’t they be better to just leave? I had a few students nod off in class.

These segments come to us from something called Comcomedy.


They are from the UK and they cover comedy acts. Stay tuned for more tomorrow.


Best Heckle

by Michael Schultz on May 26, 2014

A clip today from entertainer, street performer and comic Mat Ricardo – he talks about his favourite heckle.

Performing in Paris, on the street, he reaches his finale and asks the crowd if they’re ready…..they cheer wildly….when he asks again this happens:

Here’s Mat’s website:


Here he is juggling with great dexterity: