Chariot of Eggs

by Michael Schultz on April 10, 2015

Wow – here’s a ‘sleeper’ – Bobby Bittman (Eugene Levy) runs into a studio heckler while he’s on SCTV’s Sammy Maudlin:

It speaks for itself – you might hang in for the remainder which shows Hall and Oates playing a tune and then starring in the movie – a take on Chariots of Fire.


Oh No! – Heckling May Be A Dying Art Form…!

by Michael Schultz on April 9, 2015

I suppose it had to happen – or did it?….heckling’s days may be numbered. At least according to the following article.Too bad. So sad. Here’s a terrific little article that captures the essence of heckling and its current status:

Much of it is covered in my book…that said, I was pleased ( since it is a British source) that Joseph Strick’s fabulous documentary , The Hecklers, is referenced.

Etiquette at a Broadway Show

by Michael Schultz on April 5, 2015

A comedian by the name of Kirk Noland ( see his “Minute With….) puts his heckling research to work in this episode. Mr. Noland calls a theatre source and asks the questions of what would happen if they ‘heckle’ the performers in a theatre? The response is that they will (like a character named Shia LaBeouf) get hauled away. Having electronic devices turned on might result in a similar way.

He’s establishing that if it is not OK to heckle in the theatre then it should not be OK at a comedy club. People vote with their feet and with their critiques but nothing is as immediate as the groans and jeers that come from the audience at the moment.

I do like what he’s saying here – a little more self-control is needed so we aren’t afraid to go out in public.

Southern Heckling – Baseball

by Michael Schultz on March 28, 2015

I came across this at – a site from Mississippi……it features a few amusing heckles – some you’ve seen before. Not sure why you can’t condone heckling at the ballpark. Heckling should have been mentioned in “Take Me Out to the Ballpark”:

Heaton: 8 Southern Ways to Heckle in SEC Baseball



For the record, I have never condoned heckling in baseball. It just doesn’t seem civilized. But then again, have you even seen a clip of the heckling on the floor of Parliament during a debate? There have been quieter riots.

Since baseball’s foundation is English, heckling must be civilized by association? In any case, heckling is not going away. So if you insist on doing it, be professional.

How? Do your research, limit alcohol and never shout something that can’t be printed in the town newspaper. Your goal is to entertain the fans in the stands. It’s all about wit — not abuse. Prepare for the game by sifting through Twitter, Facebook, and team bios for ideas. It easier than standup comedy — your audience can’t leave.

Here are 8 of the cleverest baseball heckles for all SEC fans:

1. Hey blue, if you had another eye, you’d be a cyclops!

2. Hey (player) Got any naked pictures of your coach?….. Wanna see some?

3. Hey blue, I’ve got your phone. It says you’ve missed 3 calls so far.

4. Hey (player), your glove has more holes in it than a Swiss cheese donut.

5. Hey (player), my duck can throw a bowling ball better than that!

6. Hey (player), your doctor called – he wants his glove back!

7. Hey nice play, Shakespeare!

8. Hey (player) check the roster, you might be left-handed!

Lagniappe: The legendary umpire Bill Klem, when asked by a manager if a ball was fair or foul said: “It ain’t nothing until I call it.”

Age UK

by Michael Schultz on March 26, 2015

British PM David Cameron faced the elderly throng recently but did get a rather stiff reception over health care.

Culture of Humiliation

by Michael Schultz on March 25, 2015

Perhaps no one knows shame and humiliation more than Monica Lewinsky. In the late 1990s Lewinsky had a romantic affair with then President of the U.S. Bill Clinton.

Now she’s talking about that humiliation. Her situation was one that went viral – perhaps one of the first cases that did so with the advent of the Internet at that time.

When we hear stories of Kennedy’s affair  with Marilyn Monroe it was all very secretive for the time in the 60s. In France, men are supposed to have a mistress (half joking).

Here’s Lewinsky getting her message out there. Essentially she contends that shaming has gone public and even makes money – money for suffering. People are clicking to see other people’s misfortunes and missteps – and advertisers are cashing in. She tells us in a recent ( March 2015) Ted Talk that ‘public humiliation is a commodity’ and that shame has become an industry.

Perhaps the best quote from her address here is related to heckling. Today there is a real gap between ‘speaking up for attention’ vs. ‘speaking up with intention’. Good point. There’s a lot of noise and bullying out there on the Internet and in the general culture. But Lewinsky comes with confidence and promise – as she says and believes, ‘shame cannot survive empathy’. ‘Compassion’ she claims will win the day.

Let’s hope so.

New Show

by Michael Schultz on March 20, 2015

There’s a new show featuring heckling in Australia – simply called HECKLE…here’s the concept:

Have you always wanted to tell that bloke off the telly he’s not funny? Or think you have a better punchline?

HECKLE! is the brand-new, raucous late night comedy line-up show that throws out the rule book and lets the audience say what they want, when they want. It’s the only show you won’t get kicked out of. 

If you reckon you have what it takes to challenge the sharpest comedy brains at the Festival, then be our guest – let’s see how the professionals cope. Or just sit back and enjoy the mayhem.

I guess this is the Aussie’s way of living on the comedic edge. Seems you can go to most clubs these days and you simply have to count down from 100 before the first loose- lipped heckler emerges. Case in point…last night we took in a Jazz Wizards reunion/concert at Hugh’s Rook in Toronto. There was a guy near the stage with his wife and another couple and after at least a bottle of wine this guy was verbally out of control. When he shouted ( during a quiet period) …” it’s too quiet in here…” , the lead at the mic replied…” yeah, but you’re still talking”.

Here’s a link to the show should you be heading down under:


Public Shaming

by Michael Schultz on March 17, 2015

I heard a show on CBC yesterday talking about how ‘public shaming’ is ‘in’. Social media may be the new ‘pillory’.

Taber, Alberta is a small ( 8,100 pop.) farming community. Apparently they have expanded a by-law that continues to enforce a curfew for those under 16 but also levies fines of $75.00 to $250.00 for those caught swearing, yelling or spitting in public. Protest seems to have just become more difficult. That said, protests can still be organized in Taber and police are looking to use the by-law to encourage good behaviour rather than lay charges.

There seem to be many social situations these days when it gets uncomfortable because people around you in public just don’t know how to behave when it comes to speaking.

I remember my dad swearing once – he yelled s_ _ _ when the stupid little British Cortina we had bought wouldn’t start. Swearing was frowned upon in the 50s and 60s. Not so much anymore. In fact, we see it regularly at home, at work, and in the media.

Everybody has a cell phone, everyone swears……the idea that then it must be OK is the new status quo. Or as my mom used to say…..”if everyone was going to jump over a cliff……would you join them…?” ( she always used this one when I wanted to be with the gang).

One thing I did enjoy learning was that Taber is ‘the corn capital of Canada’( safe than the ‘porn’ capital I suppose). Who knew? They have giant stalks of corn near the local community centre as a tribute.

There is protest of the by-law in Taber much the same as there was in the 1984 movie Footloose where local teenagers challenged a town council no-dancing bylaw.

I suppose if you hit your thumb with a hammer the odd expletive can be expected. But to roll out coarse language as you saunter the city streets might be snubbed. Even better than the police intervening – how about a lesson or two from parents? Perhaps the movement can start from home. Heckle with care in Taber ( and elsewhere for that matter).


Hard for Line!

by Michael Schultz on March 4, 2015

Roy MacGregor is a great (sports) journalist from east of Huntsville. I love his writing. Recently, in The Globe and Mail (February 27th, 2015), he suggested the sport of curling should be up there with hockey and curling in national recognition…..couldn’t agree more ….I’ve been throwing rocks myself for over 50 years!

MacGregor noticed how fan decorum has changed at curling competitions recently:

“Sochi also saw a dramatic change in fan decorum. When the Russian women played, the Ice Cube Curling Center turned into curling’s equivalent of the 16th hole at golf’s Phoenix Open, where bleachers line the fairway and fans scream in the hope of distracting golfers used to library silence.”

Here’s his article:

Of course, if you really want to appreciate curling you have to a) watch the NFB’s Gone Curling…..or b) read W.O. Mitchell’s The Black Bonspiel of Wullie MacCrimmon.

Maybe curling will end up as our (3rd) national sport behind hockey and lacrosse….and even on the backside of Canadian currency. Either way, most Canadian communities have a curling rink. If you’re in Revelstoke, BC anytime soon, I understand they have a Friday night drop-in to experience the game – great idea.

College Comedy Nights

by Michael Schultz on March 3, 2015

Lord knows we can always use a laugh.

Folks at Oxford University have introduced something called College Comedy Nights.

I enjoyed teaching for 2 summers in Oxford – 1996 and 1997. Year 1 I was resident at Christchurch College ( I think History Boys was partially filmed there) and Year 2 was at Somerville College. There are more than 30 different colleges at Oxford. We travelled back to the town in 2008 for a holiday.

Student comics Harry Horsham and Alex Faroe have started touring these comedy nights to Oxford’s many colleges to showcase new and old talent. So far they seem to be a big hit. Apparently there are a few idiosyncrasies when it comes to heckling.

Househam says that ” people rarely heckle because everyone is so polite…if they do heckle it’s about something really pedantic and academic.” There was a heckle concerning the origins of the symbol zero for example. Hmmmm.

Perhaps this will mark the beginning of a university trend globally.

Here’s Harry Horsham being a ‘ham’: