Wednesday, June 12, 2024

On George Lopez, Hecklers, and Stand-Up Comedy Being Hard

Stand-up is hard. I've done open mic nights at various points in my life. I've killed and I've utterly bombed. It is always a bit of a rush, terrifying, and freaking hard. I enjoy studying the craft of comedy and how different people approach it. There have been some greats who didn't get enough love and some really mediocre talents who somehow became huge. Sometimes a person with immense talent does get the recognition they deserve while alive, too, and that is always great. As I've dabbled in stand-up I will tell you one of the absolute worst things is dealing with hecklers. It ruins your flow, makes you more likely to mess-up, and sucks. Hence, I have some sympathy for George Lopez and his feud with a casino mad he quit a set early.

I'm not a huge fan of Lopez or a hater. I like some of his stuff and don't giggle much at other bits. The man has been around forever honing his craft and is at an age where he probably doesn't want to have to deal with any B.S. when he's telling his jokes. Depending on whom you ask, he felt unsafe due to heckling when doing a set at the Eagle Mountain Casino in Porterville, California--or, he was being pissy due to the audience shouting positive things even if it was interrupting him. Comedians have been in danger due to telling jokes, with audience members throwing things or even rushing the stage to harm them, so if Lopez did feel unsafe I totally understand that. If the crowd was engaging in the oxymoron of positive heckling that still could be disruptive to him and I possibly understand it if Lopez was perturbed enough to walk off the stage when only 30 minutes had passed (that would have been incredibly disappointing for the crowd, however). 

It only takes one heckler--"nice," or mean to be a pain and disrupt a set. Lopez didn't want to put up with disruptions and called it a night earlier. Even if the heckling wasn't rude I still can see both sides of the argument regarding whether he should've powered-through or wrapped it up early. If I were in the audience I would have obviously been annoyed too, if we're being honest. The whole situation seems unfortunate and just goes to further illustrate, that stand-up comedy is really hard, whether you're a newbie or a seasoned professional.

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