#5. Joe Klocek Shows Him How It Feels
Enter Drunk Guy #431997. This walking polyp was basically a real-life version of an Internet commenter, trying to give "constructive feedback" to the comedian -- even going as far as offering to be his manager and asking for a mic. After a few small exchanges, Klocek recognizes it as an easy kill and says, "OK, come on up." What ensues is one of the most brutal, masterful pieces of destruction I've ever seen. He just allows the guy to embarrass himself into nonexistence, and he barely has to do more than just let the guy talk. It didn't hurt that the guy was so wasted that he could fuck up a bowling ball.
Second by second, each word he slurs buries him a little deeper, and just when you think the guy has hit bedrock, Joe remembers that the guy is a mathematician and suggests, "Why don't you give me some math problems? No blackboard, no calculator. I don't even have my cellphone on me." The guy is so drunk, he can't come up with one, even though his fucking career is centered around it. This goes on for seven and a half minutes, until the heckler actually hangs his head in shame, completely defeated. Showing his humanity, Joe stops and says quietly, mercifully, "Would you like to sit down now?" The guy can't even speak at that point. He just slowly nods his head, puts the mic back and takes his seat. It was like convincing the Hulk that he was his own enemy and then sitting back and watching him punch himself in the balls until he died.
#4. Joe Matarese Gets Heckled at a Fundraiser
Joe Matarese was doing a small gig in Michigan where pretty much the entire audience was filled with the souls of falsely executed prisoners, and in a former life, Joe was the guy under the black hood. Halfway through the set, he found out that it wasn't just any old show -- it was a fundraiser, and the audience was composed of the parents of the kids they were trying to earn money for. It's at that point he realized that if they were acting this badly at a charity event, he had no chance of salvaging his act, so he just gave in and said, "The sad part about comedy: All it takes is 90 percent of the crowd to suck for it to be bad."
And that was it. He went from person to person -- each one a cheerleader mom -- calling out their never-before-challenged bullshit. He tells the first woman, "I hope your kid's not someone we're trying to raise money for. Because she's fucked. We can't fix that. We can't fix her, she's bound for the pole. She will be stripping in weeks. You are an awful parent, ma'am." Then on to the next woman, where he just chants, "No one wants to hear you," while she rambles endlessly through it, as if he wasn't completely drowning her out. One of those people who, no matter what she's saying, truly thinks, "What I'm saying is important and must be heard because I am the exception to every rule." And then point blank, "All you have to do to not get ripped on is shut the fuck up, it's easy."
He was one step away from just plugging his ears and singing, "La, la, la, I can't hear you!"
Of course she doesn't, because she's special and nobody has really ever not allowed her to speak before. And just as it appears that he might step off of the stage and force feed her his car, he stops and explains, "I've gone to therapy, I can't call you what I want to. It would feel really good, and it would be dead on correct ... I don't need to say it because you all know. Have you ever seen someone being such a 'one' that I don't have to say it? That's how much of a 'one' she is."
So how is letting the hecklers control his act considered "shutting them down"? The people who had been battling him through the whole set gave him a standing ovation. He won.
Wait, is everyone in that audience fucking bipolar?
#3. Joe Rogan and the Penguin Girls
Nobody shuts down a heckler with more brutality than Joe Rogan. And don't give me that shit about George Carlin or Bill Hicks. They were good with focused anger, and I'm a fan of both men. But Rogan is a goddamn insult artisan.
This was another case of the table of drunk, pretty girls interrupting the act by responding loudly to everything he was saying. He was attempting to make fun of some movie about penguins, when one girl started yelling, "Awwww, I love penguins!" He starts off by making fun of their voices, but she gets pissed off pretty fast and her drunken mind convinces her "Yell out 'You don't have a girlfriend.' That'll get him. You aren't stupid at all. People love you." She obeys her brain's think-words, and Rogan finally just gives in and confronts her:
That's Joe humping the bar stool. Nope, not joking.
"See, this is where you're confused because I'm not your fucking boyfriend. I don't have to put up with your stupid shit." She repeats that she doesn't believe he has a girlfriend, and he levels her: "Why don't you believe that? Is it because you're dumb? Or is it because you're trying to be mean to me? You're saying, 'No girl would want you' -- check this out, how many girls would want to fuck me right now?" The crowd goes apeshit. But again, she's not done. She makes a joke about him having a small dick, to which he replies, "I'll wrap my dick around your neck and start you up like a fucking lawnmower." And then a conversation finishing move so brutal, Mortal Kombat couldn't display it without changing its ESRB rating:
"Don't get confused on your place in the big picture. I'm not saying I'm anything special, but guess what, fuckface, you're not either -- we're all humans. Just because you're pretty? You're pretty now, but you're only like, what, 24? But talk to me when you're 44, and you're desperate and drunk, sitting behind the nickel slot machine. [Crowd applauds over his voice here] ... just hoping to get fingered, and you can suck his dick and maybe go home and feel 'somewhat worthy' because he got 'semi hard.'"
Rogan transforms himself into the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Except instead of being a building, its function is to make idiots cry.
I've watched that video probably a hundred times, and I swear my speakers permanently smell like sex now.
#2. Patton Oswalt Creates a Moment
Patton Oswalt was setting up a joke that takes quite a bit of skill and audience trust to pull off. He was creating a moment where you bring down the crowd to a normal, serious frame of mind by speaking quietly and interjecting some emotion into the story. Then, when you're at exactly the right spot, you get louder and drive a punchline into their heads like a fucking railroad spike. Timing is absolutely everything here, and when some clueless jackoff screams "Woohoo!" in the middle of it, the whole thing is just obliterated.
That's exactly what happened, and Patton immediately knew it was over, saying, "I love the guy who's terrified at any kind of silence, like, 'He'd better say pussy soon, or aaagh!' ... I'd hate to see you at a funeral or a wedding or something. 'Skynyrd! Shit, I'm sorry. Sorry, man. It was like 20 seconds of quiet, I thought I was going to shit my pants. I got real scared. My mom told me if it was quiet for more than 15 minutes, then goblins come out of the ground and rape you. So I thought I'd -- I was trying to protect everybody by yelling. I thought I would scream and make a weird chicken noise and scare the rape goblins away ... Is everyone OK? Has no one been raped? Then I think I'm right. I think I just saved the whole room."
Flawless logic, baby.
But even more cutting than that flurry of verbal elbows was when he kind of chuckled and said, "What a dumb douchebag." If you press the play button on only one of these videos, make it this one. Because when Patton Oswalt gets that little to-himself chuckle when he drops an insult on someone, it's exactly like the moment you hear a light saber come out somewhere off camera in Empire. You know some shit is about to go down, and someone is probably going to lose a hand at the end.
He then carefully explains to the clueless asshole in the audience how jokes work and how the timing and tone is crucial. And just as ballsy as his insults, he finishes the bit, just to show him what would have been awesome had he not randomly shouted nonsense during the story. Ending it with the greatest lines ever spoken by a comedian in the history of comedy: "You stupid douchenozzle. You truly don't fucking get it, do you? You poor motherfucker. You're gonna miss everything cool and die angry."
There's an entire philosophy in those words.
#1. Bill Burr Versus All of Philadelphia
I'm not going to quote a single thing Bill Burr says in this video because nothing I could say would do it justice. Besides, it's not about what he's saying. He was in a comedy concert called Opie and Anthony's Traveling Virus in Philadelphia. After watching the two comedians before him get booed into the ground, he was already pissed off. So when he started his act to the same booing, he just dropped everything and tore into the audience. For his entire 11-minute set. The louder they booed, the more he ranted, counting off the minutes as he went. And every time they thought he was going to wrap it up and walk off the stage, he'd stop and say, "I have seven minutes left, and I'm doing all goddamn seven of them. Fuck you."
He used comedy like a fucking weapon, and he made sure that none of them got any sort of enjoyment out of it. If they started to clap, he'd switch to making fun of their sports teams. If they got used to that, he'd insult their mothers. Then their city. Then their intelligence. He called them racists. And every minute, he called out how much time he had left, until the very end, when he said, "That's my time. You guys ... you guys were here, man." Then he hung up the mic and left to the loudest cheers of the night.
For more Cheese, check out 5 Wacky Internet Pranks That Can Get You Jail Time and 5 Terrible Things You Can't Stop Your Children From Doing.