Did a Comic Pretend to Fall Off-Stage for Clout?
“Break a leg!” is an old show-biz term often yelled at performers before they take the stage. But it’s usually meant to wish someone good luck, not an actual recommendation to tumble into the audience and suffer multiple contusions. Chicago comedian James Austin Black apparently didn’t get the memo this weekend, regaling his audience with a charming tale about pegging with “some freaky Chicago girls” before he took a dive into the off-stage abyss.
Pratfalls are usually a surefire knee-slapper, but there was only stunned silence when Black brought new meaning to “my joke fell flat.” What a terrible misfortune for our friend Mr. Black — unless of course, he planned it all along. Whoever was operating that camera sure didn’t seem surprised, effortlessly following Black’s nosedive into folding-chair oblivion without a moment’s hesitation. Hmmmmm…
Black is a member of the So Far So Good comedy troupe in Chicago, a group that posted the video on Instagram along with the Chicago Laugh Factory. The oopsie-daisy has gotten plenty of viral traction, with thousands of likes, retweets and “hey, look at this doofus” posts from folks like Barstool Sports. As The Big Lead’s Stephen Douglas points out, Black was quick to follow the posts with his own comments, like, “Wow, that’s a handsome guy. Where can I see his shows?” And it sounds like Black, the guy who fell, videotaped and posted the stumble (as did the venue selling his tickets), is all better now.
So — accident-prone klutz or virality hacker? After comedian Arial Elias became a household name and landed a Jimmy Kimmel appearance after deftly handling a beer-chucking heckler, don’t doubt that crafty comics aren’t capable of creating a faux-incident in order to chase a little clout. We just wish Black’s belly-up would have been, you know, funnier.
Want an example of what it really looks like when a comic falls off stage?
This is what an organic mishap looks like, with a comedian who’s appropriately embarrassed instead of using her flounder to promote upcoming shows and snatch a few follows. The incident is relatable since everyone’s tatas do a gravity check now and then. When she vows to continue the show from flat on her back, she’s got the audience applauding her “the-show-must-go-on” spirit.
Take a bow, Roz McCoy — but take a few steps back from the edge of the stage before you do.