Alex Edelman Shuts Down White Nationalist Hecklers
“Um,” tweet-stammered Alex Edelman over the weekend. “A very normal matinee yesterday.”
Of course, it was anything but normal. The whole incident was laid out on Twitter by audience member Ben Ginsberg, who endured a theatrical experience that we should all hope is anything but normal. Ginsberg was attending a performance of Edelman’s “Just For Us,” an acclaimed one-man show about the “very obviously Jewish comedian’s” decision to attend a meeting of white nationalists in Queens to learn more about the “people behind the keyboards.”
The problem began when two women sitting behind Ginsberg began talking during the show, expressing their solidarity with the white nationalist point-of-view. Ginsberg wasn’t the only audience member distracted by the conversation, so Edelman stopped the show to deal with the ladies. “He cared about his audience having a good time!” tweeted Ginsberg. “Alex asked what was going on and why they were talking. He told them they were very clearly ruining the show for everyone around them and went back into his bit. Took them about 90 seconds to start talking again.”
So Edelman stopped the show for a second time. Hey, you’re being rude, the comic said, pointing out the obvious. Would the ladies perhaps like to leave? The women said yes, but took the long way out of the theater — across the stage. As Edelman escorted them to the exit, the women called him crazy and told him he had it all wrong about white supremacy. The audience, it should come as no surprise, sided with Edelman, sending the bigots out the door with a hearty round of applause.
“Those women forgot the #1 rule of comedy,” wrote Ginsberg. “Don’t try to trade barbs in public with someone who has spent *years* perfecting being funny & the art of dealing with hecklers.”
Edelman took to Twitter himself to thank the audience and staff for not letting the disruption ruin the show. The real question is why white supremacists would buy a ticket for a show like this in the first place, a takedown of what Edelman calls “weapons-grade anti-Semitism.” Then again, @AlizaLibman suggests that maybe it’s a step in the right direction.
“You used to have to go to the white nationalists and now they come to you,” she tweeted. “So that’s... progress, I guess?”