Comics take the stage with an inherent advantage over the audience, in that out of everyone in the room, only the person with the microphone is allowed to speak. It's a rule; talk too much while in the audience, and you run the very real risk of being kicked out.
But here's the thing: That's not a rule intended to uphold free speech. It's meant to ensure that the other people in the crowd who paid money to be there don't have their night ruined by some cackling drunkard. What it's not meant to be is a license for comics to drop all standards of human decency when addressing what, in the big scheme of things, is a minor nuisance. Comics like to use the analogy of a person who inevitably gets attacked by the animal they're taunting at the zoo. You brought it on yourself, you know?
What people leave out of that argument is that, in almost every case, no matter the circumstances, those animals are killed afterwards.
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Easy, tiger. We own you.
Why? Because they can't be trusted to control their natural instincts around humans. Am I saying that unruly comics should be shot in the head? No, but I am saying that if you don't know the difference between handling a heckler like a professional and calling a woman a cunt because she had a few too many drinks before your precious comedy show, then maybe you deserve whatever happens next.
Think of it like this: What if you were talking in a movie theater, and instead of politely asking you to turn it down, the usher said he hoped your mother died of AIDS. Would you complain to a manager, or are all bets off because everyone knows you're not supposed to talk in a movie theater?
"Hey, no cell phones, Hitler!"
Right, having your freedom to tell jokes in peace threatened does not give you an automatic license to stop being a decent human being. A comedy show can be an emotionally charged situation for everyone involved. Things often get out of hand. Sometimes a comic has to apologize for something they said. Thinking that doing so from time to time represents an attack on the integrity of comedy is actually an attack on the overall notion of a person being able to say whatever the fuck they want when the situation calls for it. Yes, it's your job as a comic to shut down an unruly audience member on occasion. But if you can't do it in a way that doesn't make matters worse, then political correctness and free speech aren't the problem. You're just shitty at your job.