The Heckler
the one in the audience looking for attention


(permanent link) added: 2013-01-07 01:25:48 sponsor: KJMackley edited by: Arivne (last reply: 2013-04-12 12:16:05)

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The Heckler is someone who interrupts some type of performance or activity with their own commentary, disrupting the way it was originally intended to go. Usually it is intentional, a way to get attention and possibly discredit whatever they are heckling.

If done right, it can turn into a successful "The Reason You Suck" Speech that gets the audience on your side. If done poorly, you end up looking like an idiot who ran into the wall. This character is a good way to involve conflict, as their very nature is about disrupting the intended activity they were involved with. Thus they may either be used to help poke holes in the bad guys claims or are put into place so the heroes can knock down their claims.

Naturally Truth in Television. It should be noted that 90 percent of the time when someone gets the courage to heckle it does not end well for them. The reason being is that often they make their move on private property where they can be asked to leave for disruptive conduct. At other times they are trying to heckle someone who has the microphone, thus few people can hear their comments but everyone can hear the responses. It is part of the business with stand-up comics and are usually prepared for it, incidents like with Michael Richards are really fairly rare.

Compare Off the Rails, Insult Comic and MSTing.

Examples

Film
  • In the climax of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, Terry was struggling to fend off The Joker and asked Bruce for advice, being told about Joker's vanity and to ignore it. Terry opted for the complete opposite, becoming a heckler to mock the various tricks Joker used and calling him pathetic for fixating on the original Batman for so long.
  • The Eddie Murphy remake of The Nutty Professor had his character have to deal with the same Insult Comic (played by Dave Chappelle) twice. The first time the comic went on a "You so fat" monologue that he was too shy and mild-mannered to fight back. Following his transformation he encountered the same comic and proceeded to heckle him, having such outlandish energy nobody could keep up. After the comic used a "Your momma so fat" joke, he responded by exhausting all possible fat jokes to the point the comic was about to cry.

Live-Action TV
  • Famously made into an entire series through Mystery Science Theater 3000. The show was staged as though the audience member at home was watching a bad movie in a theater, with the characters silhouetted in the bottom corner cracking jokes at the expense of the movie's poor writing, acting or production values.
  • In an episode of Home Improvement Randy wrote an article in the school paper based on the poor pollution record of Tool Time's sponsor and Tim's employer Binford Tools. It was a rather damning article that eventually got the Tool Time audience riled up during a Q&A session because of one insistent person. One particularly funny response was one person complaining about "all that smoke coming out of that stack" and Tim and Al glance at each other before exclaiming together "It's a smoke stack!"

Western Animation
  • In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Feat of Clay" Roland Daggett was promoting a new miracle facial cream that can turn your face into putty on an infomercial show. During the Q&A a woman from the audience went on a long rant about its rumored addictive qualities and became violent over it, eventually revealing herself to be Clayface.

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