Are Heckler Videos Hurting Comedy?

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I was in Minnesota when it happened.

I don’t remember the joke I told, I just remember the response. In a sold out room of 200, 199 people laughed and applauded. When the din receded, however, one lone woman shouted out her disapproval: “That wasn’t funny!”

I rolled my eyes. You can’t please everyone, and since the joke had landed extremely well I wasn’t too concerned by a single naysayer. Unfortunately, she was not to be ignored and yelled out a second time: “You’re not funny!”

Now I had to address the situation, and asked: “So everyone in here that’s laughing is wrong?”

That caused her to yell again, and from there I was off and running.

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Two Horrible Shows

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I’m often asked two questions: what’s your favorite show; what’s your least favorite show?

While I may not have a “favorite” show, per se, I acknowledged my most memorable one here.

That got me thinking about the polar opposite; which show would I like to forget the most? Well, it’s actually two shows. Though they took place in different states, they are tethered together by reasons that will make sense as you read.

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Is Empathy Dead?

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When I heard about Lane Graves, the toddler killed by an alligator at Disney, I almost threw up.

My son is 23-months old, roughly the same age as Lane. I have a picture of him hugging a teddy bear he got for Christmas. His face is beaming as he holds it tight, both arms wrapped around the bear, pressing every inch of it against his little body in a moment of pure love and enjoyment. The image of my son with his teddy bear seared into my mind as I read of Lane’s fate.

Then I entered a very dark place.

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How Omar Mateen’s Parents Failed Him

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I was twelve when I first learned about homosexuality.

My family was on vacation in Provincetown, Massachusetts; we were visiting my uncles, Joel and Ray. The thing is, only Joel was a blood relation to my father.

In Provincetown, a Gay Mecca during the summer months, I saw men holding hands with men and women holding hands with women. Suddenly the idea both Joel and Ray were my dad’s brother didn’t hold much weight.

So, homosexuality was explained to me, and that was that. I shrugged, and everyone went on with their life.

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Donald Trump Finally Scares Me

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When The Donald announced he was running for president, I laughed.

Hell, I think everyone did. The media, late night talk show hosts, foreign leaders… it was a joke. Who would ever vote for a reality TV show host? A male Sarah Palin? A failed businessman who leases his name because his personal ventures flop? (Not that the industries he licenses’ his name to don’t flop as well, he just doesn’t lose money when those fail.)

When he started winning, I shrugged. America has huge problems with racism, sexism, and homophobia, so him pandering to the dumbest of the dumb and succeeding didn’t surprise me. Early on, yeah, I expected him to do well.

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Neal Gabler Doesn’t Speak for the American Middle Class

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Neal Gabler is everywhere these days.

Since landing the cover story in The Atlantic, The Secret Shame of the Middle Class, he’s been interviewed multiple times. I’ve stumbled across him on NPR, online, and the radio program On Point.

The crux of Neal’s article is that 47% of of American citizens couldn’t come up with $400 in an emergency. Neal wrote from his perspective, himself a member of that group.

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Dear Drunk Woman: A Comedian Apologizes

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I’m sorry.

I could have handled myself better.

You might want to stop reading now, because that’s all that should be said. Apologies are supposed to stand on their own, but I’m going to vent and ruin the apology with explanation.

When you stumbled up to me, I was in the middle of a sale. An audience member had enjoyed my silly so much that he felt the need to give me cash in exchange for a souvenir. I love it when that happens, as it helps me provide for my family. You know: pay the mortgage, buy food, that sort of thing.

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Trump is the Perfect Republican Candidate

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An old classmate of mine posted on Facebook: “I am hereby terminating my membership in the Republican Party. This is not the party I grew up with.”

As he explained it, Donald Drumpf winning his state’s primary was the reason.

The post received many comments. Most were positive; some echoed his lament regarding the loss of the party of their past.

I was confused.

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