“Sometime Heckling Is Okay”, or “Bobby Mair Was (a) Hit”
Ask any comic if you can get them away from the liquor and pornography enough to answer, and they’ll tell you that there’s not much that rivals being heckled throughout a show for making you feel like utter crap about yourself at the hands of a drunk eedjit That said, there’s other things that a crowd could do to show displeasure. They could throw chicken wings. They could take a dump on their chairs and then leave. Or they could come onto the stage swinging their fists like you owed them money. So, that was Sunday night. But let’s talk about Saturday first.
Saturday had me out at Philthy McNasty’s in Oakville to a smaller crowd. Eighteen people in total in a room with fair-to-middling acoustics, a single not-quite-aimed-right spotlight, and a table of drunken east coasters (so they said). Scott Mccrae hosted, with Patrick Haye and Nathan Macintosh opening for me. Quoth Nathan when he heard I was headlining “Why are they putting me on with these dinosaurs?” So, I greeted him with a big “Todd Van Allensaurus Rex reporting for duty.” Yay swift comedy. So, the heckles happened all through the show from the drunken table, even when one of their own (Nathan) was on stage. Thankfully they were decidedly easy to handle as drunks are usually bad at everything they attempt except eating dares and vomiting. So, that show was in the bag and the only things thrown were easily catchable drunken barbs.
This brings us to Sunday. How cool of a friend am I that I took over hosting duties at the Fox & Fiddle for Andrew Evans so that he could gamble online? I’m the bestest. The sign-up process for the night was pretty simply done, the comic line-up wrote itself, and I treated myself to a $10 pitcher and some half-price wings. Comedy is awesome sometimes. Third act in, Bobby Mair is doing quite well on the stage as per his usual. Suddenly without warning, a ballcap-and-hoodie-brigade candidate stands up, puts on his coat breaking a plate in the process, and walks calmly forward to where we think he’ll take the right into the men’s room and be done with. No. He carries forward, right to the stage, mounts it, and clocks Bobby in the head. Everything stood still for a second except for Bobby deflecting the punches and the assailant wailing away. I ran forward behind Mike McGregor who pounced like a puma on the stage, gripping the guy and yanking him off Bobby. The crowd, like all of us, is shocked. Mike gets him away from the stage and the guy took off before we could hold and charge him. Bobby got off the stage and I tried to break down with the crowd where they thought the trigger for this was. No one could figure it out. Some mysteries are left to be that way I guess. Add to this the fact that this guy knew a couple of regulars there put this beyond the pale.
So, long story short, Mike McGregor got a spot on Sunday.