"..comedy clubs could do worse than to send their managerial recruits on ride alongs with the local police.."
Tips for the Hospitality Industry, April 14, 1998
Shhh," is always the wrong thing to say to a drunk. As a nightclub comedian
of Irish descent, I am not bragging when I claim to possess a keen eye for
inebriation. The options presented one when a loud drunk has been allowed
in the showroom are few and unattractive. Often a club may decide to wait
for the drunk to pass out. Unfortunately, this occurs long after the asshole
high tide mark has been passed. Sauced waters recede into gentle snores
when the comedy show has been completely ruined and not a moment sooner.
I'm glad you're having a good time sir. Can you hold it down just a tad? Let's get your waitress over here with another drink, on the house. Thanks so much!
Many club managers, young, underpaid and jacketed in their Sunday best, will try to reason with the drunk. Pleading and begging for acquiescence, the manager sounds, unintentionally, exactly like that whining bitch of a spouse that the drunk has driven into the arms of another man. (Often, this other man owns the head that the drunk has promised to douse with an oversized bucket of whup-ass).
Sir, your voice carries. Perhaps you could keep it down just a teensy bit? Thanks!
Now, it is true that hushed tones, dark suits and matching ties often inspire compliance from the sober heckler. But the drunk, attired in his second favorite t-shirt, takes no orders from a "pansy in a fag outfit." Instead, he is merely reminded that some people have not yet lost a job to a positive urine test. Shakespeare suggests, "know thine enemy." Club managers ought to go the Bard one better and dress like the enemy, too. Blue jeans and a Lynyrd Skynyrd tank top crowned with a Confederate flag baseball cap is a near unbeatable combination. Like Jesus who was both Man and God, a club manager can be both Buddy and Boss.
Sir, I'm going to ask you to keep your voice down. It's disturbing the show.
The urge to be polite must be squelched. Drunks do not appreciate being called "sir." They are quite aware that they are behaving in an un-sir like manner and if you don't think so, why they'll be happy to show you, "you god damn, I'll kill you, you motherfu...don't you touch me. I know my rights. I was in the Amry."
Please, sir be quiet.
Some comedy club managers throw up his/her hands, deciding to "let the comedian handle it." As Monica Lewinsky said to Linda Tripp in an accidental encounter days after the big story broke, "thanks alot
Sir, if I have to tell you one more time to be quiet, you will be asked to leave.
it is my belief that, for motivational purposes, comedy clubs could do worse than to send their managerial recruits on ride alongs with the local police. After all, one never sees the officers on COPS asking a slurry voiced wife beater to please be considerate of his neighbors.
Sir, I'm serious this time.
A lifetime of Thanksgivings spent with the Kilmartin cousins has led me to one shining conclusion: drunks respond with great vigor to a punch in the face. The sooner a drunk is beaten into unconsciousness, the better. In fact, along with "Tuesday is Ladies' Night" (ladies get in free) and "Military ID Wednesday" (show an ID and get in free), the savvy comedy club ought to offer its customers "Forced into Submission Friday."
Sir, the show is almost over.
Lucky audience members would be plucked from the queue and loaned thick pinky rings and brass knuckles. Given the choice of bitch slapping a table of either trust fund yuppies celebrating the stock market's rise or Nascar fans plotting Jeff Gordon's assassination, they will wait for a predetermined signal from the comedian. The phrase "shut the fuck up, you stupid dick/whore etc.
," is an easy one to remember. (Bachelorette parties, committed to a purer level of obnoxious, may also be attacked on "Tuesday is Ladies' Night"). Done early enough in the show, drunks can be dispensed with before the emcee's birthday announcements.
Sir, I'm calling security.
A call to security during one's closing bit is every headliner's dream. Nothing wraps up loose ends like a brawl. Why end with a boring old laugh, when a stampede for the exit makes the show truly memorable?
You want a piece of me motherfucker?
While going over notes in the green/liquor room one night, I saw a handgun laying on a box, next to a set of keys. I found the bar owner and whispered, there's a gun laying on a case of Heineken. Oh, it's mine, he said in a voice meant to assure a little lady. Um, couldn't someone get it and start shooting, I asked, in a voice meant to convey have you ever watched CNN. Well, yeah, he said, but the only people who go back there are employees. Ah, well, color this little lady reassured.