NJ comedians react to beer-throwing incident at Uncle Vinny’s
It's one thing to be heckled when performing standup comedy, it's another to have someone throw a beer at you while on stage.
That's what comedian Ariel Elias had to deal with while performing at Uncle Vinny's comedy club on Point Pleasant Beach last Saturday night.
Elias, who had moved on from her segment where she was taking questions from the audience, picked up the thrown beer and started chugging it.
This brought her a huge round of applause from the audience.
The whole incident has also brought her national attention, which various comedians such as Patton Oswalt, Jim Gaffigan, and Whitney Cummings tweeting their support.
Standup comedy is the last vestige of freedom of speech.
It's where someone can get up on a stage armed with nothing but their wit and humor and make you laugh.
The keyword here is "comedy." The comic is not out to hurt anyone, nor should the audience be.
Of course, it's never right to throw anything at a comic, nor is it right to throw anything at any performer, but in this ever-changing world in which we live, some people think it's OK.
Those people need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Locally I reached out to some comedians who live and perform all over New Jersey as well as the rest of the country to get their take on the situation:
Reverend Bob Levy who recently opened his own comedy club in Vineland:
"I thought she handled it very well. She handled it better than most men comedians would have. She wasn’t scared and didn’t give the punks power. People have been losing their minds over COVID and who people voted for and some of them are not ready to come out and be with people again and it's showing."
"When I was in California about a year ago a guy broke a bottle on the table and came at me and once he made it to the stage area I just kicked him in the chest. He flew back and fell to the ground and was taken out of the club and they finished my set. People gotta realize we’re not targets. I wish you the best and I’m glad she wasn’t hurt."
Jim Florentine, whose "Terrorizing Telemarketers 7" along with Don Jamieson is number one on the comedy charts, had a similar experience:
"I have, but never in a comedy club. I was the opening act for Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax in arenas and at a few of the shows on the tour, I had 17,000 booing and throwing their beers at me onstage. I took it as a badge of honor. I understood where the crowd was coming from. They weren’t there to hear jokes. I got paid really well so I embraced the hate."
Don Jamieson himself is not taking any chances:
"The line between comedy & tragedy gets thinner every day. I’ve never had anyone attack me on stage but I went out & bought pepper spray today."
He actually did. That's where we are today and that's a real shame.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
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