Todd Glass Is a Pro At Shutting Down Hecklers At Shows
Well respected in the stand-up community, Todd Glass has been supplying sharp, witty, and passion-fueled observational humor for over thirty years and has popped up on shows like Last Comic Standing, Louie, Tosh.O, and almost every late night talk show you can name. If you've ever been to the Improv then you've probably seen his opening PSA video before the show reminding you that there's only two things an audience is supposed to do at a comedy cub: "laugh and shut up." But this Thursday through Sunday, you can do some major laughing (but be sure to shut up afterwards!) when Todd headlines at the Irvine Improv!
We know you're the customer but, you've got to shut the fuck up during the show!
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): One of my favorite jokes of yours is when someone does that "jerking off" motion. But for too long. Since most jokes come from true life...did you know someone who did that or did you come up with that one when you were jerking off?
Todd Glass: [Laughs.] Unfortunately no. It was just silly. It started off as a "what if," which most of my jokes start off with. You can only do it like two times in order to be legitimate. That made us laugh too because we were like, what if a guy did that for too long and then everyone was doing the gesture over and over. We were just complaining about things and doing the motion for way too long.
You've been known to shut a heckler down a time or two in your career, do you think people will ever get the hint?
You know, a lot of times hecklers cover a wide spread. The vicious heckler doesn't hardly happen at all. A lot of times it's just someone who's talking too loud and is disruptive either because they're disinterested, or because the joke reminded them of something and they keep talking and talking. I have zero tolerance for anyone who is disrupting a show. I set my standards high on what an audience should be because 99% of audience members know exactly how to act. That's how you know it's very doable. Nobody wants to go to a show and listen to someone chatting the whole time, even if they are enjoying the show. I'm very strict on that and I do it out of respect for the audience. And again, I'm not crazy because 99% of audience members don't yell out. A majority of them are great! But I'm not going to lie, it annoys the fuck out of me too!
It's become one of my biggest pet-peeves. I forget which comic told me once, "A comic might tell a rape joke but they're not going out and telling you to rape someone!" What do you think is off limits when it comes to comedy?
Well I don't think the topic should be judged because I do think any topic can be funny. But your attempt at the joke can be judged. I defend the right that you should be able to talk about anything, and I do mean anything, and I also defend that any topic can be funny. Abso-fucking-lutely. Now here comes the part that maybe some people will disagree with. When you do the joke, people do have the right to react to it. It's just that if you're going to make a joke about topic, why not make a joke that is going to stand the test of time? So, I do think that everything is open to discuss but I also think that people have the right to discuss it once you talk about it. And just because people discuss whether your joke was good or not, it doesn't mean that they're negating that you have the right to tell it. So, I don't defend all rape jokes but the right to tell them? Absolutely. I don't have any in my set but I'd critique them like any of my own jokes. If you make a joke about what it was like taking a bus to school and it's not good, it's not a big deal. But if you make a joke about rape, cancer, or AIDS...yeah, you want to think a little harder before you do that joke!