5 easy steps to be less of an asshole at comedy shows

So. You’ve purchased a ticket to see your favorite comedian. You put on real clothes (as real people do), and two meticulously planned hours later, you’re in your seat and the show begins. While the events leading up to this night have gone decently, you can always count on a few Grade-A garbage humans to muddy the experience of the show. Feel free to rip this page out (if this copy of The Annual is your legal property), and give it away to any motherfucker who fails to adhere to these five very simple rules of thumb.

I.
You’re a grown-up with a watch;
get there on time.

Okay, accidents happen, but if you roll up to the theatre 15 minutes late squad-deep, you are a douchebag for a myriad of reasons. First, you’re a pain in the ass to all the folks at the end of your row who have to get up and grant you and your idiot cohorts access to your seats. Second, you’re creating a moving Wall of Infuriating China, blocking the view of the folks who showed up on time. This may strike you as bizarre, but the rest of the people behind you didn’t pay to see the back of your head. Crazy, right?

II.
Keep your face shut.

As an audience member, you have one job. The only thing expected (even wanted) of you is applause; words are unnecessary. To those of us with common sense, this is a no-brainer. To those of you who are lacking some of the cognitive basics, I’m telling you this for your sake–not mine. Timing is everything; so whether you are spewing critical invective or yelling praises to the performer, it’s bananas distracting. So, like, shut up and tweet them later, dummy.

III.
Get drinks before the show. Not during.

If you went out tonight with the primary objective of getting drunk, go to a bar. It’ll be cheaper for you and make for a more enjoyable experience for the rest of the audience. Not to mention, THIS IS WHAT A BAR IS FOR. If you’d like, you can buy your drinks Costco-style and grab a few beers from the bar before sitting down so you have an arsenal of alcohol to nurse throughout the show.

IV.
Put away your goddamned phone.

It can wait.

V.
Don’t interrupt a recovering alcoholic comedian on stage mid-act to offer him a shot of liquor.

Especially if you’re in the front row so he has no choice but to stop the carefully crafted joke he has spent the last three minutes building up, just to acknowledge your thirsty ass. Have you ever started to take a shit, then forced yourself to stop and then continued again? In the end, it’s far less satisfying.

Wait. Can these be considered “life hacks”? What is a life hack?

Written by Christine McQuaid, who saw John Mulaney perform live in January and is still a little salty about some fellow audience members’ piss-poor etiquette. She apologizes for writing this.

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