A bad stand-up comedian can be pretty unpleasant, but even worse is a bad stand-up comedy audience. I’m sure many of us have had the experience of sitting near some special few who deign it necessary to heckle, to laugh annoyingly, to drink too much, to arrive late, to otherwise not understand that there are people in the crowd beyond himself or herself. But what can we do?
Comedian W. Kamau Bell, in SF Weekly‘s Kamau’s Komedy Korner, (his weekly plot of real estate for the publication) offers some rules, to guide you on how to be a good stand-up comedy audience member. Or, to generalize, how not to be a douche bag. For example, he offers this:
Your cocktail server has many other better things to do than to argue with you over the why there is a two drink minimum. And no, it doesn’t matter if you’re not thirsty. Buy two drinks. It doesn’t matter if you “don’t drink.” Have a coke and a smile or buy an overpriced bottle of water. You have left your house so the rules are not your own anymore.
There are six rules– all of which we firmly stand behind. They are as follows:
1. Get to the club at least 15 minutes before showtime.
2. If you don’t want to pay the two drink minimum, then stay home.
3. Do your research!
4. Don’t heckle.
5. Tip the waitstaff.
6. TURN OFF YOUR FANCY PHONE!
To benefit fully from Kamau’s words, you’re going to want to check out the full SF Weekly piece, which also includes some very informative videos. Do it!