Why Patton Oswalt tore into an audience member and why there are no winners

By | January 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm | 109 comments | feature slider, News, Opinion | Tags:

Patton Oswalt’s website crashed for a short time on Saturday morning. The reason? Too many thousands of his fans were clamoring simultaneously to read the comedian’s response to some pretty harsh words about him, which were posted the evening before on a local Los Angeles comedian’s Tumblr. That comedian, Barbara Gray, a self-professed fan (now, former fan) of Oswalt’s was pissed off. The title of her post: “That One Time When Patton Oswalt Was An Asshole.”

Here’s the deal. Patton popped in to a small show in Los Feliz to work out some new material—a common practice (as you may know) for popular comedians who don’t want to try out unpolished material for a huge, paying audience. Part way through a bit, Gray explains, Patton confronted a woman who seemed to be video taping his performance. The woman admitted she was; Patton asked her not to do that; the woman told Patton that he’s going to want that part on tape because it was perfect; Patton informed the woman that he’s already got that chunk and that he’s working on it for an upcoming special and her filming the unfinished product sort of ruins it, especially if she decides to upload the footage; the woman tells Patton that she’ll delete it immediately; Patton tells the woman that, though she might not realize she’s being an asshole, she is, indeed, being an asshole. The pair exchange more words. The woman eventually gets up to leave; the two yell at each other some more.

But even after the woman and the two friends she was with exited the show, Patton continues his tirade, apparently making fun of her looks and the like. Eventually, he finished his set. This is all according to Gray. And in Patton’s response, he doesn’t deny any of it. “I just re-read your Tumblr post. It was sensible and well-reasoned,” he writes. “I see every single point you’re making. Based on what you saw, you nailed me, and the night I ruined.”

But then he repeats: “Based on what you saw.”

He lays out a few major points and pieces of background that Gray and most of the crowd in attendance were not privy to. “For starters, whatever camera phone she was using had a piercing, distracting light on it which she merrily aimed right into my eye,” he writes. Later in his post he explains, “And you didn’t see her roll her eyes at her two friends, who rolled their eyes back, and nodded in agreement when she mouthed, “What an asshole.” But more importantly, then, he allows us unfettered access into his mind:

Worse, here’s when she started taping: halfway through a new, longer joke that I’m working on — a very embarrassing recollection from my younger years that I’m very nervous about performing and still very unsure of how to unspool. This was only the fourth time I’ve ever performed it, as well as the fourth time I’ve ever admitted this incident in public. So it still feels like a very nervy high wire walk for me. There’s times when I lose the audience and have to get them back, freeze up, and wonder if I shouldn’t have just kept this whole incident to myself. I’m walking into new territory with this one, and it’s scary and I feel very raw and dry-mouthed when I do it.

In addition to this, in his response, Patton, recounts in great detail, two other times in which he was filmed onstage and had terribly unfortunate interactions with those camera-wielding fans. The upshot, in Patton’s opinion, is these were two entitled people who were clueless about the creative process of stand-up comedy and, though they didn’t realize it, had no respect for his work.

Let me stop there for a moment. There’s no possible way this woman could know all of this was going through his head—his insecurities about the new material and the history of filming fans. If she did, she would have to be some sort of sociopath to even think about filming this performance. But Patton’s reaction was as harsh a reaction as you’d expect if this woman did know what was going through his head and filmed him regardless, because, “Fuck him, right?” I’m also going to assume that this woman had absolutely no malicious intent; I’m willing to concede she just didn’t realize that it’s hugely wrong to film a comedian’s set without permission – especially a comedian who makes part of his living from selling these sets – once polished – in the form of professionally recorded albums and DVDs.

I think there’s another aspect at play here— mistaken perception. I think a lot of comedy fans who many not embed themselves in their favorite performers’ lives the way some comedy nerds do, cannot fathom that the relatively rich and famous are incredibly insecure and for the most part, scared human beings constantly looking for acceptance. You know, like real people. So, once Patton started screaming, the woman’s interpretation was simple: This rich, famous person thinks he’s all that and I’m a piece of shit and he can step all over me if he wants to.” The reality, as we learn from Patton’s response, was more like, “I don’t know if I should even be telling this story because it may make me look like an idiot and oh, shit, now you’re filming it and people are going to see it and they’re going to think it sucks because they’ll assume I’m done writing it when really I’m only just starting to work on it. Shit! This is my living you’re fucking with.”

It’s like Patton expected the woman to realize the seriousness of her actions and the woman expected Patton to be all happy he was getting filmed and not at all insecure or concerned—since he’s a big, famous rich person, after all!

And that brings me to another point: Not everyone who attends a comedy show understands the ins and outs of the world of comedy. If you’re reading this on Laughspin, there’s a decent chance you know that filming and uploading bootleg videos of comedians on YouTube is about the worst possible thing you can do as a fan of that comedian—for all of the aforementioned reasons. Most traditional comedy clubs and theaters where comedy is performed will make an announcement at the start of the show stating that no video or audio-taping during the performance is allowed. While the inside-comedy reasons as to why it’s not allowed may not be explained to the presumably mainstream audience in the showroom, at least the comedy goers know not to do it. I’d imagine that this DIY show – put on in a small room upstairs from a Chinese restaurant – had no such announcements.

But even if you’re not a comedy nerd or know all the nuances of the way a comedy show works, what about having normal human reactions—or, at least, what I would consider “normal?” Patton Oswalt asked you to stop filming him. That should’ve been the end of it. Doesn’t ANYONE get embarrassed anymore? How about, “Shit, I’m sorry” as a reaction? That would’ve seemed appropriate. And why even offer the explanation that “you’re going to want this on tape?” What does that even mean? That explanation implies that after the show the woman was going to somehow make arrangements with Patton (a person she has no friendship with) to get him the footage of his performance she shot for HIS benefit—otherwise, why would you say something like that? You wouldn’t tell him that he’s going to want that on tape and then just leave the show with it forever on your stupid phone, right?

I’m not defending Patton’s reaction to the situation. And if you read Patton’s full response, you’ll know he’s not defending it either. “I let what seemed to be a minor insult to my precious “comedy” escalate into a hateful, personal attack and, much worse, fester into a public motherfucking of someone who’d left the room and was no longer there to defend herself,” he writes.

In the end both Patton and the woman were wrong. But I think any sensible person already knows this. The woman should never have whipped that camera phone out and she probably should’ve just kept quiet after Patton’s first words to her. And Patton should never have reacted the way he did. But, shit happens. He’s human; this isn’t the first — and probably won’t be the last time — he lays into an audience member. I have a feeling, however, it’ll be the last time the woman tries to film a comedian without his or her permission.

About the Author

Dylan P. Gadino

Dylan is the founder and editor in chief of Laughspin. He launched Punchline Magazine in 2005 (which became Laughspin in the summer of 2011) with childhood friend Bill Bergmann. Dylan lives in northern New Jersey with his wife and two sons. He hopes the Shire is real.

  • EG

    No doubt the woman should have had more respect. But.
    If Patton Oswalt made fun of the lady after she left the building……..that was wrong and he was wrong to do that. He should have been an adult and continued his normal delivery, not make fun of the way someone looks. He is not great looking so……..

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  • Iain S

    When you’re up on stage, you get to call the shots. Period. End of discussion. That’s why you get to hold the microphone. This audience member is just lucky it was Patton up there and not Joe Rogan.

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  • Nathan Stimpson

    I love this how this piece was put together, by not throwing gas on the fire for glee and ratings the author dug a trench around the blaze and let us look at it and learn from it. Good Show

  • Stormy Day

    While I agree with him in principle, I don’t agree with his approach. When she said she would “delete it immediately,” he should’ve let it go. He continued and started attacking her personally. She probably thought, as a fan, she was doing him a favor. Being grateful and poised would’ve been classy. But he chose another route that was very unflattering—to him

    On a different note: Why don’t they just forbid phones and cameras at the club? Turn off your phone/camera or get kicked out by the bouncer. Not a difficult—or uncommon—practice.

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  • Mseedling

    hi. I was one of the friends with the lady who taped
    I’m not going to say much as I think this is a very good article
    the one thing no one realizes and Patton probably won’t own up to And probably doesn’t care about is that the woman was someone who actually considered herself pattons friend. Patton was best friends with an exboyfriend of hers when they were together and acted in his first film together
    we, my girlfriend and I were leaving and she came down and said hey an old friend of mine is about to go on and it’d be fun to see him again. so with this, yes she was intending to share it with him not the masses
    now maybe because he is famous now he has forgotten when he wasn’t and his friends then which is fine buy for her seeing him perform and catching up with him after though show was something ahe felt was going to be very special and he ruined that

    • Loo

      Your background info makes yer friend taking video seem even more clueless. She should have known better than to interrupt the creative process.

    • C_dog_05

      A better solution would’ve been to maybe catch him after the show, not disrupt his performance. You don’t shine a light in the face a band member in the middle of a concert because you know them and want to “catch up” with them. Stand up comedy is a performance art, and she should’ve known better that to disrupt her “friend’s” performance. 

  • Cuddlah

    There seems to be a lot of confusion over whether it not the woman with the camera phone could be expected to understand the craft of stand up comedy, but what seems to be overlooked is the fact that her comment to Patton that the bit was perfect and he would want it on tape belies at least a modicum of understanding that he was working out new material. If she understood that much, is it such a great leap to guess that she knew EXACTLY what she was doing?

  • Cuddlah

    There seems to be a lot of confusion over whether it not the woman with the camera phone could be expected to understand the craft of stand up comedy, but what seems to be overlooked is the fact that her comment to Patton that the bit was perfect and he would want it on tape belies at least a modicum of understanding that he was working out new material. If she understood that much, is it such a great leap to guess that she knew EXACTLY what she was doing?

  • Cuddlah

    There seems to be a lot of confusion over whether it not the woman with the camera phone could be expected to understand the craft of stand up comedy, but what seems to be overlooked is the fact that her comment to Patton that the bit was perfect and he would want it on tape belies at least a modicum of understanding that he was working out new material. If she understood that much, is it such a great leap to guess that she knew EXACTLY what she was doing?

  • http://twitter.com/DUSTYNWITHAWHY DUSTYN WILLOUGHBY

    I think you missed the main issue. Taking Video of a comic is wrong, a comic yelling at some in the audiance could be wrong but also can very well be deserved, sometimes it goes a step too far but comics are sensitive and insecure and dont know if they went too far until after.

    What is wrong is Barbara Gray, an amatuer “comedianne,” writing about the event in a light of Patton being an asshole, her whole blog is written in the biased context that everyone felt exactly the same way that Barbara felt as an audiance member and a fan, which is impossible to know. She took the side of an audiance member that was stealing a performace by capturing it on video, which as a comic is fucking dumb. Barbara Gray just got noticed by alot of popular working comedians and small time open mikers, and what do we know about her? All I know about her is that she called Patton an asshole in a large blog about something that happens all the time, and took the side of someone who broke a rule by filming a performance. I don’t know any of Barbara’s comedy but if I see her perform that will be sitting in my head and she will have to make up for that before I can laugh.

  • Dickson

    Wrong. Times have changed and the onus is now ALWAYS on the venue or the performer to state their personal preference as to taping.

    Stating that someone (a civilian) should intrinsically know that taping is bad or wrong or inconsiderate or whatever is thinking that went out when smartphones came in. The permission is now implicit unless denied explicitly to photograph, tweet, post or tape wherever one isn’t told not to do so.

    Is it right? No. Is it true? Yes.

    Things change and time moves on. Those who can accept it will flourish and eventually come to grips with the fact that their little worlds are not islands in the stream and the ones who can’t will find themselves washed away with in the tide of progress.

    Remember what happened to the record industry when they tried to fight, rather than embrace, the digital storm. Adapt or die, friends.

  • Dickson

    Wrong. Times have changed and the onus is now ALWAYS on the venue or the performer to state their personal preference as to taping.

    Stating that someone (a civilian) should intrinsically know that taping is bad or wrong or inconsiderate or whatever is thinking that went out when smartphones came in. The permission is now implicit unless denied explicitly to photograph, tweet, post or tape wherever one isn’t told not to do so.

    Is it right? No. Is it true? Yes.

    Things change and time moves on. Those who can accept it will flourish and eventually come to grips with the fact that their little worlds are not islands in the stream and the ones who can’t will find themselves washed away with in the tide of progress.

    Remember what happened to the record industry when they tried to fight, rather than embrace, the digital storm. Adapt or die, friends.

    • C_dog_05

      That isn’t the same thing. Asking someone to stop taking a video with a camera phone isn’t rejecting digital media. It’s asking someone to stop filming a work in process. It’s the same as if someone writes a book. They ask people to read it and gauge their response and opinions, not take it to the publisher right then. 

      And comedians have embraced digital distribution (Louis C.K., and now Anziz Ansari to name a couple) WAY better than the record industry. They’re selling their FINISHED products on their websites for $5. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/JackAndDino Jack Anddino

    I had a similar thing happen to me with this girl whose vagina I took a picture of back in college. She was wearing this skirt and– I suspected– no panties, so I took my cellphone out and click click, too a picture of her vagina. Okay, so it was a movie. Anyway, she must have felt my hand brush against her leg or something cause she said, “OMG! Were you filming my vagina?!?!!” And I admitted I was. I knew I was busted. I don’t know why I was anyway. I mean, they even made an announcement at the bar when we got there that taking pictures of girls’ vaginas was not permitted. I guess I forgot. D’uh, me. Right? Anyway…. She said, “Would you please not do that?” Which I couldn’t understand. “Girl, your pussy’s beautiful. You’re going to want to see this. trust me.” She said something about how I shouldn’t be doing it, and how that was a personal thing that people didn’t take pictures of– she was talking slower at this point, cause I think she figured out I was a little slow. And that if I put that picture on the internet it could embarrass her. My friends and I rolled our eyes. So I tell her “I’ll delete it” and whisper to my friends “What a bitch”. Then she starts telling me how I’m being a jerk, whether I knew it or not (again, I don’t know how she knew I was slow) that no meant no, and she was saying no, and on and on and on. So I yelled at her, and she yelled at me more. She was clearly not slow even a little. And then I said, “Fine, we’re leaving. Happy?” And we left. And that should have been the end of it. But then she said all kinds of mean things about me. Like… what I looked like and stuff? Apparently she was still talking about what a jerk I was even after I went home with my pictures of her vagina. 

    So, you see… She was wrong and I was wrong.

    • http://www.facebook.com/JackAndDino Jack Anddino

      No means no. No foul on Oswalt. Screw the dummy in the crowd. Can’t wait to see the new beaver, Patton.

    • http://www.facebook.com/JackAndDino Jack Anddino

      No means no. No foul on Oswalt. Screw the dummy in the crowd. Can’t wait to see the new beaver, Patton.

    • http://www.facebook.com/JackAndDino Jack Anddino

      No means no. No foul on Oswalt. Screw the dummy in the crowd. Can’t wait to see the new beaver, Patton.

    • http://www.facebook.com/JackAndDino Jack Anddino

      No means no. No foul on Oswalt. Screw the dummy in the crowd. Can’t wait to see the new beaver, Patton.

    • http://www.facebook.com/JackAndDino Jack Anddino

      No means no. No foul on Oswalt. Screw the dummy in the crowd. Can’t wait to see the new beaver, Patton.

    • Paul

      Straw Man argument. Logical fallacy. Video taping woman’s vagina and filming a celebrity publicly performing are two ENTIRELY separate things.

      • J&D

        Except the girl I was talking about is a performer at a fully nude strip club.

        Kinda EXACTLY the same thing, huh?

        -J&D

        • Paul

          Still different things.

          • http://www.facebook.com/JackAndDino Jack Anddino

            And that would be what makes it… an analogy. You compare two things that are kiiinda different in some ways but reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally similar in others to make a point. 

            Now, if you have some ACTUAL argument as to why they’re different and the comparison is apples to oranges other than saying “it is” again, let’s hear it.  But we both know you don’t have the cards on this.

          • http://www.facebook.com/JackAndDino Jack Anddino

            And that would be what makes it… an analogy. You compare two things that are kiiinda different in some ways but reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally similar in others to make a point. 

            Now, if you have some ACTUAL argument as to why they’re different and the comparison is apples to oranges other than saying “it is” again, let’s hear it.  But we both know you don’t have the cards on this.

        • Paul

          Still different things.

      • J&D

        Except the girl I was talking about is a performer at a fully nude strip club.

        Kinda EXACTLY the same thing, huh?

        -J&D

  • Ismista

    Someone named “ZeldaMaster” calling other folks “faggots” is pretty rich…  NYC game nerd tough guy! 

    Anyhow, the thing here is Patton was within his rights. I doubt the lady who filmed will ever be smart enough to not do it again, tough. Everyone is packed full of precious entitlement anymore it seems.

  • Ismista

    Someone named “ZeldaMaster” calling other folks “faggots” is pretty rich…  NYC game nerd tough guy! 

    Anyhow, the thing here is Patton was within his rights. I doubt the lady who filmed will ever be smart enough to not do it again, tough. Everyone is packed full of precious entitlement anymore it seems.

  • ZeldaMaster

    If this happened in New York we wouldn’t even be talking about it. Typical LA faggots..

  • ZeldaMaster

    If this happened in New York we wouldn’t even be talking about it. Typical LA faggots..

  • Daddyosez

    I’m from the old school of the comic on stage has the stage. if he tells you to stop filming, stop filming.
    it’s his time,you paid to see it, you didn’t pay to film it and walk out with it. He has the right to say whatever
    he wants…rude or otherwise.

  • Daddyosez

    I’m from the old school of the comic on stage has the stage. if he tells you to stop filming, stop filming.
    it’s his time,you paid to see it, you didn’t pay to film it and walk out with it. He has the right to say whatever
    he wants…rude or otherwise.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001877498559 Zach Gzehoviak

    I liked your take on that. Patton probably asked her to put the camera away. When she replied with “You’re going to want this [. . .]” it then became Patton’s job to take control as a comedian. Isn’t that what most comedians attempt to do on stage, especially a top comedian like Patton? Not to mention, he’s working on new material that he is unsure of because he has a lot of passion for what he does like any good comedian. He shouldn’t have continued mocking her, but I don’t blame the guy for getting on her case in the first place at all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001877498559 Zach Gzehoviak

    I liked your take on that. Patton probably asked her to put the camera away. When she replied with “You’re going to want this [. . .]” it then became Patton’s job to take control as a comedian. Isn’t that what most comedians attempt to do on stage, especially a top comedian like Patton? Not to mention, he’s working on new material that he is unsure of because he has a lot of passion for what he does like any good comedian. He shouldn’t have continued mocking her, but I don’t blame the guy for getting on her case in the first place at all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001877498559 Zach Gzehoviak

    I liked your take on that. Patton probably asked her to put the camera away. When she replied with “You’re going to want this [. . .]” it then became Patton’s job to take control as a comedian. Isn’t that what most comedians attempt to do on stage, especially a top comedian like Patton? Not to mention, he’s working on new material that he is unsure of because he has a lot of passion for what he does like any good comedian. He shouldn’t have continued mocking her, but I don’t blame the guy for getting on her case in the first place at all.

  • Paul

    She shouldn’t have been filming it but, in my opinion, Patton’s reaction was too much. She agreed to stop filming and did. It doesn’t matter if she rolled her eyes, he publicly humiliated her. When you have the mic you are the one with the power. If she was actively heckling him, that’s one thing, but she wasn’t. He got carried away and I think Patton was a bit of a bully in this case.

  • Paul

    She shouldn’t have been filming it but, in my opinion, Patton’s reaction was too much. She agreed to stop filming and did. It doesn’t matter if she rolled her eyes, he publicly humiliated her. When you have the mic you are the one with the power. If she was actively heckling him, that’s one thing, but she wasn’t. He got carried away and I think Patton was a bit of a bully in this case.

  • Paul

    She shouldn’t have been filming it but, in my opinion, Patton’s reaction was too much. She agreed to stop filming and did. It doesn’t matter if she rolled her eyes, he publicly humiliated her. When you have the mic you are the one with the power. If she was actively heckling him, that’s one thing, but she wasn’t. He got carried away and I think Patton was a bit of a bully in this case.

  • Paul

    She shouldn’t have been filming it but, in my opinion, Patton’s reaction was too much. She agreed to stop filming and did. It doesn’t matter if she rolled her eyes, he publicly humiliated her. When you have the mic you are the one with the power. If she was actively heckling him, that’s one thing, but she wasn’t. He got carried away and I think Patton was a bit of a bully in this case.

  • rachiecakies

    Great points, Dylan.

    Interesting to ponder how the writing/workshop process is forever changed by technology and whether it’s possible to raise awareness to the mainstream audiences without alienating them… Technology is making some kind of PR nightmare for stand-up folks who don’t want to concern themselves with this BS…

    It’s tricky. Nowadays it seems comics have to wear all of these hats beyond just plain comedian. It’s nice to relish in the comedy rooms that have a sense of trust, a communal goodwill among comedians and nerds alike, but when will this respect for the stand-up world extend to the paying public?  We’re not the poetry world, nor are we the art world, but somewhere between those things and performance art, we can take queues on how to handle ourselves without having the process hurt by the ignorance of people who we just want to have there to witness the endless process of joke writing and performance. How do we make people realize a stand-ups work is never done?

    Lamenting and ruminating when I should be working,
    rachel

  • rachiecakies

    Great points, Dylan.

    Interesting to ponder how the writing/workshop process is forever changed by technology and whether it’s possible to raise awareness to the mainstream audiences without alienating them… Technology is making some kind of PR nightmare for stand-up folks who don’t want to concern themselves with this BS…

    It’s tricky. Nowadays it seems comics have to wear all of these hats beyond just plain comedian. It’s nice to relish in the comedy rooms that have a sense of trust, a communal goodwill among comedians and nerds alike, but when will this respect for the stand-up world extend to the paying public?  We’re not the poetry world, nor are we the art world, but somewhere between those things and performance art, we can take queues on how to handle ourselves without having the process hurt by the ignorance of people who we just want to have there to witness the endless process of joke writing and performance. How do we make people realize a stand-ups work is never done?

    Lamenting and ruminating when I should be working,
    rachel

  • http://twitter.com/Danthefunnyman Dan Livermore

    The second she did anything other than stop and say, “OK, sorry.” when asked her to “not do that” she opened herself up to whatever torrent of hate Patton had built up. Contrary to Barbara’s opinion, I hope he did turn that woman off from live comedy. I certainly don’t want her in the audience at any show I am attending.

    Stand up comedy is not an audience participation event. Unless the comedian specifically requests input, under no circumstances should any member of the audience be the focus of attention. She made herself the focus of attention by recording the performance, which is just as unacceptable as standing in the front of the theater and recording a movie. She got what she deserved and the audience got a lesson in etiquette.

  • http://twitter.com/Danthefunnyman Dan Livermore

    The second she did anything other than stop and say, “OK, sorry.” when asked her to “not do that” she opened herself up to whatever torrent of hate Patton had built up. Contrary to Barbara’s opinion, I hope he did turn that woman off from live comedy. I certainly don’t want her in the audience at any show I am attending.

    Stand up comedy is not an audience participation event. Unless the comedian specifically requests input, under no circumstances should any member of the audience be the focus of attention. She made herself the focus of attention by recording the performance, which is just as unacceptable as standing in the front of the theater and recording a movie. She got what she deserved and the audience got a lesson in etiquette.

  • http://twitter.com/Danthefunnyman Dan Livermore

    The second she did anything other than stop and say, “OK, sorry.” when asked her to “not do that” she opened herself up to whatever torrent of hate Patton had built up. Contrary to Barbara’s opinion, I hope he did turn that woman off from live comedy. I certainly don’t want her in the audience at any show I am attending.

    Stand up comedy is not an audience participation event. Unless the comedian specifically requests input, under no circumstances should any member of the audience be the focus of attention. She made herself the focus of attention by recording the performance, which is just as unacceptable as standing in the front of the theater and recording a movie. She got what she deserved and the audience got a lesson in etiquette.

  • http://twitter.com/Danthefunnyman Dan Livermore

    The second she did anything other than stop and say, “OK, sorry.” when asked her to “not do that” she opened herself up to whatever torrent of hate Patton had built up. Contrary to Barbara’s opinion, I hope he did turn that woman off from live comedy. I certainly don’t want her in the audience at any show I am attending.

    Stand up comedy is not an audience participation event. Unless the comedian specifically requests input, under no circumstances should any member of the audience be the focus of attention. She made herself the focus of attention by recording the performance, which is just as unacceptable as standing in the front of the theater and recording a movie. She got what she deserved and the audience got a lesson in etiquette.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000586673829 Roger Talkington

    Yes, there are winners in this. Other performers stand to benefit from Patton’s eloquent response to all of this. If “ignorance of the law,” so to speak, is what audience members are going to use as their excuse for treating performers as if they are merely animals on display in a zoo, then they NEED educated, repeatedly and often,  about the etiquette of attending a live performance. If nobody ever speaks up about this then performers are even more doomed to a life of poverty than they have been throughout history because nobody will ever buy anything since they feel entitled to just whip out their mobile recording studio to record and distribute for free every creative endeavor put before the public.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000586673829 Roger Talkington

    Yes, there are winners in this. Other performers stand to benefit from Patton’s eloquent response to all of this. If “ignorance of the law,” so to speak, is what audience members are going to use as their excuse for treating performers as if they are merely animals on display in a zoo, then they NEED educated, repeatedly and often,  about the etiquette of attending a live performance. If nobody ever speaks up about this then performers are even more doomed to a life of poverty than they have been throughout history because nobody will ever buy anything since they feel entitled to just whip out their mobile recording studio to record and distribute for free every creative endeavor put before the public.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=163904803 Adam Quesnell

    If she cares enough about comedy to have a tumblr page where she talks about it, then she knows not to film a pro working on new material. Also, the second a comedian asks you from the stage to stop filming, you stop filming, end of story. She deserved whatever hate-filled eruption that followed.

    • Dylan

      please see my comment to Dan above. you misread the story. Barbara wasn’t the one filming.

    • Spokesthing

       She wasn’t the woman filming.

    • DD

      Barbara Grey was not the woman filming. She was a comedian who witnessed the event.

    • DD

      Barbara Grey was not the woman filming. She was a comedian who witnessed the event.

    • DD

      Barbara Grey was not the woman filming. She was a comedian who witnessed the event.

    • DD

      Barbara Grey was not the woman filming. She was a comedian who witnessed the event.

    • DD

      Barbara Grey was not the woman filming. She was a comedian who witnessed the event.

    • DD

      Barbara Grey was not the woman filming. She was a comedian who witnessed the event.

  • http://twitter.com/Danthefunnyman Dan Livermore

    You wrote the article as if the woman would have had no idea why filming the set would be wrong. Yet, in the intro paragraph you wrote, “…posted the evening before on a local Los Angeles comedian’s Tumblr. That comedian, Barbara Gray, a self-professed fan…” So which is it? Is she some clueless lady just out for a night with her friends? Or is she a “Los Angeles comedian”?  

    In my opinion, the woman was wrong and got what she deserved. Comedians work for the fans, not for the idiots who think the world is theirs and we’re all just along for the ride. I love seeing a comedian cut up an inconsiderate asshole. Sure, it’s shooting fish in a barrel, but it’s always amusing. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a woman leave crying, night ruined, because she was too self-centered to shut the fuck up during a set and got worked over by a comedian. It’s like going to the races and seeing a 12 car pile-up, it’s not what I paid to see, but it is what I came to see.

    • Dylan

      Barbara wasn’t the one filming, Dan. Barbara saw the woman — who i assume is clueless about comedy show etiquette — filming Patton. You misread the story.

      • http://twitter.com/Danthefunnyman Dan Livermore

         Got it. Ignore my first paragraph.

      • http://twitter.com/Danthefunnyman Dan Livermore

         Got it. Ignore my first paragraph.

    • Guest

      Barbara Gray is an LA comedian who was on the same show, and saw ANOTHER woman filming Patton. She commented based on her experience and how she felt about what she saw.

    • DD

      Barbara Gray was not the woman filming.

    • DD

      Barbara Gray was not the woman filming.

    • DD

      Barbara Gray was not the woman filming.

    • DD

      Barbara Gray was not the woman filming.

    • DD

      Barbara Gray was not the woman filming.

    • DD

      Barbara Gray was not the woman filming.

    • Anonymous

      can we straighten this out?? was Barbara filming???

    • Anonymous

      can we straighten this out?? was Barbara filming???

      • Dylan

        you can straighten it out by reading what i wrote, yeah.

      • Dylan

        you can straighten it out by reading what i wrote, yeah.

        • Anonymous

          oh, shit… good! whew…

        • Anonymous

          oh, shit… good! whew…

        • Anonymous

          oh, shit… good! whew…

          • Coldrush

            Jim was being a smart ass, Bob. It cracked me up.

          • Coldrush

            Jim was being a smart ass, Bob. It cracked me up.

          • Coldrush

            Jim was being a smart ass, Bob. It cracked me up.

    • Anonymous

      can we straighten this out?? was Barbara filming???

  • http://twitter.com/Danthefunnyman Dan Livermore

    You wrote the article as if the woman would have had no idea why filming the set would be wrong. Yet, in the intro paragraph you wrote, “…posted the evening before on a local Los Angeles comedian’s Tumblr. That comedian, Barbara Gray, a self-professed fan…” So which is it? Is she some clueless lady just out for a night with her friends? Or is she a “Los Angeles comedian”?  

    In my opinion, the woman was wrong and got what she deserved. Comedians work for the fans, not for the idiots who think the world is theirs and we’re all just along for the ride. I love seeing a comedian cut up an inconsiderate asshole. Sure, it’s shooting fish in a barrel, but it’s always amusing. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a woman leave crying, night ruined, because she was too self-centered to shut the fuck up during a set and got worked over by a comedian. It’s like going to the races and seeing a 12 car pile-up, it’s not what I paid to see, but it is what I came to see.

  • Dave Anthony

    Uh…Patton was not wrong.

    Those of us who do stand up comedy know one thing:  Anyone who says Patton is wrong has not been on the road.  This is just simple naivete on the part of people saying Patton was wrong.  The woman was out of line and then she had a shitty attitude to to top it off. 

    • Guest

      Dave: Do you work at a factory where your entire job is to comment on the Patton / Barbara situation ALL DAY LONG? If you do, you must have gotten maddddd overtime this weekend! Everyone hit up Dave for free drankz! Our buddy has got the CA$H MONEYZ!

      • Cmharvey

        He’s a comedian, asshole.

      • Cmharvey

        He’s a comedian, asshole.

      • Cmharvey

        He’s a comedian, asshole.

      • Cmharvey

        He’s a comedian, asshole.

    • Mike445

      It doesn’t matter what the woman did and it doesn’t matter who Patton is, there is no excuse for dehumanizing someone. Patton admitted he was out of line and apologized. You can’t seriously be suggesting comedians are entitled to treat other people like garbage.

    • Mike445

      It doesn’t matter what the woman did and it doesn’t matter who Patton is, there is no excuse for dehumanizing someone. Patton admitted he was out of line and apologized. You can’t seriously be suggesting comedians are entitled to treat other people like garbage.

    • Mike445

      It doesn’t matter what the woman did and it doesn’t matter who Patton is, there is no excuse for dehumanizing someone. Patton admitted he was out of line and apologized. You can’t seriously be suggesting comedians are entitled to treat other people like garbage.

      • Dave Anthony

        Spoken like someone who is not a comedian

      • Dave Anthony

        Spoken like someone who is not a comedian

  • Joe Bua

    I’m with Patton, too. If you’re performing, or even standing on the street, and someone begins recording you, I feel you have a right to tell them to stop. And they should. And esp. when you are your material you gotta protect that. Someone connected with the show should have escorted her off premises when she took out her camera phone.

    Could Patton have handled it better? I don’t think he has a responsibility to handle it “better.”

    Plus I’m sick of everyone recording everything. What kills me is people who are at a televised event holding their phones up, as if they are getting better video than they’ll see later on TV. That’s not about the artist, it’s about the fan feeling like they have to be part of the show, or proving to their friends they had great seats.

  • Joe Bua

    I’m with Patton, too. If you’re performing, or even standing on the street, and someone begins recording you, I feel you have a right to tell them to stop. And they should. And esp. when you are your material you gotta protect that. Someone connected with the show should have escorted her off premises when she took out her camera phone.

    Could Patton have handled it better? I don’t think he has a responsibility to handle it “better.”

    Plus I’m sick of everyone recording everything. What kills me is people who are at a televised event holding their phones up, as if they are getting better video than they’ll see later on TV. That’s not about the artist, it’s about the fan feeling like they have to be part of the show, or proving to their friends they had great seats.

  • Joe Bua

    I’m with Patton, too. If you’re performing, or even standing on the street, and someone begins recording you, I feel you have a right to tell them to stop. And they should. And esp. when you are your material you gotta protect that. Someone connected with the show should have escorted her off premises when she took out her camera phone.

    Could Patton have handled it better? I don’t think he has a responsibility to handle it “better.”

    Plus I’m sick of everyone recording everything. What kills me is people who are at a televised event holding their phones up, as if they are getting better video than they’ll see later on TV. That’s not about the artist, it’s about the fan feeling like they have to be part of the show, or proving to their friends they had great seats.

  • Juliet Jeske

    I completely support Patton Oswald because I am also a comedian and the woman should have immediately stopped taping his act once he asked.  That would be a normal and reasonable response.   Everyone makes mistakes, she should have been an adult about the situation.   Non-performers have no idea how difficult it is to get up there night after night, especially when you are talking about yourself.  It is personal and if he is working out new material, he is going to feel even more vulnerable.  And now people label him the jerk?  They have no idea.  

  • Juliet Jeske

    I completely support Patton Oswald because I am also a comedian and the woman should have immediately stopped taping his act once he asked.  That would be a normal and reasonable response.   Everyone makes mistakes, she should have been an adult about the situation.   Non-performers have no idea how difficult it is to get up there night after night, especially when you are talking about yourself.  It is personal and if he is working out new material, he is going to feel even more vulnerable.  And now people label him the jerk?  They have no idea.  

  • Juliet Jeske

    I completely support Patton Oswald because I am also a comedian and the woman should have immediately stopped taping his act once he asked.  That would be a normal and reasonable response.   Everyone makes mistakes, she should have been an adult about the situation.   Non-performers have no idea how difficult it is to get up there night after night, especially when you are talking about yourself.  It is personal and if he is working out new material, he is going to feel even more vulnerable.  And now people label him the jerk?  They have no idea.  

  • Juliet Jeske

    I completely support Patton Oswald because I am also a comedian and the woman should have immediately stopped taping his act once he asked.  That would be a normal and reasonable response.   Everyone makes mistakes, she should have been an adult about the situation.   Non-performers have no idea how difficult it is to get up there night after night, especially when you are talking about yourself.  It is personal and if he is working out new material, he is going to feel even more vulnerable.  And now people label him the jerk?  They have no idea.  

    • Mseedling

      she did stop and erased it right away which is why you don’t see it on YouTube etc.
      I agree Patton was right until after she erased it he kept going that is when he put himself in the wrong

      • C_dog_05

        And then gave a smug look and called him an a**hole under her breath. (That’s assuming she even deleted it). The problem is she didn’t do it right away and apologize, she kept protesting. Patton maybe overreacted a little bit, but that’s his brand of comedy. Plus, he already admitted he went a little far, but it’s the heat of the moment. 

    • Mseedling

      she did stop and erased it right away which is why you don’t see it on YouTube etc.
      I agree Patton was right until after she erased it he kept going that is when he put himself in the wrong

  • D.

    Gotta say…I’m with Oswalt on this.  Filming performances is idiotic.  You’re at a show.  Be “in the moment” and enjoy it.  Your memory of it and how it feels if you are there and present will be sharper than what you get from watching a shaky grainy video after the fact.

    And if you are taping it just so you can upload it to Youtube and get “views”, you are an attention whore.

    The clubs should be cracking down on people who are obviously recording not to mention aggressive hecklers but they seem to abdicate that responsibility.

  • D.

    Gotta say…I’m with Oswalt on this.  Filming performances is idiotic.  You’re at a show.  Be “in the moment” and enjoy it.  Your memory of it and how it feels if you are there and present will be sharper than what you get from watching a shaky grainy video after the fact.

    And if you are taping it just so you can upload it to Youtube and get “views”, you are an attention whore.

    The clubs should be cracking down on people who are obviously recording not to mention aggressive hecklers but they seem to abdicate that responsibility.

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