Standup Open Mic: When a Comic Goes After Your Friend

I performed five minutes at a venue last Monday. I was able to get time at this open mic because I brought a couple of non-comics with me. (It was one of those bringer open mics I wrote about last week.) They called it a show, but let’s be honest, it was an open mic.

Picture of Me Performing Standup comedy

I performed at an open mic last Monday night. I had to bring people to get stage time.

There was a decent crowd at the start, even though it was mostly comics. But of course, as the show went on, the crowd got smaller, because what do comics do after their set? That’s right; they leave. There were also a couple other non-comics in the audience, and one didn’t speak English as a first language—she didn’t make it through half the show.

There was something else I found out about the bringer open mics: If you bring people, you go last. I guess it makes sense. Why would you have a comic who brings people go first? They’ll leave and take the audience with them.

Anyway, as the show progressed and the crowd had visibly thinned, the host informed me that I’d be after “insert comic’s name.” When the host got up to introduce the next comic, I waited to see if “insert comic’s name” was going to be next. I heard their name, and whispered in one of my friend’s ears that I was going to be next.

It’s important to note that I asked my friends to film my set, which they did. It’s important because the one friend whispered into my other friend’s ear that I was next.

“Insert comic’s name” saw the whisper. He definitely couldn’t hear it, but he saw it. My friends were done whispering to each other after a second, yet this comic started to go after my friend—even though they were no longer talking. He kept going after them even when they were ignoring him, until eventually one of my friends asked, “Are you talking to me?”

“Insert comic’s name” then made his set about going after my friend, who fired some shots back by the way. There was even another comic who was trying to get this guy to relax and go on with his set.

The guy kept up for all of his stage time. When he finished, he got off stage, flipped off my friend, and left. The room was dead silent when he said his time was up. The only noise was me clapping my hands together as obnoxiously hard as I could.

I was next, and I sarcastically thanked the comic who had just left for going after my friends. I didn’t spend too much time on it; afterall, I had a set to do. I definitely did say something though. If I bring a guest to come out and support me, I will definitely defend them against unwarranted harassment.

I think I did the right thing as a comedian by being silent during the previous “comic’s” “act.” But I think, as a friend, I maybe should have said something. The thing that stinks is that my friend is reluctant to come out again to open mics. He’s been very supportive, so that would be a major blow. He is coming out to watch me perform tomorrow night. Hopefully “insert comic’s name” won’t be there, and, if he is, hopefully he keeps his mouth shut this time.

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