Here are some of the worst performances I’ve seen or heard of from a comic onstage:
- The first person is me. I think it was my fifth time onstage, and I really didn’t prepare. When I did get onstage, I couldn’t remember my jokes that well (not that they were funny anyway).
There were a lot of pauses and “um”s, which came across as me being nervous, and in the dead silence (while I was trying to remember a joke), I heard a girl ask: “Are you almost done?”
The thing I remember about her asking was that she wasn’t even rude about it. She asked the question very matter of factly. I didn’t even have a good response, as I was caught up in thought.
- The second person was a comic I saw perform at a show in Rochester, NY, years ago.
This comic got onstage and started to tell a bunch of unfunny jokes about smoking crack. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was after a few lackluster responses, he suddenly said, “What, you guys don’t smoke crack?”
He then dropped the mic and left the stage.
- The third comes from a story I read on Reddit, courtesy of user “Jak Scott”:
I was doing a gig one time doing sets while bands broke down/loaded in, and this crowd paid me no attention until three guys just started heckling the s— out of me. I ignored them because I was pretty sure trying to combat them would just get the crowd behind them.
After a few minutes a girl started yelling, “Bring down the hammer!” at me. She kept repeating it after every joke/heckle. “Bring down the hammer!” I thought, “Hey, f— it, I’ve got one on my side, I’m going to bring the hammer down on these hecklers.” I started giving them a piece of my mind, and the whole crowd just started yelling at me mercilessly.
I got offstage, and the show promoter got on the mic and said, “Alright, welcome your next band: The Hammer!” That f—ing chick was just yelling for me to get off the stage and let the band play.