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um. what. the. fuck.

Posted by seattle98104 | April 20, 2007 3:47 PM

Hang in there, brother. Perhaps there's a silver lining in the publicity this could (and should!!) generate.

Who is this group and what do they have to say for themselves? Seems they've earned a disruptive counter-protest. Anyone up for church this Sunday?

Posted by Sean | April 20, 2007 3:55 PM

Call the cops. Seriously. They destroyed your property. Fucking assholes.

Posted by Fnarf | April 20, 2007 3:59 PM

The good news is, he has those despicable people's money. Maybe do something with it that flies directly in the face of what they did to him?

Posted by exelizabeth | April 20, 2007 4:03 PM

I say sue the church...and what the fuck?

Posted by Thom | April 20, 2007 4:03 PM

These are probably the same people that cry fear and murder at muslim morality police.

Holy fuck.

Posted by seattle98104 | April 20, 2007 4:08 PM

I'm a little freaked out by the number of them: EIGHTY-SEVEN? That's scary. Hitler brownshirt scary.

Posted by Fnarf | April 20, 2007 4:21 PM

stupid and wrong. perhaps you are the better one and not going to call the police... but i would be seriously tempted to.

Posted by infrequent | April 20, 2007 4:24 PM

How would not calling the cops make him "the better one"? He was staging a performance and a group tried to ruin it. Go try that at the Opera house or Safeco Field and see how long before you're in handcuffs. Is their some sort of moral
bonus for not exercising your legal rights. He should do it before they strike again at some other show. You think these people only have a problem with a quirky monologist?

Posted by dirge | April 20, 2007 4:40 PM

It's aggressive and invasive, and it makes me think "no way, not in my fucking city, you dumb assholes."

Then I imagine the theater community infiltrating a Sunday church service and disrupting it with some kind of silly mind-fuck performance art, and I laugh.

Posted by Sean | April 20, 2007 4:54 PM

if he wants to call the police he should. as i said, i certainly would. i was just guessing he didn't call the cops as he said to promote love and perhaps to avoid making martyrs for their "cause". either of those would seem to be better motivation than my anger.

Posted by infrequent | April 20, 2007 5:45 PM

Dirge at #9 said He was staging a performance and a group tried to ruin it.


That's an all-too typical reality in my world--the world of stand-up comedy.

(And're NOT supposed to heckle a stand-up. That's not helping a show, that's ruining a just so happens that some of us are rather adroit at dealing with it so it still ends up being entertaining, but that's never "the plan.")

And religious audience members offended by someone saying "fuck?" Quelle suprise.

Again--in my world, people being offended by all sorts of things are part and parcel of the art form...if it isn't language, it's the topics you choose or the opinions you express. The laughs are always strongest near the edge--where the risks are...

And the more an act depends on interaction with the audience, the more vulnerable the performer is to getting messed with. Again...the risks you take can pay off with big laughs...but they are always risks.

The only thing that surprises me is the pouring of water on Mike's outline--but, then again, I've seen drinks thrown at comedians (both in and out of their glass), I've seen audience members get on stage and physically attack performers and I've witnessed 92 members of a 100 person audience all get up and leave before a comedian's set is over.

I'm not justifying what these assholes did. I'm just saying, it's not all that unusual.

Some people enjoying experiencing what a performer has to offer...other people want to treat every public entertainment as The Gong Show.


PS--And walking out of a performance before it is over and verbally expressing your displeasure with a performance are time honored traditions at Safeco Field (especially in the Bavasi-era.)

Interfering in such a performance can either go one of three ways: Jeffrey Maier, Steve Bartman or ushered out of the building. And throwing water at performers of sporting events is a "good way" to start a riot in Detroit (just ask Ron Artest.)

Posted by pgreyy | April 20, 2007 6:16 PM

I'm lost. Were these Christians invited? Did they even know who they had paid to see?

I mean... honestly, do people not do their fucking research? Why would such zealots pay to see a show without knowing whether or not it would cross their oversensitive boundaries?

Posted by Gomez | April 20, 2007 6:52 PM

Sorry, I don't buy it, there's a bit piece of the story missing. I don't know what it is, but Christian groups, even fundie ones, don't make a habit of attending monologist events to protest because the word "fuck" is used. I like Mike's work, but seriously, there's got to be way more to the story.

Posted by mrobvious | April 20, 2007 10:17 PM

Nope, there is no conspiracy--it's just the iniquities of random life. It was a Christian group on a trip from another part of the country who randomly chose my show, presumably because they somehow thought it would be full of rainbows, unicorns and absolutely no explicatives. That, combined with poor leadership from them and (what appears to be) a number of out-of-control teachers led to the incident.

It doesn't take nearly as much as you might think--that's what surprised me too.

Posted by Mike Daisey | April 20, 2007 10:51 PM


If that's the case, the entire City of New York must be deluged by a torrent of biblical proportions by now - isn't "fuck" like, one of the most commonly used words in the NYC lexicon?

Posted by COMTE | April 20, 2007 11:16 PM

Oh, wait. This was Cambridge, right. Okay, maybe "fuck" isn't used with quite so much alacrity there, but still - fawk!

Posted by COMTE | April 20, 2007 11:20 PM

A comedy show and a staged monologue are entirely different things.
The stand up comedy is dependent upon audience interaction and heckling is part of the show, even when, or possibly especially when, it goes to far.
The same can be said about sporting events, though there the heckling and audience disruptions are channeled into a few tightly regulated forms. Sure you can scream at a pitcher or lightly interfere with a foul ball, but chucking things onto the field, swearing or even just wearing the wrong t-shirt can get you kicked out. Running out onto the field gets you nominally arrested.

Obviously performance disruption does happen a lot but in a lot of cases those who disrupt are in some way held accountable. If as Daisey said this was an unplanned, church-group-books-the-wrong-tickets sort of thing then only the water thrower exhibited any malice and it's less of a big deal. If this was a preplanned attempt to disrupt a performance, using water to erase the show, it becomes much more sinister.

Maybe I'm just flinching at shadows today, I did just watch all those documentaries on Fred Phelp's church.

Posted by dirge | April 21, 2007 12:22 AM

dirge said: "The stand up comedy is dependent upon audience interaction and heckling is part of the show, even when, or possibly especially when, it goes to far."

Heckling is NOT part of the show. I know everyone thinks so...because everyone, it seems, gets drunk and does it, but it's really not.

Every comedy club I work at includes a "please, do not heckle the performers" line in their pre-show messages.

And nearly every show, some drunk asshole either has to be threatened to be kicked out by comedy club management or IS kicked out because they simply won't shut the fuck up and let everyone else enjoy the show.

There's a difference between a comedian doing crowd work or a comedian altering one's performance based on the reactions of the audience (which, by Mike's own definition, is what Mike does...) or an improviser soliciting suggestions...and (usually drunk) people attempting to disrupt the performer's attempts to entertain by shouting out insults, demanding attention in spite of the actual performance or actively trying to trip up a performers rhythm.

Heckling is NOT part of the show. It is tolerated because it is so ubiquitous and, as I said, because some of us have trained ourselves in how to deal with hecklers in a way that ends up being somewhat entertaining...


PS--I saw Dave Chappelle bomb (yes, even the most brilliant stand-up comedians can still bomb) at Benaroya Hall a few years ago when a bunch of pot smoking Microsofties kept interrupting what Dave was saying with random shouts of "what do you like better, pussy or weed?" to the point where Dave just stopped trying to do his show. I want my $60 back, hippies.

PPS--TV Guide Jeers to the assholes at Last Comic Standing for doing a "Heckler Challenge" last year that perpetuated the myth that heckling is desired by stand-ups, rather than just tolerated and dealt with... Heckling is NOT helping.

PPPS--And, to keep this thread on track, preplanned or not, those assholes at Mike's show could have just silently and unobtrusively left if they weren't enjoying a show...and, if they felt strongly enough about it, they could have asked for their money back. They didn't. They disrupted everyone else's enjoyment of the show. Thus, they are assholes.

And the girl who yells out "It's my birthday" or the guy who ignores everyone else laughing to shout out "Say something funny"--those are assholes, too.

Assholes are not expected at any public entertainment event--they are dealt with...and those are very different things.

Posted by pgreyy | April 21, 2007 11:29 AM


No arguments from me, although I would say that nowadays, assholes ARE in fact expected at public entertainments, otherwise comics wouldn't need to spend hours they could be using to hone their routines instead coming up with scathing ripostes to drunken comments from the house, and audiences wouldn't be subjected to those ubiquitous pre-play announcements asking us to turn off our cell phones and unwrap our cough drops.

Just sayin'.

Posted by COMTE | April 21, 2007 11:39 AM

I hear that, Comte.


PS--Still sucks what happened to Mike.

Posted by pgreyy | April 21, 2007 11:55 AM

Wow, I was skeptical but seeing the video, I was wrong, it does appear to be a bizzarro just as described event. I can totally see Mike taking this incident and making it into a great piece of art. Just wish he'd come back to Seattle more often!

Posted by mrobvious | April 21, 2007 1:56 PM

I'd say the chaperones/teachers fucked up, bad. They spent all that money on tickets without checking out the show to see if it was suitable for the kids?

That's shockingly irresponsible. If I were the parent of one of those kids, I'd be royally pissed.

For them to lash out at Mr. Daisey for their own failure was way, way out of line.

Posted by hamletta | April 22, 2007 12:54 PM

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