Hecklers are a heartbreaking breed, desperate to connect at any cost, positive or negative. Like a kid acting out for attention — even if they get spanked, at least it's contact; even if they get punished, at least they've garnered focus. When I get heckled, I tend to give the heckler what he wants — attention; to be ''mirrored,'' as the shrinks say. Sometimes I do an impression of what they probably won't be saying the next day: ''Oh, man, remember last night when I was like, 'You're f---ing Matt Damon!!'? That was so awesome!'' (Just to be clear, this is by no means encouragement — if the heckler spells trouble or f---s up my timing, they're skillfully escorted out by very subtle yet giant men.)
A guy once just yelled, ''ME!!'' in the middle of my set. It was amazing. This guy's heckle actually directly equaled its heartbreaking subtext — ''me!!'' Another time I was listening to Howard Stern and a young listener called in. He was being an a--hole so Howard hung up on him, but just before he was disconnected I heard him say, real quickly, ''I exist!'' Those were the only two times I ever heard a heckler say what he really, REALLY meant. I am real! Even if I make you mad, Mommy/Daddy, it's still proof — I EXIST!
Sunday, November 13, 2011
I suppose that I will be forevermore plagued with the sick expectation that sermons preached about pride, narcissism, egocentrism, selfishness, and other related behaviors and outlooks will reference my book Deliver Us from Me-Ville--this despite several instances of frustration to date when preachers have failed to reference it. But the topic still holds my attention, three years after the book's release. So I was pleased to read, of all things, Sarah Silverman's insights into the root causes of self-aggrandizing behavior in the recent "comedy issue" of Entertainment Weekly. Here it is; I hope you like it as much as I relate to it: