At a stand up show in Auckland, New Zealand, Jackass alum Steve-O demonstrated that not only is he adept at making funny faces whilst humiliating himself, he also has a real gift for humiliating people who pay to see him do comedy.
According to a review of Wednesday night's stand up show written for the New Zealand Herald, Steve-O did his very best to kill the relaxed vibe of his show when he discovered that a woman in the audience was filming.
Enraged, everything came to a screeching halt as Steve-O demanded the woman come down to the stage so he could delete the videos personally.
The room went silent, unsure at first if the performer was serious.
Eventually the woman sheepishly made her way down to the side of stage, while Steve-O compared the fan's actions to "walking into a museum and walking out with art".
After barking at the woman and demanding her to hand over the phone, she confessed to leaving it back at her seat. At this point Steve-O started swearing at her, even calling her a "dumb b****".
After calling the woman onstage and calling her a dumb bitch, Steve-O kept going. The audience, who the Herald's reviewer described as "on his side," began chanting for him to throw the phone. An audience member obliged, taking the woman's phone from her seat and throwing it down in the general direction of the stage (it hit a member of the audience that was sitting in the front row). Then Steve-O "took his time" going through the contents of the woman's phone for five minutes while the crowd sat uncomfortably. Then she got kicked out. No word on the condition of the phone.
Was filming the show despite orders against the practice faux pas? Of course. A violation that merits expulsion from the show and a calling out by the comedian who has the stage? Absolutely. Comedy shows have rules (both written and unwritten) that, if broken, tend to result in minor to moderate humiliation for the rule violator. It's how comedians convince a room half full of drunk assholes to shut up and pay attention to them while they have the mic. Shutting down rule breakers is often ugly, and uncomfortable, but truly great comics can turn those situations into something that ultimately takes on a life of its own, and occasionally surpasses the set itself in brilliance (Bills Burr and Hicks are/were particularly adept at this). If someone else had the guts to continue filming the incident while the fan was being subjected to slow, agonizing humiliation, maybe this moment will join theirs in the pantheon of great moments in comedic crowd control. But I'm not holding my breath.
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