Comedy

Heckler horror stories: Jacob Greco gets aloed

Stories from comedians about their worst heckling experiences

Heckling is a hazard of the job for comics. Watching a heckler and performer in action can feel like watching all of humanity fall into pits of fire.

Jacob Greco was the host of an open mic in downtown Montreal for many years. Every other Tuesday he would head down to the bar for around 9pm and start taking names from acoustic guitar players and aspiring stand ups. It was a thankless job where him and performers would fight to be heard over drunk bar patrons. It was the sort of open mic where if the crowd got quiet you knew you were doing a good job, and the bar almost never went quiet. In a sense, these nights where a hecklers paradise. Jacob tells us about one night of hosting where horror turned sweet.  

"For many years I hosted an open mic night at a popular downtown pub in Montreal. As much as that show taught me almost everything I now know about performing comedy, it had a reputation for sometimes feeling like a lesser-known circle of Hell. Every Tuesday, I became the "Virgil" to the audiences "Dante", chaperoning them through the nightmare that is the show-up go-up style open mic experience.

One night, things were going relatively well until a woman threw a large chunk of an aloe tree branch at me. I had never seen the inside of an aloe branch, but it turns out they're just full of aloe gel. I don't know why they bother bottling the stuff if it already has a natural container. After I finish writing this, I'll contact the people over at aloe and find out what's going on.

So I'm covered in this goop while this woman and all her friends are laughing at me harder than I've ever made anyone laugh intentionally, and the worst part of all is that I'm not one of those people who's downstairs junk gets in a real hot rush when women laugh at my misfortune. "Rats!" I thought to myself, erectionless.

Later that night the aloe-tosser gave me her phone number and now we're in love and live together. We recently relocated to Toronto. She's American and doesn't know a ton about Canada so I've got her convinced that the CN Tower stands for "Cool, Nice Tower." We wanna get a dog soon."

Now Toronto based, Jacob Greco has performed across North America in festivals including OFF-JFL, SF Sketchfest, Chicago Sketchfest, and POP Montreal. He has opened for comics such as Todd Glass, Michelle Wolf, Myq Kaplan, and Tim & Eric Awesome Show's David Liebe Hart.​ Jacob has written for Just For Laughs stand-up tapings including Homegrown Comics and The Stand-Up Show.

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