Heckler horror stories: Mike Corozza & the reverse roast

Stories from comedians about their worst heckling experiences

Is heckling a pure distillation of evil? A comedian would probably say yes. Yelling at someone when they are on stage is mean at best. If you've ever done it or thought about doing it...DON'T. 

When you say "private event" to a comedian they hear the sound of an old-timey cash register ringing and their pupils turn to dollar signs. In a business were getting paid for your services can come in the form of beer,  private events usually compensate in dollars which can be used for things like food and shelter. When Mike Corozza was propositioned to perform at a private birthday party he took the gig thinking he'd make a few bucks but It was from start to finish the gig was a disaster. How much of a disaster you ask? Read on. 

I was hired to perform on Halloween for a birthday party. It was at an Italian restaurant downtown and the audience was a group of 15 friends celebrating a guy's 50th birthday. They expected that they were getting some sort of curmudgeonly comic to go around the room and roast them. I am not that guy. 

The set up was a nightmare. We were in the private back room of an otherwise empty restaurant. There was no stage. There was no microphone. There were none of the amenities that are conducive to even hint at a performance. And best of all: I was a surprise. 

Little sweet dumb-dumb Mikey ambushed a 50th birthday party of close friends and started with material that did well. I was quickly interrupted with demands of doing a roast. 

The birthday boy pulled out his phone and said "hey can you do any material about this? I had knee surgery a couple of months ago." He shoved his screen into my face and the x-ray of his knee also showed the outline of a massive penis. He laughed hysterically and passed the phone around saying "this is funny, bro. Do this."

The birthday boy's wife met me to pay me in the main dining area. There was a single couple there. The guy was a stereotype and the moment he saw me, he said "you could give a pill a headache."

"Yeah, that's a good one, bud. Have a good night."

He kept going. "No, seriously. We come out for a good night and I have to hear your fucking voice just yap yap yap and fuckin' now I have a headache."

I was watching the birthday boy's wife count my money and keep starting over because she lost count. 

"Yeah, I'm sorry. Looks like both our nights aren't so great."

"You're the reason my night sucks."

At this point, the woman he's with looks up and mouths an apology. He, however, keeps going. 

"You could give a pill a headache."

Money in hand, thank yous exchanged. 

Mike is a silly comedian known for his high energy performance style. Carrozza has worked with some of his favourite comedians and yours (Tig Notaro, Todd Glass, Kyle Kinane, etc). Born in Montreal, but based in Toronto, Carrozza has become an international headliner. His cherubic charm and absurdist leanings make him an act you don't want to miss.