Ophira Eisenberg: "Part of the job is to tell people to sit down and shut up”

Ophira Eisenberg offers some advice on dealing with hecklers:

Never, ever, ever invite anyone from the audience, especially someone heckling, to get out of their seat. If they stand, tell them to sit down. I don’t care if it’s their birthday and they’re having a great time, no one is allowed near that stage except you and the cocktail waitress. I love standup more than anything but often part of the job is to tell people to sit down and shut up.” And on shutting them down verbally she adds, “I know there is pressure to come back with a hilarious line back to a heckler, but you know what works just as well? Directly telling them without apology to ‘Shut up or leave.’ Treat them like a bad child. Why waste time on this person? Get them out of there and get back to your act. Starting the back and forth will only make them want to try to save their ego by heckling back and now you’re in a full dialogue. If you want to do that great, but be prepared for the consequences.

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