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Douglas, Eric

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63132.  Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:48 pm Reply with quote

What is the best heckle you've ever seen?

A: Clearly there is no ‘right’ answer to this, however top points must go to the audience at London’s Comedy Store when faced with a dire routine by the late Eric Douglas, son of Spartacus star Kirk and half brother of Michael.

According to an eye witness, comedian Mickey Hutton, (who mentioned the experience in a Sun newspaper article on 14 May 1999), Eric Douglas ‘lost it on stage’.

"I'm Kirk Douglas' son," Eric screamed in retaliation to the audience’s heckles. In response one audience member stood up and said: ‘No, I'm Kirk Douglas's son!", then another, and another until the whole audience where shouting: ‘No, I’m Kirk Douglas’s son!’.

Douglas’s comedy career was, predictably a disaster. At his first show he was booed off the stage for being drunk. In 2001, he told a New York audience: "Michael's Jewish and Catherine (Zeta-Jones) is Scottish - together they're the world's cheapest couple." "No," yelled a furious Zeta-Jones, "I'm Welsh.’

One of Eric’s better gags was: "I came down for breakfast in the morning and found my dad in a toga. I said, 'Jesus!' He said, 'No, Spartacus.'

Douglas met n the early death aged 46 in July 2004 after a long battle with drink and drugs. He appeared in 9 films, with roles ranging from ‘General’s Son’ in Two Fisted Tales to ‘Yellow Dragon’ in The Golden Child. During his life, he was sued for attacking his limo driver, jailed for letting his dog run amok on an American Airlines flight, convicted for cocaine and done for drink-driving. It would be fare to say that he did not enjoy the success of his father and his half-brother.

Mickey Hutton’s other favourite ‘heckle’ moments include:

The whole audience shouting at Alan Davis: "Ooh, you've got lovely curly hair." (Does anyone know why this is funny?! )

A heckler shouting at Phill Jupitus: "Why are you so fat?" He replied: "Because every time I shag your wife she gives me a biscuit. That's a lot of biscuits!"

Jack Dee opening a Friday the 13th show with the words, "I don't normally do gigs on Friday the 13th". And someone shouting: "Why don't you f**k off then?"

Bob Mills heckled by an audience member with: "C'mon mate, nobody likes you. You must remember that from school."

63211.  Sat Apr 01, 2006 4:30 am Reply with quote

D is for Dundee:

Originally, a heckler was someone in the textile trade who combed out flax or hemp fibres. Its more common meaning began in the early 19th Century when the radical and unionised hecklers working in Dundee used to interrupt the colleague responsible for reading out the day's news.

Hence the word became associated with firing off questions aimed to tease or comb out truths that the speaker might wish to conceal or avoid.

So maybe something like,

"Why would you not want to do stand-up in Dundee?"

63214.  Sat Apr 01, 2006 4:48 am Reply with quote

Do the dictionaries agree with that derivation, egg? It smells a bit folky to me. Is it always Dundee, or does the location drift around?

63216.  Sat Apr 01, 2006 4:54 am Reply with quote

For the best heckles in the world, you need cricket, not comedy. For some classic sledges, have a look at

63219.  Sat Apr 01, 2006 5:02 am Reply with quote

Yes, my folk-etymology radar must be turned off.

Etymology online says:

"Long applied in Scotland to the public questioning of parliamentary candidates" [OED].

More digging required one thinks.

63222.  Sat Apr 01, 2006 5:16 am Reply with quote

The Guardian agrees, and cites Dundee Historian Graham Ogilvy.,3604,1471886,00.html

Maybe we could have someone in the audience shouting "RUBBISH, HECKLING DOESN'T COME FROM DUNDEE"

64027.  Thu Apr 06, 2006 9:09 am Reply with quote

In his early days as a comic, Tommy Cooper played a very rough London venue, the Bag of Nails, where the audience apparently consisted mostly of professional criminals. When he made his entrance, the audience booed, whistled, blew raspberries and tried to knock his fez off with bread rolls. Cooper lost his patience and shouted “Stop that!”
A man in the front demanded, “Why shouldn't I throw bread rolls at your fez?”
In a panic, cooper replied “Because I haven’t got an ad lib for people throwing bread rolls at my hat.”

S: ‘If I don’t write it, nobody else will’ by Eric Sykes (Fourth Estate, 2005)

64041.  Thu Apr 06, 2006 10:10 am Reply with quote

Jo Brand has some heckle classic comeback lines, one of which is, I seem to remember,
Hmmm. This insect repellant doesn't seem to be working.


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