Want a masterclass in not just how to deal with a heckler but also how to explain the point of comedy? Watch this clip of the late, great Joan Rivers in action.
Taken from the documentary 'Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work', it shows her being heckled about a Helen Keller joke - and while her response was suitably fearless, it was, she later explained, a one-off.
"The audience came to see you, not them. By including them, one person is having a great time, and 3,999 people aren’t. So you cannot include them. You’ve got to slap them down hard and you’ve got to get them removed, because it’s going to ruin the evening for everybody," she told Entertainment Weekly. "I don’t have a standard comeback line. The one in the movie is the probably the first one I’ve had in seven years. I was shocked!”
And as Rivers explained in an interview with the Daily Telegraph: “Life is so difficult and I cope with it by making jokes about absolutely everything. I just wrote today on Twitter: 'Hitler: like him or not, he was a great dancer.’ Some people ask, how can you make a joke about that, or 9/11? I would have made jokes in concentration camps. You have two choices: laugh or die.”
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