Spitting Always Goes Over Well!

Bernal Heights Heckler Spits on Comedian, "Big Drama" Ensues

San Francisco’s recent fixation with starting bar fights over pointless horseshit manifested itself again Tuesday night, as a rage-addled heckler spit beer in the face of a confrontational comedian at Cortland Ave’s Lucky Horseshoe bar.  “Leander,” a tipster to Bernalwood, tells the story:

The drama unfolded during the weekly Comedy at Dusk stand-up night, which features 15-minute sets from several local entertainers. During the third act, the woman comedian got into a heckling match with some customers at the bar. They barged into the bar during the middle of her act and oblivious to what was going on, they rudely disrupted her show.

Then the bartender — who appeared to be friends with the customers — got involved, escalating the situation. Meanwhile, the owner of the bar was playing a noisy PacMan arcade machine that is located in the middle of the bar, distracting the woman onstage. It was noisy, chaotic and slightly crazy. The female comedian’s act became a total circus. She spent the rest of her act yelling at the bartender, the rude customers, and whoever walked in through the door.

After becoming frustrated with the scene, the comic went outside the bar, only to be followed out the door by a patron who “spat in her face on the sidewalk.”  Then?

The woman rushed back in and grabbed the microphone from the next comedian, who was in the middle of his act. She announced to everyone that she’d been assaulted and started to dial 911 on stage. The fourth comedian and several others tried to get the microphone back to continue the show, but she refused to give it up. The bar owner got up from her PacMan game, but instead of dealing with the situation, went to the back of the bar and turned the music up very loud.

Upwards of six squad cars showed up (only to quickly leave), with two officers sticking around to file the incident as battery and plan to “pull the bar’s security footage.”

The whole thing sounds like a first-rate disaster.  But it’s worth remembering that comedy is hard, and bars make for some of the worst rooms out there—between the disinterested patrons, ordering of drinks, a pool table, TVs, and the waka-waka-waka of a dispassionate owner, it’s tough work to keep the crowd focused, and generally shitty for both the performer and the audience.  Clearly, the staff wasn’t interested in making sure the show went well.

So as San Francisco’s comedy scene continues to explode, it sounds like Bernal Heights’ attempt at playing host is already at risk after just two weeks.  As one of the promoters stated on Facebook, “[we] won’t be doing a show at the Lucky Horseshoe anymore.”

Comments (7)

I’ve been to a lot of open mics.  I think it’s funny that comedians expect the entire bar to be quiet for them during their act at open mics.  Face it, there are people at that bar that didn’t come for you and your act ain’t that great.  Play through.   

No. If the owner invites someone to perform, the patrons should respect them. There are plenty of other bars and not that many venues. 

As a performer I’ve never felt that way.  Sometimes people just don’t dig you.  It’s my job to get their attention and get them on my side.  Yelling at them for distracting you is lame and egotistical, plus it’s not going to win the audience.  Are there any great comedy open mics full of comedy fans?  No, they are full of other comedians ie. Brainwash.  You don’t need to win those guys over because they are waiting for their turn at the mic.  

That’s like the Blues Brothers playing at the Country Western bar and asking the audience to quiet down and respect them.  Play on!  

You’re comparing music to comedy. Not the same thing whatsoever when it comes to noise distractions/focus. I also take it you don’t know many comedians.

Much respect to the ownership for setting the record straight.

I must be missing something… whats the deal with the bar owner? Aren’t they the ones that presumably wanted a comedy show on their stage? Why the disinterest in diffusing the situation, and then apparently contributing to the escalation? Are we sure that person was actually the owner? I guess I could kinda understand the bartender not giving a shit, but sounds like weird behavior for the owner.


Sounds like a good time.