Earlier this week I had this great idea on what to write under today’s post. I have since forgot entirely what that idea was.
So I watched “The Heckler” on Netflix. Here’s the trailer:
I was enjoying the heckler for about 45 minutes until I began to realize that there was another 35 minutes left.
The basic premise is a group of famous comedians and performers share what heckling means to them, the motivation of a heckler, and their stories. These interviews are punctuated by Jamie Kennedy, who is on a mission to confront his hecklers, critics, and feelings.
The problem with all this is that it gets repetitive, and in the case of Jamie Kennedy, needlessly whiny.
Through out the documentary Jamie can’t fathom why people would smear his work without thinking about his feelings, and yet? Jamie is one of those comedians who often rely on racist humor, sexism and put-downs.
You can tell in the documentary that his feelings of hurt are sincere, but I had no sympathy whatsoever for him.
Ultimately the documentary suffers from being one sided. At no point is the responsibility of the comedian discussed. Speaking as a person who has felt marginalized by stand up comedians, it sucks to have an audience laughing (even nervously) at your expense.
Comedians often take the easy road and rely on negative stereotypes to get a quick laugh. These kind of jokes only serve to reinforce the idea that not everyone deserves respect.
The Heckler fails to include this premise, and in the end felt more like propaganda than a real documentary.
But who cares? It was made in 2007.