British comedian Eddie Izzard on Monday schooled Seth Meyers in the art of silencing hecklers. (Watch the video below.)
The two were discussing Izzard’s climb from street venues to clubs, where Izzard said audiences are more demanding. And more obnoxious.
“I knew I was getting good when somebody heckled me once and said, ‘Say something funny.’ And I went ‘no,’” Izzard said. “And they just carried on. And I thought, whoa, my confidence is high.”
Izzard recalled deflecting rude outbursts of spectators by concocting fictional scenarios about them. For instance, she would tell the audience that “Kenny” has many problems and that a doctor recommended Kenny shout things out for therapy. The heckler would predictably resume in five minutes or so, prompting Izzard to say, “Well done, Kenny.” Even if another heckler emerged, Izzard would often blame “Kenny” for comic effect.
“It’s a lovely little technique to use,” she said.
Fast-forward to 12:00 for Izzard’s primer on heckler handling.
The “Ocean’s Twelve” and “Ocean’s Thirteen” star is currently on the off-Broadway stage acting every part of a solo “Great Expectations.”
She has the endurance for it. In 2021, she ran 32 marathons in 31 days on a treadmill for charity.