Comedian dodges punch from heckler who wouldn’t stop talking


Woman 'talking on phone during set' throws punch at comedian who made gag of her

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A stand-up comic thought quickly on his feet as a heckler swung for him after he mocked her for talking on the phone.

James Kilvington was compering a gig in Middlesbrough for inexperienced comedians when a woman in the audience talked loudly all the way through.

She briefly stepped outside about halfway through, so James took the opportunity to say ‘thank god she’s gone’.

Moments later he had to dodge a drink being thrown at him, as the woman came back in and heard him tearing into her.

James asked the venue’s manager to throw her out and explained it was because she hadn’t ‘shut the f**k up all the way through’.

Suddenly the woman threw a punch at his face but the experienced boxer managed to dodge her fist before she was finally ejected.

James said: ‘I had 39 senior fights in boxing and she was my 40th. I boxed at all classes at the highest level possible as an amateur.

James Kilvington was compering a gig for inexperienced comics when he was attacked (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)
The woman took a swing for James after he told her she hasn’t ‘shut the f**k up all the way through’ (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

‘As she came towards me I could see she was going to punch me and being an ex-boxer it was so easy to block her and get her out of the way.

‘I’d never do anything to retaliate. I kept thinking she was going to come back in and attack me but she didn’t.’

James, 32, started comedy a year before lockdown and has started to make a name for himself.

He was asked to host a night for new acts and new material, and as the tickets are cheap lots of audience members hadn’t been to a comedy show before.

The rules were explained as people came in, but that didn’t stop the culprit from nattering away on the phone and turning her back to comedians.

James said: ‘Halfway through the night I went back on stage and the room was really relaxed and nice because she’d walked out.

Luckily James used to box back in he day and managed to dodge the blow (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

‘I said “thank god she’s gone” as it was nice to be able to hear myself talk. As I said that she walked back in and everyone started laughing.

‘She turned around and asked aggressively what did you say. I told her she hadn’t shut up and I turned to the crowd and joked she was at it again.

‘She was on the phone so didn’t realise I was talking about her and I again told her she hadn’t shut up which is when she threw her pint at me.

‘I just knew when she turned her drink that she was going to fling it towards me so I moved out of the way.’

He added: ‘She was told two or three times to be quiet and when I next came on stage I told her to leave if she didn’t like the show. She was getting more and more drunk at this point.’

The gig took place in January 2020, but James has only just uploaded the video to social media to encourage people to treat comedy gigs like they would a trip to the movies.

James said: ‘People need to go to comedy with an open mind. It’s all done tongue in cheek. You shouldn’t be going there to get steaming drunk.

‘You wouldn’t do that to go to the cinema. That’s why I try to explain my shows before. Getting drunk doesn’t make the comedy funnier.

‘I told the audience that a lot of the acts had travelled from all over the country just to practice in front of people.

‘I said if you want to heckle anyone, do it to me, but know I will come back at you and everyone took it tongue in cheek.’

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