Comedians are no strangers to crowd work, but Adam Newman got more than he bargained for when he borrowed a heckler’s jacket. We spoke with him about what really happened and if he managed to avoid blowing the rest of the show.
If you haven’t seen the original video, you can check it out at the bottom first.Guyism: First off, were you inspired to take the coat by Steve Harvey in Kings of Comedy, or is that just my fixation on obscure 12-year old references?
Adam Newman: I just saw that video for the first time today! I’m happy that Steve Harvey and I share the same comedic instinct to grab an audience member’s abandoned coat. It makes me wonder what else we have in common. I’d love to get brunch with Steve Harvey.G: You, Steve, and Boogie – now that’s a brunch. Had you planning to grab a jacket during a show or was it just a throwaway line until the wife went for it?
AN: It all happened in the moment. I just thought it would be funny if I was wearing the guy’s coat when he got back. The idea was he’d get back to his seat, see that I was wearing his coat, we’d all have a big laugh, then I’d move on to diarrhea jokes. In retrospect, I can’t believe the wife handed me the coat, but I’m the first to admit it was dumb to go through it.
G: Were you concerned about what you might find in the pockets, or did it not even occur to you because wifey so eagerly handed it over?
AN: I don’t think the wife knew there was cocaine in the jacket. The lady in the video telling me that there were more pockets wasn’t the wife; it was some other woman in the crowd who just wanted me to keep going. The heckler did tell one of the opening comedians that he was a “party promoter.” Between that and the rave wristband I found in the first pocket, I should have known what was coming.
G: You deserve a medal, real or otherwise, for being smart enough to see what you had right away. I’d suggest the American Optometric Association “Bottom Row Award.”
AN: Ha! It did take me a second to realize what it was. I know cocaine isn’t a big deal to a lot of people, but I’ve never done it and I’ve been around it very little. The last thing you want when you’re holding a bag of cocaine for the first time is to be in front of a room full of people staring at you.
I’ll gladly take your medal. Whatever it is, it should be made out of white gold.
G: How did the rest of the show go; were you able to move on with ease or was it a struggle? Anything else you want the people to know about that night?
AN: I’m not sure if people realize it, but that was the opening four minutes of a 45 minute set. The rest of the set went fine, but the whole time I was running worst case scenarios in my head. What if he had come back while I was still wearing the jacket? What if he was a drug dealer? What if had a gun? What if I had spilled cocaine all over the stage? What really saved me was the wife putting her husband’s coat back on his chair before he came back, so he never knew I went through it until probably the car ride home.
One thing I’d like people to know is why they were such awful audience members. For the whole show before I got onstage, they were on their phones. And I don’t mean texting or checking emails. They were TAKING AND MAKING PHONE CALLS WHILE SITTING IN THE FRONT ROW, and talking loudly to each other and the comedians on stage in between. They were the worst.
G: Hecklers are the worst. Let’s say you’re trapped in a room full of them, how many do you think you could punch in the face until you got tired? If you’re not into physical violence, feel free to select how many of their puppies you would have put down.
AN: Hecklers don’t have puppies. Hecklers have snakes and spiders.
G: And now the one I’ve been avoiding… are you answering these questions from prison?
AN: I’m sitting on my couch, halfway responding to these questions, halfway watching Pawn Stars. Corey might leave the shop, and it’s really intense.
G: What an idiot. Corey has no future outside the shop. Finally, and this is just a random off the cuff question, if your dad was in a boy band, do you think he’d have coke in his pocket?
AN: If my dad was in a boy band, I think he would be focusing on his music and being a good role model for his young fans.
G: That’s actually a pretty good premise. Let’s say you made a show based on your dad being in a boy band, where and when could we watch it?
G: I’ll let you go with this: The cocaine in the coat bit seems a little too convenient with a new series coming in the next couple months. Are you sure the whole video wasn’t Photoshopped?
AN: What a cynical world we’ve created for ourselves! If I had faked this, I would have thought of some better jokes and worn a nicer shirt.
You might recognize Adam from about a dozen of your favorite YouTube sketches, and he’s done extensive work with our friends over at CollegeHumor. Check out his real, cocaine heckler-free, stand-up on this season of John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show. It’s worth every minute. You can also follow him on Twitter for random comments that will make you look like a idiot laughing alone in public.
I want more like this!
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