In this blog I talk a ton about the power of audience interaction, but I never want to give the impression that the interaction road isn’t one without the occasional pothole or detour. And so when you perform one of the Dixon Magic routines, like Maweege or CHZ, it helps to make the interaction pothole tolerant.
Here’s a technique to deal with one of those potholes.
Sometimes people interrupt your show with remarks and those remarks are funny
Sadly, this will often encourage them to say something else later in the show that is not funny. With this in mind, I give you …
The Kobyashi Maru1 technique.
Audience member says something funny.
You: “Now that’s the way to heckle. It added to the show. Thank you. (Though this states the obvious, the observation and particularly the “thank you” will get a laugh.) But let me caution you. Your success may prompt you to comment aloud again and that comment may not be funny, creating …the awkward pause.” (See previous parenthetical insertion.)
One of two things can happen if the spectator comments again.
One, the second comment is funny. Everyone wins, as your show just got a bonus funny moment.
Two, the second comment is obviously not funny. Then all you have to do is look at the audience and shrug with a “see what I mean” expression. Now the audience laughs, resulting in another funny moment. Either way, everybody wins.
It’s important to remember, this technique, at least when I’ve done it, does not come off as mean. Rather, it’s perceived as playful teasing. I don’t use it that often, maybe once every two to three years, but it’s nice tool to have in comedy toolbox.
PS Now that you are ready with the power of Kobyashi Maru, keep it next to these routines and you’re double ready.
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1 It’s a Star Trek reference. Google is your friend.