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George Lopez Spars With A California Casino Over Hecklers

By Andrew Sanford | Celebrity | June 10, 2024 |

By Andrew Sanford | Celebrity | June 10, 2024 |


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Hecklers are the worst. They’re often drunk, obnoxious, self-centered, or some combination of the three. They are (debatably) worse than people who talk or use their phones in a movie theater. There are ways around it in a movie theater. Anya Taylor Joy won’t stop being Furiosa because of some jerk who needs to check their Instagram. The comedian performing is one of the only lines of defense at a comedy show.

Some comedians are adept at dispatching hecklers. You’ll see this in some crowd-work clips (more on that in a bit). They can take an audience member who has decided to interrupt the show and eviscerate them. Other comedians would rather have security or the venue where they’re performing take care of the issue. Some venues are hesitant to remove hecklers because they value selling a few more Michelob Ultras than taking care of their performers. Discharging hecklers can be difficult even if a comedian has their own security, as George Lopez recently learned.

The seasoned comedian was performing at the Eagle Mountain Casino in Porterville, California. He had been performing as usual and ended his set 30 minutes early. His representatives told TMZ, “It’s the venue or casino’s job to provide a good experience for both the artist and the fans, but the casino failed in this regard. The audience was overserved and unruly, and the casino staff was unable to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for the artist and guests.”

They continued blaming the casino, saying, “George’s personal security team worked with the venue security staff to maintain order, ensure safety, and eject disruptive individuals. Unfortunately, the casino security team was not adequate to accomplish this task. George is not obligated to perform in an unsafe environment. He feels badly that those who came to see the show were unable to do so as a result.”

Hecklers aren’t new. There have always been obnoxious people. Regardless, it does seem that these stories are more prevalent post-lockdown. It’s a mix of people forgetting how to act and venues not wanting to lose out on business. Both are bad excuses, but that feels like what’s driving things. It also explains why the Eagle Mountain Casino took to Facebook to blame the comedian.

“Tonight George Lopez let down his fans and sold out audience by walking out and ending his show 30 minutes early,” they said in the statement. They also claimed that Lopez’s security team could have “easily escorted any hecklers out.” Lopez’s security team is there to keep him safe. Could that include getting rid of a heckler? Yes, if they’re trying to threaten him physically. If they are just being loud, drunk, and disrupting the show, that is on the venue to handle.

This is an example of a business trying to skirt their responsibilities. If people were disruptive, the casino should have removed them, even if it meant they wouldn’t dump any more coins into a slot machine. They have security for a reason, and they should have been equipped to handle the situation. To be clear, this is not an indictment of the casino staff, either. A fish rots from the head down.