Comedians applaud Ariel Elias's expert handling of a MAGA heckler – Entertainment Weekly News

Hecklers are one of the hazards of being a stand-up comedian but heckling becomes plain old assault when there's an unopened can of beer involved.
Ariel Elias, a self-described Kentucky Jew, was performing a set at Uncle Vinnie's Comedy Club in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. when she opened the floor to some audience questions. Big mistake.
One particular audience member seemed abnormally fixated on who Elias had voted for — apropos of nothing. Elias wasn't doing political material (and it's 2022), but this heckler wanted the comedian to know that she knew who Elias voted for just based on her material.
"I could just tell from your jokes that you voted for Biden," the heckler slurred, which, admittedly, is a pretty sick burn. Not like a third-degree, maybe half of a first, but still, there's a burn somewhere in there.
"I can tell by the fact that you're still talking when nobody wants you to that you voted for Trump," Elias responds, without missing a beat.
More words are exchanged and Elias moved on with her set, but the heckler wasn't quite done being the worst when a can of beer comes hurtling across the room, hitting the wall behind Elias.
"When a comic is talking to an audience member, like jokingly, we don't say anything, we let it go," Dino Ibelli, owner of Uncle Vinnie's tells EW. "And then Ariel went on to the next part and then that customer actually reiterated again, that's when I went up to [the customer], like, 'Listen, it's not about you anymore. You had your 10 minutes, you're good.' As I said that, she walks out the door.
He continues, "Her husband, who was sitting at the back of the next table, swings a beer can against a wall. It's only about 15, 16 feet away, but it happened so quickly. We heard a pop and we thought someone popped a bottle of champagne. And then as we noticed what happened, he was already running out the door. So we contacted the local authorities and everything, [filed] a police report, and we figured out the guy's name and where he lived."
Displaying the kind of comedic timing usually reserved for Emmy-winning sitcoms, Elias picked up the can, chugged it, and went on with her business.
"Ariel did a phenomenal, phenomenal job. For her being here only the second time, she did amazing. What a perfect 'screw you' when she opens the beer and drinks it. She did a great job and I apologized up and down," Ibelli says, noting that Uncle Vinnie's has been around for 19 years and "never had an incident like that happen before."
Ibelli went on to say that it's up to Elias to press charges if she wants to, but as a club, Uncle Vinnie's can only cite "criminal mischief on our end because nothing was really done to us as a club. And we can have a trespassing charge on him so he can't come to the club anymore."
Several comedians were also seriously impressed by Elias' handling of the heckler, including Patton Oswalt, Jim Gaffigan, Whitney Cummings, and Judd Apatow.
"Ariel wasn't even doing political material," Oswalt tweeted. "The drunk heckler was craving what every MAGAt craves — grievance and revenge. And they'll alter the reality before their eyes to get it. 'You SOUND like you voted for Biden.'"
"Umm…SO MANY things to say about this but the big take away is that @ariel_Comedy is super funny and total class," tweeted Gaffigan.
No less than George Takei called Elias a "hero among us."
"For all y'all who want to make fun of comics for saying we didn't sign up to be physically attacked and put on a pedestal, take a peekie poo. @Ariel_Comedy you're a class act," Cummings chimed in.
"Jesus. You, @Ariel_Comedy, are a goddess," Valerie Bertinelli added. "I'm so glad you weren't physically hurt."
"The republican fear of information and debate. Followed by a cowardly exit. America in microcosm at a comedy club," Apatow tweeted. "Well handled by Ariel who is clearly funny and strong and knows what she's doing out there."
Elias had not responded to EW's request for comment at time of publication.
Ibelli, however, is eager to have the comedian back. "I hope she wants to come back!" he says, adding that she's scheduled for another show in April.
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