Comedian Tammy Pescatelli was at the Comedy Zone in Jacksonville, Florida and during her standup routine, a drunk female heckler assaulted her onstage. Despite the fact there were many witnesses that saw the heckler assault her, the local police did not arrest her and Pescatelli was outraged! She decided to take matters into her own hands and write a long, detailed statement regarding the incident and her thoughts of the future of comedy.
This incident started off with Pescatelli doing a part in her routine called “What the hell is wrong with YOU!?!” Her statement talked about how it started and eventually escalated quickly!
I had a drunken customer, in the front row, texting on her phone. I said, “What are you doing? Reading a book on your nook?” she said, “No, I’m watching porn!” I said, “Didn’t you hear what I said about the Save-a-Ho project? You have to carry yourself with class and dignity.” The customer retaliated by heckling me with, “Your jeans are cheap and you make fun of your husband!” I then said, “I was trying to be nice to you, I am a professional at this. Your blonde and you were reading a book!” The audience clapped with delight. The drunken woman said, “Ha. I’m not really blonde!” I replied, “Tell us something we don’t know. Did you think you were fooling anyone?” The audience erupted. I then turned to the crowd and called back my bit, “See. Don’t you think “What the hell is Wrong with YOU?!” will be the number one show on television?”
When heckling a comedian, you have to be able to take a burn when trying to give one out. Unfortunately for this drunk female, she couldn’t handle Pescatelli digging into her so she THREW A WINE GLASS AT HER HEAD! Luckily, Pescatelli ducked just in time but had wine go directly in her eye. If anyone has had alcohol go into their eyes, they know that is one of the worst feelings in the world! With wine in her face, she had the heckler removed and continued with her routine for 20 more mintues and came out for an encore to a standing ovation! When asking the audience to stay after if they wanted to give the police an official statement, no one left!
Pescatelli later said in her statement:
Jacksonville Sherriff’s Department told me, after only taking 2 witness statements, one being the club manager, that they could NOT arrest the woman, even though it was battery because the wine hit me, because they didn’t see it. It didn’t matter that an entire audience witnessed that a glass became a weapon. The drunken woman would not be charged with public intoxication nor disorderly conduct. The feeling from the officers was, “these things happen at a comedy club”.
Her luck would later get worse when she decided to try and get some sort of explanation for this assault and the lack of the law handling this drunken heckler. She went to the State Attorney’s office and it was a complete waste. They told her they could do nothing legally with this woman and they didn’t even want to take Pescatelli’s statement. They wrapped things up by telling her, “if I ever come to one of your shows, I won’t text on the phone!”
Pescatelli goes on with her statement, which you can read her full statement HERE. She wraps up by saying, “comedy is or maybe WAS the last bastion of free speech. Who will standup for the standups?”