“Heckle U” with Owen Benjamin and Kirk Fox

CBS has debuted its online series, Heckle U, as the first night of March Madness opens. The series stars stand-ups Owen Benjamin and Kirk Fox as the kings of heckling. Benjamin's character, Chance, acknowledges that he "was raised by a dive bar." He met Darrell (Fox) in basketball tryouts in the seventh grade. Purple Nurples! Follow this documentary look at the fellas throughout the tournament.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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3 thoughts on ““Heckle U” with Owen Benjamin and Kirk Fox

  1. My knee-jerk reaction to this show is to be upset, as it perpetuates the idea that heckling is a good thing…but I shouldn’t be such a baby about things like that.
    However, I DO have an odd connective story here–I hope Owen doesn’t mind me sharing it.
    I was producing a indy-comedy show here in Seattle a couple of years ago in a non-traditional venue. This was before the alt-comedy scene in Seattle really took off, but the show had some promise to it. The idea was that our show was actually a live variety tv show, and our audience was the “studio” audience.
    Well, on one particular week, we were having our show filmed for a local tv channel–so, we were pretending to be a live tv show but we were actually being filmed to be on tv…
    Unfortunately for us, we had one of our lowest audience turn-outs that night in the course of our 31-week run…which made filming a bit awkward…but we were making the best of it, hoping that a good tape and the publicity from getting on tv would help out in the long run.
    We liked to make room for visiting comics–and on this night, Owen Benjamin was in Seattle and I was asked to give him a few minutes on our show…which I was happy to do and Owen was certainly funny in his short set.
    However, he did have a joke about being tall that was very similar to the opening joke of a funny Seattle comic (Lizzy Pilcher) who was also on the show that night. It wasn’t the same joke, but it was the same structure–and I think we all know THAT happens from time to time…no big deal.
    Well, when Lizzy came up…she said “Like Owen was saying earlier, it’s tough being tall…” and she went into HER opening joke…
    All of a sudden Owen, who was standing at the bar, starts yelling at Lizzy who is on stage. Evidently, he thought Lizzy was taking a shot at him, as he’d never seen Lizzy’s act and didn’t recognize she was just connecting similar jokes.
    Now, because of our show’s concept–we didn’t allow heckling of any kind during our show…and we’d trained our audience not to shout stupid stuff at the stage–so here we were, on a night we were filming our show, having a comedian in the crowd and the comedian on stage engaged in a shouting match.
    It threw poor Lizzy completely off her game and I remember how I quickly tried to explain to Owen both what Lizzy had meant and how what he was doing was really messing things up…as he kept saying that he was obligated not to just stand there and take shots from somebody on stage without hitting back…
    The tv station folks did the best job they could to edit something watchable from what was not one of our better shows…but poor Lizzy…her set was completely edited out of the show.
    The editor called me up, apologetic, saying “We tried everything we could but after that that guy did to that poor girl, there was nothing we could do to get her in there…”
    Unfortunate circumstances…but these things happen in comedy show production. I hadn’t thought about this in quite sometime–until these news stories started coming out about Christina Ricci’s engagement to Owen.
    I sent Lizzy a link to one of the engagement stories and she couldn’t believe it. Such a small world…(well, for Christina Ricci at least.)
    I’m not sure I even want to send Lizzy this link to a web-series that suggests that Owen is playing the “King of Heckling.”

  2. Well, on one particular week, we were having our show filmed for a local tv channel–so, we were pretending to be a live tv show but we were actually being filmed to be on tv… very interesting my friend!

  3. Hello there, I’m having problems viewing your blog on my iPhone, the comment form isn’t showing properly for me. (Just thought you might want to know, I’m typing this from my laptop.)

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