The Green Fiancee and I headed to the DC Improv recently to see the standup act of John Oliver, a correspondent for The Daily Show.
About halfway through his set, Oliver noticed a man in the front row of tables was texting. Oliver began giving him some good-natured ribbing. But rather than owning up to his faux pas and having a laugh about it, the man told Oliver to buzz off and continued texting.
If there's any way to earn yourself more insults from a comic, it's to act annoyed by his insults. Oliver had the audience in stitches as the man fumed.
Oliver moved on, but a few minutes later, Oliver stopped in the middle of a joke -- texting man was at it again. But this time, he wasn't having any of Oliver digs -- the man and the woman he was with got up and stormed out.
Texting man and his companion had been with another couple, and Oliver apologized to them if he'd caused any trouble. Oliver expressed amazement someone with absolutely no interest in his comedy would bother coming to the show. The couple said they'd bought the tickets and invited the other two.
"What does he do for a living?" Oliver asked.
"He's a lobbyist," the woman replied, "for the American Petroleum Institute."
It must've taken a solid two minutes for the audience's laughter to die down.
"Ninety-five percent of me enjoyed giving him a hard time, but five percent had felt a little guilty," Oliver said. "Not anymore."