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As a trendy place to move or live, Boise basks in constant positive publicity.
But here’s a different type of national attention — the cringey kind.
On June 24, touring comedian Steve Hofstetter posted an entertaining, profanity-laced video on YouTube titled “9 Hecklers Get Thrown Out.” Quickly, this uncomfortable clip racked up more than 260,000 views. Hofstetter has more than 130 million views, in part because he highlights clashes with obnoxious audience members.
Unfortunately, the unruly crowd in this case was located in Downtown Boise. Hofstetter performed April 25-28 at Liquid Laughs, 405 S. 8th St.
“Five out of six Boise shows were fantastic,” Hofstetter says as the video begins.
But the other? “One of the toughest shows I’ve ever had.”
Watch highlights below, and be warned: There’s profanity.
“The problem,” Hofstetter explains, “was that it wasn’t just one table. It was four. Four separate parties of people who would not shut up. It was hard to even figure out where it was all coming from.”
Opening act Andrew Rivers had attempted to “power through.” (Rivers commented under the YouTube video, too: “Holy Smokes. I forgot about that show. Haha. What a nightmare.”)
By the time Hofstetter took the stage, he had seen enough.
“I’m going to start this show in a way I’ve never had to start a show before,” Hofstetter told the audience. “You are ruining it for other people.”
“If it happens again, one time, you are ****in’ gone. Because I want to do the best show I possibly can for the folks who actually give a ****.”
Jeremy Aevermann, co-owner of Liquid Laughs, says hecklers are more common during late-night shows.
“I am pretty sure this was Steve’s late show Friday night,” Aevermann says. “Sometimes late shows can get off the rails, due to people drinking too much before and while getting here.”
Watching a talented stand-up comedian eviscerate a heckler can be hilarious. Hofstetter has plenty of experience.
“Steve is kind of famous for his heckler handling; it is kind of what he does,” Aevermann says. “... I am pretty sure that is why the bouncers had not already thrown the majority of those people out. They probably wanted to see how Steve handled them.”
Either way, mouthy audience members usually aren’t as funny as they think they are.
And they certainly aren’t a great look for Boise. Or for Eagle, which Hofstetter jokingly mentions in the video, too.
That said, nine bad apples will not keep him away.
“I don’t take this as a reflection of Idaho or Boise at all,” Hofstetter commented below this article on my Idaho Statesman Facebook page. “In fact, I’m already booked back for 2020.”