Baseball has unwritten rules. Dating has unwritten rules. Even daily life, with so many participants, has unwritten rules.
Comedy also has unwritten rules. Rules for comics and rules for the audience. Certain things comics and crowds just don’t do because it’s poor form. One of the unwritten rules — and in some places it’s a written rule that gets read on an intercom prior to the performance and even gets printed on the ticket — is that people shouldn’t record the performance. For personal purposes or otherwise.
There are countless reasons to not video performances on your phone but here’s probably the best reason — because shit like this can happen. Chris Rock can show up and you fucking blow it for everyone.
Chris Rock showed up unannounced at a Whiplash standup show in New York. Rock started doing new material, some twatface in the crowd started recording, and Rock bolted the place. A couple people ruined what could have been an amazing night just to upload a Chris Rock video on Reddit.
Aparna Nancherla, the host of Whiplash, sets the scene and explains why Chris Rock left on her website.
“So last night, something magical happened, as often happens at long-running, hot New York underground comedy shows. A special guest drops by unannounced! And it was a real crazy surprise! It was Chris Rock. I! Was! So! Excited! For! The! Crowd! To! Experience! Such! A! Treat!
I brought Chris up to a few open mic credits, etc. and obviously, everyone was ecstatic and it felt very cool and on-message with what live performance is about. (ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN!) Then I went back around to watch him. He mentions that he’s there to work out stuff and then gets into one of his first bits. He gets out the setup and then suddenly addresses someone in the audience to put away their phone, because he can see them taping. Oh. No.
It gets worse. He goes back to start his joke again, momentarily thrown off, as he’s just there working on stuff. And then notices ANOTHER person taping him, a guy in the front row. It seems like the guy starts arguing with him a little, and then Chris gets fed up and walks offstage, barely over a minute or two after he got there. I guess as any successful multimillionaire artist might when they’re just trying to work on their craft and not have to be some show pony trotted out for the public’s consumption. It was heartbreaking. The stage is empty.”
Jesus Christ. The dude is there FOR FREE. You’re seeing Chris Rock for literally nothing and you screw it up. I hate people.
Don’t record at a Chris Rock performance, or any live performance for that matter, unless it’s specifically stated that it’s cool to do so.
This is why we can’t have nice things.