Comedy

Houston's Slade Ham: How to Start a Bar Fight in a Comedy Club

Comedian Slade Ham has a complicated relationship with hecklers. He hates that they interrupt his stand-up act; he loves shutting them up when they do. Ham, who spends 200 days out of the year on the road, is a Houstonian; he frequently entertains the troops overseas. He found that while there aren't many hecklers in a military crowd, there are some other things to look out for.

"The troops actually make for the best audiences in the world," Ham tells us. "They are, especially in some more remote deployments, so starved for entertainment that you couldn't possibly fail. It can be distracting when an IED goes off somewhere outside the base walls, though, and you still have to perform. That happened in Sadr City in Iraq while [a] comic was onstage. She -- the comic -- froze, like you should when a bomb goes off, I suppose."

Ham and the other members of the show also froze. "My friend Sam looked at me and said, 'What was that?' One of the soldiers leaned back to me and [said], 'Relax. It wasn't close enough to matter.' Those guys are animals."

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Olivia Flores Alvarez