I spent a decent part of the morning watching videos of standup comedians deal with hecklers, and it was hilarious. These people would talk, whine, and generally be a horrible audience and the comedians would take it in stride and even make their act all the better for it, which is the true sign of an excellent comedian.
But, man, it’s a shitty proposition all around. A lot has been written on the performer/audience contract, so I won’t go over it here, but the thing that drives me the most insane about hecklers is that they not only violate the pact on the part of the audience, but also on the part of the performer. If the performer ignores the heckler, the audience enjoyment is ruined, which may cause further heckling. If one does it, more likely that others will join. But if the performer shuts them down quickly, social pressure causes others to not join.
I’m rambling. Huzzah.