March 9, 2012 10:53 PM   Subscribe

Help me compile a list of politically correct pejorative insults. [trigger warning: some examples of undesirable insults]

Background: I have a halfassed ambition to become a stand up comedian. I think I've compiled some good material although I don't have any contingency plan for hecklers. I've been watching heckling videos on YouTube to see if I can observe any good techniques. The most common method I've seen is to assume the heckler is drunk and then riff on that. But the riffing almost always involves some slur like "whore" or "retard", and it always makes me cringe. I realize that certain words like "cunt" or "bitch" have phonetic qualities that make them very effective insults, but I realize that their use hurts an entire class of people, not just the heckler. So I'd like to know of any effective alternatives that might still engage a comedy club audience.

I would like to avoid anything remotely ableist, ageist, racist, sexist etc. including antiquated terms like "harlot" or "cretin".

A few that I've come up with so far:

Fuck wit

It's a very short list, and would like to know if any of my fellow progressive MeFites have any such words in their daily vernacular that they might like to share.
posted by triceryclops to Society & Culture (26 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
A gentleman and a scholar!
posted by The ____ of Justice at 10:55 PM on March 9, 2012 [6 favorites]

My favorite is fuckknuckle.
posted by That's Numberwang! at 11:13 PM on March 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

posted by spaceman_spiff at 11:19 PM on March 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ass-armpit. (I think I invented that one, but it's effective, and I'll let you use it.)

My husband uses "mollusc" as an insult, but not everyone realises they are being insulted, so it's maybe not ideal in this situation.

posted by lollusc at 11:19 PM on March 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Asshat is always good.
posted by SisterHavana at 11:19 PM on March 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

You might get some ideas from this classic.

Kumquat is another wonderful one.
posted by kindall at 11:21 PM on March 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

You're going at this the wrong way. Aggressive put-downs invite retaliation, which means you've lost control of the situation. You need to isolate and control the heckler in a manner where it's not you vs. the heckler, but the ROOM vs. the heckler.

"Whoo, it's the secretary on a bender! Quick, someone throw her some beads."

"I'm sorry, is your mike not on? No, wait. It's not the mike. It's that nobody cares. Nobody cares about you. Tomorrow, when you're back to selling insurance, then someone will care."

"Whoa, whoa! Hold up there, sunshine! I promise the dick jokes are coming up next. Be patient! Let me work out my anxieties here, and then we'll ... How does Larry the Cable Guy say it? Git-r-done?"
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:22 PM on March 9, 2012 [24 favorites]


Eddie Izzard has this thing about how he keeps his comedy positive, so he never makes the cheap joke at someone else's expense.

While many of his stand-ups are crap at times... Dressed To Kill is flawless from beginning to end. Long, but flawless.

Eddie also involves The ROOM and turns it around. I want to believe Bill Hicks did this, too, even though he was much more cynical.

It's possible I just miss Bill Hicks, tho:(

Honestly? I think Dave Chappelle is The Master at this, so you might study him.

Don't have a bunch of insults up your sleeve, that's unfunny.
posted by jbenben at 11:55 PM on March 9, 2012 [6 favorites]

The secretary on a bender thing kind of sucks too, if you're worried about sexism. (Mostly the beads part. Not everyone would mind you putting a heckler in her place, but if I heard that from a male comedian I'd be somewhat put off. It is possible I'm misunderstanding it.)
posted by stoneandstar at 12:16 AM on March 10, 2012 [4 favorites]

I appreciate the advice on how to handle hecklers, but I put emphasis on the pejoratives because that is really the only bit I was having trouble with. All audiences are not created equal so I imagine there has to be some tact in working positioning the room against the heckler.

jbenben: You mention Bill Hicks, which I find a little weird, since his most famous meltdown at the hands of a heckler involved "cunt", "bitch" and "idiot". And you can see he immediately worked that room against her. I mean he just steamrolled her with insults and it got through. Sometimes brute force is necessary it seems. I just wouldn't really be comfortable saying any of those words on stage.
posted by triceryclops at 12:25 AM on March 10, 2012

A former roommate used the phrase "an Algonquin Round Table unto himself" to refer to anyone overly enamored of his own wit.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 12:57 AM on March 10, 2012

[Just a reminder that the OP is looking for politically correct insults, and not general advice or discussion on comedy or comedians. ]
posted by taz (staff) at 2:00 AM on March 10, 2012

I had a science teacher whose favorite thing to call people was "champy", presumably short for "champion". It sounded friendly but was really quite withering. "Oh, nice one there, Champy!"
posted by tomboko at 2:07 AM on March 10, 2012

What, no links to Metafilter Insult Jazz yet?
posted by jozxyqk at 2:22 AM on March 10, 2012 [4 favorites]

On a similar note to tomboko, I've seen this kind of thing work:
Ooh, thanks for that, EINSTEIN. (Or is that physics-ist-ism?)
Nice one, GENIUS.
HECKLER A+ to you sir
I also like "morlock" and "gimp" [or is gimp unPC too?] "Leech" "maggot" "fart-nose" "dipshit"
posted by honey-barbara at 2:23 AM on March 10, 2012

Lately I have been waiting for chances to call people "Buckwheat", like, "Nice job there, Buckwheat!"

However, I'm concerned that people may find this racially offensive.
posted by thelonius at 3:00 AM on March 10, 2012

I'm a big fan of "jerkwaffle".
posted by solotoro at 3:44 AM on March 10, 2012 [3 favorites]

There's always "mouth-breather."
posted by jgirl at 4:52 AM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Martin Luther was a highly skilled at insulting others.
He may be instructive to you here.
posted by Flood at 5:04 AM on March 10, 2012 [2 favorites]

"Usually the performer simply wants to silence the offender so that he can continue with his act. The ideal heckler line leaves the victim feeling so crushed that he is not inclined to continue the dialog...Finally, there are limits to the force of insult that a comedian can use and still remain funny."

Done properly, you don't need anything stronger than asshole. However, "dickwad" and "asswipe" are nothing I'd want to be called, considering what they are and what they imply and that they're similar to shitstain and skidmark. And there's a way of saying "ass" - "aaasssss." that makes it almost like punctuation. I'm also quite fond of "pissant."
posted by peagood at 5:41 AM on March 10, 2012

A gentleman and a scholar
posted by pickypicky at 6:07 AM on March 10, 2012

OOO! in the right room, Nerf Herder!
posted by pickypicky at 6:09 AM on March 10, 2012

And now though, I also thing "textbook Etruscan" might be my new favourite response.

I came back to say that mrgood's ex-wife is/was a stand-up comedienne. At home, when she was, say, "working on her material", he'd respond to her silently, but effectively. She'd make a gourmet dinner for herself and a girlfriend, set the table with their wedding china and ignore him; he'd make himself a shitty cheese sandwich, get out more of the fine china and sit at the table miming being included. She'd order fitness equipment (to get herself in shape for her new boyfriend) and he'd put on ridiculous fitness clothing and use it, exaggerating how hard he was working out, but never saying a word. She'd get dressed to go out with the guy she was cheating with, he'd put on his crappiest clothes and exaggerate drinking a beer and lying on the sofa and scratching his stomach. You could also find ways to point out the heckler, mime something beautifully choreographed and thoroughly obscene, and then proceed with your act.
posted by peagood at 6:11 AM on March 10, 2012

Santorum supporter
posted by Jason and Laszlo at 8:07 AM on March 10, 2012 [4 favorites]

I would stay away from foot-licker; I personally know several lovely people who enjoy feet, and licking them factors in.

What about making up insults? Like, "Ooh, someone's a dry river in need of rain!" I find stuff like that to be particularly hilarious.
posted by shamash at 9:30 AM on March 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

"Hey! Save your breath sport. This isn't a cable special."

Just stop, and stare at the person until the room quiets and it gets uncomfortable...then..."Isn't that a clear violation of step 8 from Douchebags Anonymous?"

"Five bucks says you have a picture of Catherine the Great in your wallet."

"Dude, I'm bummed the TGIFridays closed too but I don't take it out on other people."

"It said right on the bottle, "do not combine with alchohol didn't it? See how you are man?"

"It's amost amazing you got fired from the Perry campaign."

"Three things you're going to have face man; unicorns don't shit Skittles, Gandalf ain't running for President, and you would do very poorly in maximum security."

"You ever get up the mornig and think...................(just look at them for a sec, then jump back in)"

"This is what you do with an Art History degree?"

"What? You get that out of a Kevin Trudeau book?"

"If ths was an old Star Trek, you'd be wearing a red shirt."

"That might have worked if you were better dressed..."

" I guess in some cases, the rule shoud be two drink maximum."

" I don't care what the ad said, you arent going to get any cash back on your Discover card for that one pal."

"Nice...can I ask you a question? Just how long DOES it take to get Cheeto stains off your dick?"

"I used to run into a lot of guys like you. Now I just back over them a coupla times."

"Don't you have an overdue graphic novel you should be returning to the library?"

"Anybody got something shiny they could show him for a coupla minutes...seriously, just jingle your fuckin keys in front of him or something..."

"Make sure to post that on your MySpace page man."

"The biggest loser auditions are next door man."

"I bet you get out of the shower to piss too dont ya?."

"You ever wonder why there was never anyone on the other end of the teeter-totter?"

"You are the reason your 3rd grade teacher went to rehab."

"Give it up man. Debbie Gibson is never going to send you a picture."

"That's one of those things you are going to think about tonight when you get home. OH if I just would have said it like this, or that, I really would have flustered him.

You will start to follow my career whether it goes good or bad, and every time you see my name, it will replay in your head, and you will feel this small failure eat at you.

It will sap your confidence in ways you havent even thought about, in your work and your relationships with others until the only thing you feel confident in talking about are the merits of the seasonal availability of the McRib sandwich.

Next time, leave it to the professionals Lumpy. There's a reason I'm up here, you're down there."
posted by timsteil at 11:36 AM on March 10, 2012 [9 favorites]

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