What happens when the country's most litigious conservative butts political heads with the man who champions pot and prostitution more fervently than a horny frat boy on 4/20? A fistfight in the audience of Boston's theatrical mastodon, The Wang Theatre.
Ann Coulter and Bill Maher came to town last night to inaugurate the theater's 2009 "Speaker Series: The Minds That Move The World,” each flapping their caricatured cake-holes about America's political landscape before engaging in a yawn-fest "debate" that was marred by technical snafus; an awkward, ill-informed moderator; and - what proved to be the most exciting element of the evening - some crazy-ass heckling, courtesy of drunk dipshits. Considering that Coulter spits venom at liberals and that Maher wants to skull-fuck every Republican that crosses his path, one would have expected a balls-out catfight to break out on stage. Instead, Maher and Coulter took predictable potshots at politicians (Coulter facetiously compared Obama to Jesus! Maher thinks Rush Limbaugh is fat and ineffective! Insert canned laughs here!) and each other, and let the audience do the brawling.
It started innocently enough; Maher was in the middle of a long and comedically tired set-up about how Sarah Palin is an Avon lady, and a man in the back of the house screamed something about the "liberal Gestapo," a bizarre choice of insult, given that nobody ever accused Hilter of being a bleeding-heart progressive. The rest of the drunk conservatives in the audience took this as an invitation to scream at Maher whenever they felt so moved, perhaps forgetting that they were watching an informed political event in the theater district, and not a Larry the Cable Guy set at the Chuckle Hut.
What really set it off, though, was when Coulter's lavaliere microphone stopped working. The sound was shitty to begin with, and the set - a few leather armchairs and a giant bouquet of flowers - looked like it'd been airlifted directly off the set of an Oprah spin-off show. (Really, the Wang has absolutely no business hosting a speaker's series, given last night's awkward staging, shoddy production value, and the audio staff's apparent inability to rectify simple sound issues. I digress.)
A man, who'd been previously yelling something unintelligible about Maher and his liberal agenda, started screaming, at Coulter, about how he couldn't hear her. He screamed again and again, until a woman sitting in front of him asked if he'd please quiet down. "Fuck you, bitch!" he bellowed. "I paid $120 for these motherfucking tickets and I can't hear a fucking thing!"
The octogenarian ushers at the Wang couldn't shuffle over there fast enough, so another man stood to defend this woman's honor. Nothing doing! "Motherfucker, I will fuck you up!" screamed the heckler, inciting chest puffing, fist clenching, and scuffling. Our poor theater critic Carolyn Clay was sitting right next to the fracas, bless her heart, and to her credit, she ignored the meatheads and kept watching the stage like the diligent arts pundit that she is.
Hoo boy! Finally, security arrived to escort Drunky McGoo out. Probably a first for the Wang. I doubt anyone's ever had to be thrown out of, say, Cats, for being unruly.
As he made his way out he screamed, "I was in Baghdad for three years! Iraqi freedom NEVER!"
While your service to your country is appreciated, sir, it does NOT give you the right to be a spectacular asshole.
Sadly, this debacle was the highlight of the evening. No matter how inflated Maher's ranting, how nonsensical Coulter's analogies, they both lost the debate. To the audience. Score one for the liberal Gestapo and the conservative buffoons!