Heckler Throws Full Beer Can At Stand-Up Comic Ariel Elias, And Her “Flawless” Reaction Moves Jimmy Kimmel To Book Her On His Show

Stand-up comics have been targeted frequently onstage by out-of-control audience members in the months since Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars. The latest incident came this weekend, when comedian Ariel Elias found herself quite literally under fire onstage in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ.

Elias was doing a Q&A with audience members as a part of her act when a woman in the audience asked, “Did you vote for Donald Trump?”

After trying to deflect, the comedian joked, “Why would you ask me that question when you know I’m the only Jew in the room? Are you trying to get me killed?”

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The woman went back at her.

“I can tell by your jokes that you voted for Biden,” she said.

That led Elias to take (the verbal) gloves off.

“I can tell by the fact that you’re still talking when nobody wants you to that you voted for Trump,” the comedian replied to big cheers from the audience.

Just a few seconds later, a beer can sailed across the room and splattered against the wall behind Elias, whose jaw dropped. It was what she did next that has big-name comedians and others calling her a “hero” and “a class act.”

Jimmy Kimmel later said online he’d let Elias make her late-night debut on his show — Deadline confirmed Monday with a spokesperson for Jimmy Kimmel Live! that producers are in touch and looking to find a date for her.

“As soon as I picked up the beer and felt liquid still in it,” Elias told Newsweek today, “I knew to chug it. It felt like the only way to recover. Also suddenly I really needed a drink, so it really worked out.”

The Jersey crowd cheered, and since then Kimmel, Whitney Cummings, Patton Oswalt, Jim Gaffigan and many others have joined in. See their tweets below.

The club’s owner said that it wasn’t the woman who had thrown the beer, but her husband, who then valiantly fled the scene.

“The club is pressing charges against him,” said the comedian. “I’m not, because in order to do that, I would have to return to Point Pleasant Beach, and I’m not doing that unless someone pays me to.”

Comedians across the country expressed concern about copycats almost immediately after the Oscars slap heard round the world.

“Now we all have to worry about who wants to be the next Will Smith in comedy clubs and theaters,” said comedian Kathy Griffin two days after Smith’s public assault on Rock.

The intervening months have proved Griffin’s prescience as Dave Chappelle was physically assaulted at the Hollywood Bowl, T.I. stormed the stage in Atlanta and grabbed the mic away from a comedian poking fun at him, and standup comic Sampson McCormick was slugged by an audience member during his show at the Win-River Resort & Casino in Redding.

Asked specifically whether she felt her incident was a result of the Oscars slap, Elias demurred, “No. I don’t think the reason people in this country are on edge and prone to violence has anything to do with one celebrity slapping another celebrity during an awards show that almost nobody watched. Just like Trump is a symptom, so too was ‘the slap.’ We as a society are so deeply traumatized, from mass shootings to Covid to climate disasters, and we have very little access to mental health. We bury this stuff and then act on impulse, and we look for the easy answer for why violence happens when it’s so much messier than that.”

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