Tearing The Veil Of The Maya 4th Anniversary – 8.1.10

When I saw the bill for the 4th Anniversary of Eugene Mirman’s comedy show Tearing the Veil of the Maya I knew I had to be there. When I first moved to NYC I was at underground comedy shows like Tearing the Veil two or three times a week. I hung out at comedy parties and I knew most of the down town comics.  When I saw the bill for the show at the Bell House I realized I used to hang out with every person on the line up except for the Daily Show’s Wyatt Cenac who is fucking hilarious. I knew it would be a good show and a good chance to see old friends.

I had no intention of shooting the show but I happened to have my telephoto lens on me from an earlier shoot so I pulled it out and took about two photos of each comic. I wasn’t really thinking about doing a post about it but I figured I could maybe put a few shots on my Tumblr or something. It was really too dark to shoot anything. The show started out with AD Miles and Leo Allen just completely killing it. Miles told a story about how his wife busted a robber who broke into their home and Leo did a slide show that explained that dogs were funnier than cats, and vomit is funnier than diarrhea. It was joyful. Wyatt Cenac came on next and was fucking great. I had only seen him once before and I am a pretty big fan so it was great to see him get into it. But right after Wyatt finished the night took a weird turn.

A special guest was introduced. It was Gibby Haynes from the Butthole Surfers. I was pretty excited. This guy has made a career out of doing crazy shit (plus making awesome music) and I was pretty excited to see what he would do.  He came out and did some jokes about child rape and just horrifying shit like that. And people were less horrified than they were confused. Pretty soon it was clear that him telling these jokes was the actual joke.  He then introduced himself and explained that he had been doing cover jokes, like he was a cover band and then he proceeded to do his actual set. It was pretty clear that Gibby Hanes is not a comedian, but he is a showman and as he offended more and more people with his poorly timed totally offensive jokes people actually started laughing and when he pulled out a little plastic doll leg from his bag he almost had the crowd on his side… A least until he referred to it as a “negro leg”. He said “negro leg” about 10 times before some girl in the audience yelled “stop saying negro!” and then “you aren’t funny!” He got on her case and started yelling offensive stuff at her.  The crowd reaction was mixed. It got the biggest laughs but people also started yelling shit out at him in her defense.  At some point he asked to be booed off the stage which he may have been going for to begin with, but people wouldn’t do it and so he told the crowd he had one more thing for them.  He reached in to his bag and was about to pull something out when the girl who started the whole thing jumped on stage and tried to grab the mic from him.  When Eugene Mirman ran on stage to stop her she turned to head back to her seat which is when Gibby shot her in the back of the head with the confetti cannon he was trying to pull out of his bag. He had probably meant to spray the audience, but it was perfect kismet that the the climax of his act just happened to be the perfect weapon.  The crowd was pretty much silent as he walked off stage, but as Eugene Mirman tried to calm down the crowd people started to realize what we had just seen and everyone just started uncontrollably laughing.  I was pretty much crying. The whole thing was so fucked up and so funny and so brilliant. I was almost  hoping the girl was a plant because that would have been some real Andy Kaufman shit right there… Either way it was life changing.

Eugene finally settled the crowd down and the love-of-my-life Kristen Schaal read Taint Monologues from her new Sexy Book Of Sexy Sex. She was amazing and it really got the crowd back into it immediately. Then Todd Barry performed and there are few comedians as good at just talking about what just happened as Todd.  Todd’s material is great but when he is just ranting at the audience and making shit up he is brilliant. Gibby gave him so much material and he fucking killed it. It was the perfect ending to easily one of the best comedy shows top to bottom I have ever seen. And I have seen a lot of comedy shows…

Like I said I barely took any photos and most of them sucked, but I needed to tell this story and there are a few okay images of some really fucking funny people. So you should click here to see all the photos from the 4th Anniversary of Tearing The Veil Of The Maya at The Bell House.

Gibby Haynes At The Bell House

AD Miles @ The Bell House

Kristen Schaal @ The Bell House

Wyatt Cenac @ The Bell House

Todd Barry @ The Bell House

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Comments (12)


  1. Anonymous
    August 3rd, 2010 | 9:01 pm

    No real heckler has that nice of a body.

  2. I was there too
    August 4th, 2010 | 7:14 pm

    You forgot to mention that the straw that broke the heckler’s back was when Gibby called her an evil cunt bitch for booing him. What would have been a better response from him would to be crack a joke at her expense but he already wasted 10 minutes of everyone’s time proving to be incapable of that. Can’t really blame her for charging the stage after being called a cunt.

  3. August 4th, 2010 | 9:00 pm

    If you go to a comedy show and heckle anyone, even if they are terrible and offensive, you deserve what you get. No one should ever run on stage to disrupt a show like that. I actually thought he was bizarrely entertaining throughout his set, but the end was clearly the greatest thing I have ever seen.

    Also watch the beginning of this to see Louis CK’s take on the heckler/calling a girl a cunt conversation. I think he knows whats up:

  4. August 6th, 2010 | 3:07 pm

    As the girl who jumped the stage (I’m a real heckler, but thanks for the props about my body; I work hard for it) and as a performer, I disagree that no one should “ever run on stage to disrupt a show.” Mainly what offended me was his cockiness and his lack of preparation. Performing is sacred and I felt that his mentality was, “I’m the lead singer of the Butthole Surfers. I’m friends with Eugene. I can do what I want.” That kind of mentality is disrespectful to fellow performers and to the audience. I got a lot of positive feedback from my fellow spectators and I stand by what I did, even if it was mostly fueled by alcohol.

    Also, you kind of contradict yourself by writing that “the end was clearly the greatest thing” you have ever seen.

    Here’s to breaking the rules and thanks for taking pictures.

  5. August 7th, 2010 | 1:36 pm

    So you are saying its okay to jump on stage because he was badly prepared and cocky? That is insane.

  6. Anonymous
    August 8th, 2010 | 3:44 pm

    Tina: You are out of your mind. It is always, always wrong for an audience member to charge the stage uninvited – Who are you? You could have a knife, you could have mace, you could have brass knuckles – the moment you charge the stage you are an immediate and very real threat. What you did, and how you acted was shameful. I also walked out of the show a handful of people behind you and I saw some people come up to compliment you – those people made me sick. As did your hanging out in the lobby area waiting for your recognition. Absolutely disgusting. But despite those few audience members who complimented you aftterwards, do not believe for a moment that most of the audience was ‘on your side’. They weren’t. Of the 10 people or so who said nice things to you, notice the hundreds who walked past you. Those were the majority. And they were as disgusted with your behavior as I was. If you want to be on stage, develop an act, book a room and perform – until then, stay the hell in your seat.

    As for the people to blame – there were a few…
    1. Eugene shouldn’t have booked Gibby, unless it was to play a song. If he wants to be a comic, let him get a few open mics under his belt first – he was clearly over his head when it came to dealing with a heckler. Todd Barry dealing with the ‘speak up’ woman is a lesson to Gibby.
    2. Gibby – He should never have let it get as far as he did. Should have left the stage when he realized he couldn’t handle the crowd.
    3. Tina – This goes without saying… How dare you. If you aren’t ashamed of yourself, you should be.
    4. The Bell House – this is maybe most important. There are a few clubs with rules about heckling – a famous NYC club allows one heckle, a warning, and then a toss. It was the clubs duty to throw you the hell out. Even if they allowed you to heckle, the second you left your seat you became a danger to everyone else in that room. The fact that they allowed you to stay for the rest of the show is almost as disgusting as your actions.

    Tina – you are pitiful. I sincerely hope I’m never again at a show where you are an audience member. You are the most disgusting type of person I can think of. You did not do what you did out of some moral outrage, you did it because you’re an attention whore, and the ugliest kind of person.

  7. August 8th, 2010 | 5:56 pm

    My only argument is that no one is to blame… because it was fucking awesome.

  8. Anonymous
    August 10th, 2010 | 10:11 pm

    Igor, I appreciate that it’s your blog and thanks for posting about it, but it wasn’t awesome. It was pitiful.

  9. August 10th, 2010 | 10:20 pm

    They said the same thing about this…


  10. Anonymous
    August 11th, 2010 | 3:23 pm

    So you believe that ‘Tina’ was staged and actually a part of Gibby’s act? I don’t.

  11. August 12th, 2010 | 4:24 am

    No, but he still evoked some crazy reactions and created something we are still talking about.

  12. adrienne
    October 8th, 2010 | 1:38 pm

    I was at that show and thought it was awesome, until Tina had her Kanye moment. Totally inappropriate. Tina, just because you didn’t like the set, some of us did. Who do you think you are? What would you do if someone rushed the stage while you were performing?
    And to say Gibby was unprepared, how do you know? I think the whole point of what he did was to shock and make you feel uncomfortable. Gibby has done comedy before, he told me after the show at The Bell House that he’s done it a few times and does a different schtick everytime. I saw him at UCB a couple of years ago where he had Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler doubled over laughing telling stories that were hilarious. But, what do they know about comedy?

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