New York City cult comedy hero Big Jay Oakerson was dragged off the stage by a furious fan Thursday night, Page Six has learned — setting off a melee, as fans and fellow comics leapt in to help Oakerson.
Joel Richardson, who owns Philly-area comedy club Soul Joel’s, tells us that a woman had been heckling stand-ups all evening, and when headliner Oakerson went on stage, Richardson told him give the nod if he wanted her booted. Oakerson declined, Richardson told us, and said that he’d use the belligerent guest in his act instead.
But when she continued to disrupt the show to the point that Oakerson — who’s appeared on “Crashing” and “Louie” — couldn’t do his act, he called on Richardson to get her out of there, just minutes before the end of his set.
Richardson says that as he was escorting the woman — plus her husband, her mother, mother-in-law and brother — out of the show, the audience began to cheer.
The ovation seemed to set off her brother, who rushed the stage — which was elevated around four or five feet off the ground — grabbed Oakerson by the left leg and yanked him to the violently to the floor in front of the stage.
Meanwhile, comic Luis J. Gomez — who hosts the “Legion of Skanks” podcast with Oakerson — charged from the back of the stage, and leapt onto Oakerson and his alleged attacker as they were “fighting back and forth” on the floor.
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Richardson tells us that fans piled in to help the comics, while club staff called the cops.
“I guess the guy was trying to defend his sister’s honor,” Richardson said, “Although if you met her, I’m not sure how much honor there was to defend.”
“Jay couldn’t have handled it any better,” Richardson told us.
The guest was arrested, and has been banned from the venue for life by Richardson, who tells us that in 14 years in the business, he’s never witnessed a similar incident. Cops in Royesford, about thirty miles northwest of Philadelphia, didn’t immediately respond to our calls.
A rep for Oakerson also didn’t get back to us right away, but Oakerson addressed the incident on Instagram Live. He didn’t explain what had happened earlier in the evening, but said, “It was a crazy night. I’m OK. Everything’s fine. The other guy is in a lot of pain and in jail.”
Meanwhile, a Twitter user who goes by Derek Call, who claimed to have been at the show, posted, “I am willing to testify in court that Jay did his best to deescalate the situation and he said nothing to the man who attacked him.”
The show was the 14th night of a 17-night socially distanced comedy festival hosted at Soul Joel’s. Each of the 17 nights represented one week that the club was closed during lockdown.