Heckle put-downs land comic in court

Homophobic tirade 'infringes human rights'

A comedian is facing a human rights tribunal after two lesbians took offence at his heckle put-downs.

Guy Earle has admitted unleashing an offensive tirade of insults at the women after they interrupted his set at an open-mic night. But he denies he is a homophobe, and said he was simply giving as good as he got after the women disrupted the show.

However, one of them, Lorna Pardy, has filed an official complaint over the incident, which took place at an open mic night in Vancouver in May last year.

Earle, 39, says things escalated when the women heckled him, and the other amateur comics on stage that night.

He told Canada’s CBC News: ‘That's my job as the MC in an adversarial, aggressive comedy environment. If somebody heckles me, I want to find the root to what's going to offend them the most, and shut them up. They pissed me off, so I said some rude things.

‘I don't hate anybody based on their sexual orientation, or whatever, but I do hate hecklers and sometimes I get a little vehement.’

Earle has previously described how the women moved to the front of the audience and started ‘making out’ in front of the stage. He told them off for disrespecting the show, and they allegedly replied: ‘Fuck you asshole’

Earle replied with a tirade of derogatory comments: ‘Come on, you're fat and ugly - you're not even lesbian. No guy will fuck you, that’s why you’re with each other. Somebody put a cock in her mouth and shut her up. Which one of you wears the strap-on dildo?’

In her case at the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, Pardy says these were public comments ‘intended to humiliate her’ and says that she was discriminated against because of her gender and sexuality.’

However the comic said: ‘They were drunk, they were being jerks and I was very rude and visceral. I don't care if they're lesbians, heterosexuals, homosexuals or giraffes’

The following week there were picketers outside the restaurant, protesting at his outburst.

Earle said the legal complaint is an attack on comedians' right to perform. ‘I would never have expected it would get escalated to a philosophical battle,’ he said.

He is holding a benefit concert on July 19 in Toronto, where he now lives, to raise money for his legal fees.

Here’s an interview he gave about the case last year:

Published: 27 Jun 2008

Live comedy picks

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.