LOCAL NEWS

Comedian confronted with racist comments ‘kills it’ with kindness

Apr 10, 2018, 7:49 PM | Updated: 9:56 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – It’s a given that if you do standup comedy you will run into hecklers, but Jay Whittaker said that rarely ever comes with racist comments.

Whittaker said the night the incident hat Wiseguys Comedy Club started out like any other.

“There was a party of four. There was one woman who had way too much to drink,” he said.

“My parents always taught me to kill with kindness, and slaughter with sarcasm.”

Whittaker was on stage Saturday night and nearing the end of his hour-long set.

Comedian Jay Whittaker

“I’d just finished telling a joke about my son – he’s 10 – and how he wants to be an engineer when he grows up,” said Whitaker.

The moment suddenly and inexplicably escalated when the woman yelled out at him

“White power,” is what she yelled out.

Whitaker stopped his routine to speak with the woman.

“Did you just yell ‘white power at me?'” he said.

It was something he addressed only briefly before moving on.

“My parents always taught me to kill with kindness, and slaughter with sarcasm,” he said.

And that’s what he did.

“What else do you do in that situation?” he said. “She can enjoy the rest of the show, but she don’t need to drink any more if she’s just yelling out ‘white power,’” he said.

As a comedian of many years, he chose to de-escalate the situation.

“Granted, she’s not my favorite person, but I do want to keep people safe,” he said.

He said Tuesday he has been bombarded with comments and support since the incident. He said he’s seen more support than anything negative.

Whittaker wanted to point out that none of this was the fault of the folks at Wiseguys. He said they’ve treated him well over the years, and he hopes to keep working with them.

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