James Acaster: Hecklers Welcome Tour @ Moore Theatre

Comedy’s anti-Ricky Gervais 🎤

📸: James Acaster

Wednesday, November 2 • 8 pm

James Acaster originally wanted to be a drummer, but instead of becoming the butt of many mediocre jokes, he became a dispenser of many absurd, unique ones. In early appearances in the mid-2010s, the skinny, baby-faced comic from Kettering, England, would walk on stage and after the applause faded, open with a demure “Thanks,” hinting at the casually conveyed, unconventional observations to come. He had bits about nights out with the lads in which he’d point out the proper way to ogle asses in clubs (solo, not in packs with your mates) and offered a cogent analysis of why lovers giving each other massages is a mistake.

Now 37 and flexing a more high-energy delivery, Acaster has become the comedy world’s anti-Ricky Gervais. James has mastered the noble art of punching up, most famously with a sarcasm-soaked putdown of transphobes that goes viral on social media whenever Gervais, Dave Chappelle, or other big comedians attack them. Acaster is also one of the few stand-ups who can riff on preferred pronouns and make you laugh instead of cringe.

In 2019, he quit social media and then wrote a parody self-help book titled James Acaster’s Guide To Quitting Social Media: Being The Best YOU You Can Be And Saving Yourself From Loneliness, Vol 1. This “Hecklers Welcome Tour” allows reply guys to have a go at Acaster and for him to display whip-smart humor at the expense of audience members with overinflated ideas of their own funniness. Dare you become a wicked punch line?

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Dave Segal

Dave Segal

Dave Segal is a freelance music writer for The Wire, Pitchfork, Aquarium Drunkard, and other publications. He formerly served as staff writer at The Stranger and as managing editor at Alternative Press. Find him on Twitter @editaurus