Meet the Jewish Comedian Going Viral for Beautifully Handling a Heckler

Ariel Elias displayed some incredible chutzpah at a recent comedy show in New Jersey.

“I’ve had honestly a pretty good year. I got married this year,” Jewish comedian Ariel Elias said two weeks ago at Hey Alma’s High Holiday stand-up comedy show. She added, “I didn’t take his last name, [but] not for like a feminist reason. It’s because I’m already so close to fame!”

In the moment Ariel was joking, but fatefully, she was also not far off from the truth.

On October 9, Ariel went viral online after posting a clip of herself performing at Uncle Vinnie’s Comedy Club in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. In the video, Ariel is doing a Q&A section of her set when a woman in the audience starts badgering her about whom she voted for in the 2020 presidential election.

“What do you think?” Ariel responds, adding, “Why would you ask me that question when you know I’m the only Jew in the room? Are you trying to get me killed?”

Unfortunately the woman, who was part of a rowdy, nearly 20-person group celebrating a “Mexican-themed” birthday, didn’t take the hint to move on.

“So you voted for Biden!” the heckler continued. “I could just tell by your jokes that you voted for Biden.”

“All right, I can tell by the fact that you’re still talking when nobody wants you to that you voted for Trump,” Ariel wittily retorted to loud applause.

But that wasn’t the end of the interaction. As Ariel tried to move back into her set, a man from the group threw a can of beer at her. Thankfully, his aim was about as good as his friends’ ability to stay quiet: he missed Ariel and the beer smashed against the brick wall behind her. Despite the initial surprise, Ariel displayed some incredible chutzpah by proceeding to pick up the can and chug what was left of it.

“At first I was in shock. Did that really just happen?” she told Buzzfeed. “And then I saw the beer can and I was like, I mean, I have to drink this. Like, there’s nothing else I can do with this. This is the only way to recover. I have to drink it.”

“My perspective is that of a southern Jew, and I talk a lot about being a woman and body image,” Ariel later told Rolling Stone. “I really think I’m good enough at this to make people who disagree with me laugh and enjoy. So yes, I’ve gotten iced out by crowds, a couple of people have walked out, every now and then someone yells something. But I’ve never gotten half a free beer for it.”

In addition to half of a free beer, Ariel has also received a ton of online accolades, an appearance on CNN and even an offer from Jimmy Kimmel to make her late night debut on his show.

Screenshot from Twitter

Oh, and she’s been booked to perform at Uncle Vinnie’s Comedy Club (who are pressing charges against the heckler) again in April.

We’re sorry this all happened to you, Ariel, but mazel tov on your well earned success! We can’t wait to see you on Jimmy Kimmel, and would have you back at a Hey Alma comedy show any time!

Evelyn Frick

Evelyn Frick (she/they) is a writer and associate editor at Hey Alma. She graduated from Vassar College in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. In her spare time, she's a comedian and contributor for Reductress and The Onion.

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