So when will Josh do a ‘Come Heckle Mo’ Show?

Come Heckle Christ
Josh Ladgrove’s ‘Come Heckle Christ’ Logo

Adelaide Fringe Festival organisers say they will not cancel a Melbourne comedian’s show that has come under fire as being anti-Christian. The ABC reports…

Josh Ladgrove’s one-man show, Come Heckle Christ, will feature at the festival later this month despite more than a dozen official complaints.

The show begins with Ladgrove, who has long hair and a beard, arriving on stage in flowing robes and sticky taped to a makeshift crucifix.

However, the comedian says the show is not a commentary on religion. 

“The show is just an opportunity for the audience to come along and heckle an idiot – that’s me – for an hour,” he said.

“It’s an entirely improvised show; there is no script, there is no premise, there’s no preconceived idea of what needs to be said.

“It absolutely does not have to be about religion or Christianity or Jesus; it’s simply a means to an end and a catchy title.”

Ladgrove says he performed the show at last year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival without complaint and is surprised at the reaction ahead of the Adelaide shows.

“I didn’t think that Jesus was a particularly controversial topic,” he said.

“I didn’t think it was something that was so sensitive that it was off limits.

“Surely if we can’t poke fun at religion and if we can’t exercise our freedom of speech, then what’s the point of being a free democratic society?”

So it’s not a commentary on religion, eh, Josh? So, what about the following review from Crikey?

Suzy Freeman writes …

What would Jesus do? We asked, but sadly you’ll never know.

At least, not until this show’s next run. Come Heckle Christ was a one-night-only show at this year’s Fringe, but given the enthusiasm of the crowd on the night, it seems unlikely to be the last we see of this particular Jesus.

Joshua Ladgrove’s tantalisingly controversial offering drew massive crowds to the Imperial Hotel, despite it being way past bedtime on a blustery Monday night. <b>The venue was packed to the hilt with off-duty comedians and laypeople proving that, despite recent trends of disengagement with religion, the general population are still pretty keen to lay some serious (and, as it turns out, quite childish) abuse on ol’ JC.</b>

Ladgrove undoubtedly looked the part and put himself forward as an open vessel for hecklers, questioners and commenters alike. The heckling didn’t take long to erupt and once it did it was a strangely cathartic experience. This was audience-driven comedy at its best—the show that writes itself—and the audience pushed the boundaries of acceptability pretty early on. Even the cheap shots drew laughs (‘Shut up, Jesus!’), because the situation was just so darn weird.

Once the call for heckles was made, organic hilarity seemed destined to ensue. Any lulls were due to the crowd’s inability to stop laughing, rather than a product of too little potential material.

Ladgrove’s Zen-like, all-knowing presence prevented any of the awkward silences that could have accompanied this risky improvisation. It is a testament (no pun intended) to the sheer creativity behind this show that things went as smoothly as they did.

A simple idea, bravely and brilliantly executed.

Note to Joshua: If the apocalyptic winds outside the venue afterwards were anything to go by, someone upstairs is not happy with you. Be warned!

Interesting how the venue was packed with off-duty comedians. Is this an indication that they like to gather to insult Christ on their day off? Interesting.

Heckling at Christians’ expense isn’t new, of course. They are the easiest target of all. They have to be, since they are instructed to take it on the chin, or on the cheek, actually, even offering the other as a back-up.

So, the big question is, now that Josh has been so, er… incredibly bold as to challenge people to insult Jesus, when will he be performing the sequel, ‘Come Heckle Mo’? 

One suspects that is a bridge too far. He may get one or two laughs, but the ensuing riot might end his career prematurely. Insulting Christ is one thing, but setting oneself up for martyrdom isn’t in the script.

Which all goes to show what jolly accepting people Christians are to allow Josh to make fun of their Saviour whilst making a buck at their expense.

41 thoughts on “So when will Josh do a ‘Come Heckle Mo’ Show?

  1. So how is it that in the categories you include ‘Politics’ as a subject for discussion?

    I’ve changed it, but we have been discussing politics on several threads for weeks, since the last election, in fact, which, you may not realise, is a part of our lives, including lengthy debates about naval activities and the way in which Australia seeks to protect its borders, whether it is Christian or not to stop the boats, turn them back, or should we allow them to continue unabated and let as many would-be refugees in by dangerous means and organised by people smugglers.

    You know this, and you know it has been an ongoing discussion, so the previous article replaced by this one was actually topical and continued the conversation.

    Are you saying we no longer talk about politics on this blog?

  2. This article is spot on.

    He wouldn’t dare to that about a certain other religions’s god or prophet. But if he did, and members of the same religion went ballistic and rioted and murdered and maimed at embassies etc in different parts of the world, someone would be ready to copy and paste and criticise if some Christian somewhere on the planet lifted a finger in retaliation of defence.

    It is ridiculous for this man to do this performance. There was a time when people refrained from doing something like this.

    Just common sense.

  3. As for the political post, I think Greg has made the right call. While I totally understand Steves point about many thread becoming political, that has often just been because threads are hijacked. And I won’t bother mentioning who usually does that. It’s valid to do articles about the intersection of theology and politics, but the problem with the Green post of yours Steve is that while you see it as a continuation, it was a completely new thread that had nothing of a religious, theological significance.

    So, I don’t think it’s a good thing to start a completely new thread with a criticism of the lack of knowledge of a politician of a party you don’t agree with.

    Amazing thing is, I’ll still end up being called Steve’s cheerleader…

    But, Greg called it right here as far as I can see.

  4. Having said that….I was going to make a comment that I’m surprised that the said poliie didn’t complain that more wasn’t being done to rescue those poor people still trapped on Gilligan’s Island….

  5. First of all Bones, you have said that you don’t purport to be a Christian anymore, so your opinion of whether it is right or wrong for a man to dress up at Jesus and have people yell at him and make fun of him wouldn’t surprise me, and also doesn’t interest me.

    Whether or not this comedy show is the same as the life of Brian doesn’t concern me either.
    Frankly, I don’t think any Christian could feel comfortable watching the crucifixion scene on life of Brian.

    There was a time when most people would instinctively know it would be wrong to go to a comedy show and think it’s funny to yell out “Shut up, Jesus” etc.

    The non-CHristians and Buddhists and Muslims that I know wouldn’t do it. And I as a Christian wouldn’t go to a comedy show and mock or yell out abuse or sunny things about someone dressed as the Buddha, a prophet of another religion, or the Queen of England for that matter.

    This man is just one more guy who wants to make money and get fame by making fun of Christianity. But like I and the author of this article think, he wouldn’t do it to another religion that I can think of.

    But we’ve come to a place where people have no shame, no fear of God and no common sense.

    Christians just need to pray, and keep being faithful to Jesus.

  6. Making fun of religion isn’t the issue. Not even making fun of Christianity, or the religious side of it anyway. Some antics of Christians actually lend themselves to a humorous response.

    What I was pointing out was, first of all, the denial by Josh Ladgrove that Jesus or Christians were being targeted. This is not possible when he dresses as Christ, with a cross and calls his show “Come Heckle Jesus”.

    “It absolutely does not have to be about religion or Christianity or Jesus; it’s simply a means to an end and a catchy title.”

    Well that’s a complete lie. The title actually says it all.

    Secondly, would he do the same with Mohammed? Maybe stand on stage with an eight year old girl in a wedding dress and call on people to heckle Mo?

    The difference with Monty Python is that they have the front to declare their intentions and haven’t denied that they are taking religion head on. Their movie actually covers many political, religious and social issues which were relevantly addressed. It is also a hilarious piece, and probably their defining work.

    Is it blasphemous? In a way, but I didn’t find it particularly offensive apart from a couple of scenes. They do not deny that it was about religion or Christianity or Jesus, even though it was about a man called Brian who denied being the Christ.

    Finally, mocking the Church is one thing, but what did Christ ever do to deserve the heckling? It’s his followers who should be targeted because e are flawed and say and do some dumb things at times, which he would never do, and the reason we need him.

    But, as Jesus said, if they criticise you by association, it is because they first criticised him.

  7. “So how is it that in the categories you include ‘Politics’ as a subject for discussion?”{

    And how would you disclose the hierarchy in the discussion.

    /King James Bible
    If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they.

    10Whoever loves money never has enough;

    whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.

    This too is meaningless.

    11As goods increase,

    so do those who consume them.

    And what benefit are they to the owners

    except to feast their eyes on them?

    12The sleep of a laborer is sweet,

    whether they eat little or much,

    but as for the rich, their abundance

    permits them no sleep.

    13I have seen a grievous evil under the sun:

    wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners,

    14or wealth lost through some misfortune,

    so that when they have children

    there is nothing left for them to inherit.

    15Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb,

    and as everyone comes, so they depart.

    They take nothing from their toil

    that they can carry in their hands.

    16This too is a grievous evil:

    As everyone comes, so they depart,

    and what do they gain,

    since they toil for the wind?

    17All their days they eat in darkness,

    with great frustration, affliction and anger.

    18This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. 19Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. 20They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.

  8. How so, when we are commanded to be subject to authorities?

    Romans 13
    1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
    2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
    3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.
    4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.
    5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.
    6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing.
    7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honour.

    And commanded to pray for them.

  9. I obey government and I pray for those in government.
    I was responding to the previous post.

    I’m actually not against abortion, gay marriage and other moral issues on religious grounds.
    Everything I argue for I can argue without referencing a bible.

    Also, I found it hard to get Hiro’s post, but I don’t go along with the idea of a country being responsible to “do what Jesus would do”

    Hiro mentioned exhortations to look after the poor. To me that’s what individuals should do.

    Jesus said “love your neighbor” but it’s wide open to interpretation how a country needs to respond to that. Liberal Christians often seem to want responses on a national level.
    ie the bible speaks of looking after the poor, so we need to tax the rich more.

    I think individuals need to heed those exhortations. People shouldn’t be forced to be charitable.

    I love those Hitler things by the way.

    Someone should do one on Hitler learning that signposts will merge with groupsects.

  10. Actually Steve was ridiculing Sarah Hanson Young which is making its way on the right wing blogosphere.

    “We have another reality TV show about the Coast Guard”.

    Her comments about a reality TV show based on the navy is actually this one, not Sea Patrol.

    “Coastwatch Oz
    January 30 @ 8:00 pm – 8:30 pm

    Next week Seven premieres a new observational series, Coastwatch Oz.

    This is a local version of the New Zealand series.

    It will follow on from a double episode of Home and Away on Thursday night.

    Poachers claim it’s their right to steal as an abalone bust in Batemans Bay threatens to turn violent.

    Fisheries Officers stake the men out for hours, concerned their targets may be part of an illegal syndicate. When the men finally get back to their cars with their haul, they‟re confronted by the officers.

    But rather than concern at being caught, the men are furious and not afraid to let Fisheries know it.

    There’s even more drama out at sea when a boat with two men and two boys on board sinks in less than a minute. Water police in Balmain need to find them urgently – can they get there in time to save four precious lives?

    A man enrages boat owners on a private jetty. Police turn up and want him to leave but the big question is whether he‟ll move on peacefully. And Fisheries Officers are alarmed to find a group of campers who deny all wrongdoing – but one of them has broken a serious law.”

    So it’s the RIght and Steve who come away looking like idiots.

    Which suits them.

  11. So, then, if we are to obey government, and it is compulsary to vote in Australia, we are involved with politics whether we religiously approve of it or not. Even an abstention from voting is a vote of no confidence.

    And why shouldn’t a person with religious convictions of one sort or another stand for election, or be part of a party which is promoting a candidate? There are far more people who hold to some kind of religious belief than those who purport to be areligious, so it is unlikely that the majority of politicians have no belief in anything. Even a few of the Greens make the claim they are Christian, according to Bones. He rest are into Gaiah!

    The whole concept of a separation of church and state has nothing to do with whether a candidate is Christian or not, but whether a state elects to form a compulsary state church system. This concept, which is more a part of the US constitution than ours, has, in recent years, been misquoted by liberals who hate anything to do with the church.

  12. So ms Hanson-Young claims after the event, but she seemed awfully flustered when the rep she questioned pointed out that the only thing he could think of was the fictional ‘Sea Change’ program. So, if she meant ‘Coastwatch’, why didn’t she point it out at the time rather than look completely flumuxed, when she had plenty of time to put the issue straight. Clever people after the event, politicians. It took two days for her to come up with a completely unrelated program.

    And the folly was just the same. How on earth did she come to the conclusion that Navy was giving sensitive operational details to a recorded TV program other than basic interventions with unrelated situations which were not sensitive to national security?

    And you’re going in to bat for this lunacy?

    No boats for seven weeks is good, isn’t it, Bones? And the detention centres are diminishing in numbers from what I hear. That’s a good outcome, isn’t it, Bones? No drownings at sea. That’s good news, eh, Bones?

    “But it’s monsoon season”, comes the lefty response, “when fewer boats try the journey”. Well, that’s brilliant strategy, then, eh, Bones, to set the trend for the future whilst fewer boats are involved. Send the message while it’s safer to do so. Good result.

  13. To clarify for you. Coastwatch Oz is about fisheries officers, that is, police who guard our coasts.

    The operations involving refugees in boats are being undertaken by the Navy.

    She’s talking rubbish, or is completely ignorant of who does what at sea.

    In which case she should resign.

  14. Didn’t quite go the way Steve intended from ridiculing Christ to ridiculing Hanson-Young.

    That’s Steve’s show.

    This thread is such a 😆

  15. I think Steve said Hanson-Young should resign for not knowing the name of a TV show.

    Don’t know what that says about the navy guys cause they didn’t know much about it either. In fact Hanson-Young knew more than them.


  16. I was hoping to read steve’s extreme Australian Tea Party style politics rant for a laugh.

    Well he didn’t disappoint Elwyn ol bean.

    Right out of the extremiist modus operandi called making sh!t up.

    He’s a real crack up and he’s on fire.

    I hear he’s starting his own show called Everyone Heckle Sarah Hanson-Young.

    Oh wait a minute. That’s what he does at church.



  17. OK cool, so we’re back on ad hominem. That should get the old tea party juices going.

    So, a military man like you, Bones, defending an elementary error like confusing fisheries officers’ operations with Navy operations is far worse than Ms Hanson-Young making that mistake, although, she is the green spokesperson for the Green Party on these matters of border security.

    If Tony Abbott had made an basic blunder like that you’d be all over him like a rash. Oh, wait a minute, you are anyway.

    By the way, it was Greg who forced me to change the post. If you look at the blog header you’ll see that you helped bring it on line with the original nicely. Thanks for that!

  18. I don’t think she needs to resign for a mistake like that. People will laugh and bring it up so she’s suffered enough probably.

    Now if she were dropping Fbombs and getting found out quoting falsehoods about the Jews she found on anti-semitic websites then perhaps she should be sacked. But, if we applied the same standard to teachers then what would the poor kids in rural Qld do…..


  19. Steve, I don’t see anything wrong with Christians voting at all. Not against a party either, but I don’t think it works in practice.

    Just realise that not every Christian has the same politics. When Bones still purported to be a Christian he maintained that Christians weren’t allowed to kill, so they couldn’t even have an army. I wouldn’t be interested in voting for a Christian PM like that.

    I don’t believe a country has to act like an individual Christian.

  20. What a hilarious hypocritical thread this has become.

    It wasn’t far from the surface.

    Christians delight in poking fun of everyone not like them and rolling in indignation when someone pokes fun at their beliefs.

  21. I think the entire Green Party should resign for making such a hash of the last Parliament. The Labour Party would agree with that. The Liberals would prefer that they stay in league with Labour, but only because they get so much political mileage out of the folly of their policies. It effectively won them the last election.

    Bones shouted for the tree hugging Greens, but voted for mining magnate Mr Palmer, so I think he’s ended all rational contributions to a political discussion.


  22. Who cares if atheist comedians poke fun at Christians? It’s what they do. No one said anything about complaining.

    All I said was he shouldn’t lie about it and should own up to the fact that he is mocking Christ and inviting others to join him.

    And, since he mentioned religion as a whole, I expect him to show the balls to have a go at a Mo show. And I’m not talking about 80s moustaches.

    Once again, Bones, you miss the point, or is it the boat?

  23. My employer has seen your posts. She thinks you are mentally ill and doesn’t believe you could actually have a teacher’s license.

  24. I think it’s harsh to consider that Bones is mentally ill. He is a forthright person who is passionate about what he believes or doubts. Some things about faith are hard for people to understand or accept.

    We all respond or react to things which we cannot agree with in different ways.

    Some people simply respond by being aggressively rude or deliberately offensive. Others run away. Others reject all notions of conflict, add their two cents worth and trundle off. Others try to reason through until a conclusion is reached. Some are simply stubbornly fixed to their views and remain intransigently immovable.

    Some dangle hooks and bait people into a response. Some just want to stir up a reaction in the whole group, and see how it all pans out. Some are naughty and want to let loose their frustrations on someone who disagrees with their perspective as a therapeutic exercise.

    Some people genuinely want to defend a position or make their views heard because they are offended, upset, unimpressed, disgusted or disenchanted with certain traits they see. Sme use the blog as a sounding board for their theories, ideas, doctrine or philosophy. Others are curious about how other people think and interested in their views.

    I would put Bones in one or two of these categories, and maybe there are others I haven’t thought of, but this in no way means he has negative mental issues.

    I’m sure he’s very likeable and approachable outside of blogging, which is merely recreational for many people.

    I think Bones is a sane, occasionally rude person with a few axes to grind, but, then, that could apply to many of us, and having an opinion which is contrary to others is perfectly normal as long as we don’t take ourselves too seriously in the end, and don’t let the sun go down on our anger if it arises.

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