POINT PLEASANT, N.J. (WPIX) – A comedian performing at a New Jersey comedy club was nearly hit by a can of beer thrown by an audience member after an uncomfortable exchange with a heckler. But instead of letting it get to her, the young comedian picked up the can and chugged the remaining beer.
Ariel Elias was on the stage at Uncle Vinnie’s Comedy Club in Point Pleasant Beach at around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night when a woman in the audience began asking Elias who she voted for in the 2020 presidential election.
“Did you vote for Donald Trump?” the woman asked, as seen in video shared by Elias on social media.
The comedian tried to brush it off with a joke, replying, “Why would you ask me that knowing I’m the only Jew in this room? Are you trying to get me killed?!”
“So you voted for Biden?” the woman yelled back.
“I dunno. What does it matter?” Elias responded.
“Yes, you did!” the heckler replied. “I could just tell by your jokes you voted for Biden.”
“I can tell by the fact that you’re still talking, when nobody wants you to, that you voted for Trump,” Elias fired back, eliciting cheers from the crowd.
A few seconds pass, and then a beer goes flying across the stage. The drink whizzed by Elias and exploded on a brick wall behind her. Elias was startled at first, and appeared to gasp, before picking up the can and chugging the rest of the beer, the video shows.
Club co-owner Dino Ibelli said the beer was hurled by the audience member’s husband. The club’s management has filed a police report, and they’ve banned the customer from the venue.
“She handled it like a pro,” Ibelli told Nexstar’s WPIX of Elias. “That’s adrenaline. You can’t write that. Afterward, she was a bit shaken.”
Just before the beer was thrown, Ibelli said he warned the audience member — allegedly a Trump supporter — to pipe down or leave after she interrupted Elias’ set. She decided to leave, but when Ibelli turned his back, he heard the can hit the wall, and someone pointed out the perpetrator, he said.
“Thank God nobody got hurt,” Ibelli said. “If I see [the alleged perpetrator] again, he won’t make it through the door.”
WPIX reached out to Elias and Point Pleasant police but did not immediately receive a response.
On Twitter, however, Elias joked that this may have been the best thing to happen to her.
“I’d really appreciate it if anyone could please just let my teachers know that chugging a beer has in fact been great for my career,” she joked on Twitter.
The incident also caught the eye of Jimmy Kimmel, who awarded Elias “five stars for this flawless performance.”
“Can I make my late night debut on your show?” Elias then asked Kimmel.
“Absolutely,” he responded.
The show’s producers are currently in touch with Elias, Deadline confirmed, and are looking to book her for an upcoming episode.