The historic Warner Theatre is hardly a dank basement-level comedy club. One doesn’t expect a lot of heckling from the velvet covered seats in that grand auditorium. But during Saturday night’s taping of the BET Honors, comedian and actor Anthony Anderson took it there when he got testy with the black-tie clad audience.
“I know I messed up, okay blondie? Okay boo boo?” teased Anderson when one of the night’s attendees, sporting bone-straight, bottle-blonde locks, tried to correct the actor after he misread the teleprompter. The interjection was heckling lite at best, but Anderson seemed not to care.
Anderson was forced to re-tape a segment when he got artist Carrie Mae Weems’s middle name wrong. When presenting Weems, one of the night’s five honorees, with the “visionary award,” Anderson called her “Ms. Carrie Anne Weems.” The artist, who won a “MacArthur Genius Grant” in 2013, graciously accepted her statue without correcting Anderson. Still, the segment had to be re-taped for the Feb. 24 airing.
But on take two, a woman in the crowd, who by then was clapping on cue like a trained seal, started applauding too early for Anderson’s liking.
“You relax,” said Anderson. “The guy with the headset. He’s got this.” It was another cheeky exchange that made folks cringe, especially since as it turned out the enthusiastic clapper was right. The audience had been cued to welcome Anderson — now for the second time.
By take four the actor had calmed down a bit, realizing his mistake.
“Hold on, I got to apologize to this lady,” Anderson said. And the crowd applauded.