MOST people were splitting their sides with laughter at internationally acclaimed ventriloquist David Strassman’s late-night show in Caloundra on Tuesday.
But former Queenslander of the Year and marathon runner Ron Grant didn’t see the funny side.
Mr Grant, of Caboolture, attended the show after a recommendation from a nearby restaurant. Seeing the poster of a teddy bear, he thought it was soft humour.
The 9.15pm show at The Event Centre for Ted E Bare’s Farewell Tour came to an abrupt halt about 15 minutes in when Mr Grant stood up in protest, walked to the front of the stage and expressed his distaste for the “profanity” of Strassman’s timber puppet, Chuck Wood.
Mr Grant had voiced his misgivings about the tone of the performance from the fifth row before directing his complaints to Strassman.
The puppeteer was momentarily lost for words, shocked to be heckled by someone from close up in the audience.
But he rolled with the punches, using the outburst for fodder.
“As a comedian sometimes you have to pull yourself out of a hole at the expense of the other person,” he said.
“I don’t think I slagged him, but he gave me a lot of good material.
“It was definitely a very interesting show.”
It is no secret to fans that Chuck Wood is a leering, foul-mouthed psychopath who spits and swears at people.
Any person who has read anything about Strassman and his puppets would know the role Chuck Wood plays in the show.
But the unsuspecting Sunshine Coast sporting hero walked in to the Strassman show with his wife Dell thinking it would be clean.
Mr Grant said he believed the show was “immoral” and “disgraceful”.
“I had no hesitation to walk up to him and tell him how I felt,” he said.
“I never let anyone swear in front of my wife.
“I run a business and none of my staff swear, if they do they get a warning. If they do it again they can leave.”
Mrs Grant stood by her husband.
“I’m very proud of him for standing up for what he believes in,” she said.
“I was happy to leave with him.
“I wasn’t enjoying myself either.”
Strassman said it was just unfortunate that Mr Grant had not realised it was “not a Wiggles show”.
He said “the show is not for kids” and profanity was a given.
The puppet-genius said he had never had someone walk up to him during a show and have a go at him.
“People have walked out of shows or complained about them, but never walk up to the front,” Strassman said.
“My shows are meant to be dark and edgy.”
Events Centre chairman Ashley Robinson offered Mr Grant a refund, saying he could “understand the misunderstanding”.
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