After a decade performing standup, comedian Ryan Stout has met his fair share of drunken fools and hecklers. But nothing could prepare him for the "weirdest" woman he met years ago at a comedy club in Columbus, Ohio.
Stout, who is performing through Sunday at the Fort Lauderdale Improv, recalled the odd story in a recent phone interview.
"This girl walked up to the front of the stage, and was just looking up at me. So I asked her, 'Hey, how's it going? " the Los Angeles-based Stout remembers. "And she didn't say anything back. She just continued to stare at me."
The freakiness continued when the mute stranger jumped on stage and tried to steal Stout's microphone. "I thought it was a setup at first," Stout says. "When she came toward me, I moved away to protect my mike. I never let go of the mike."
The incident lasted about five minutes, until security guards escorted her off the stage. "After the show, I found out later she was bipolar and was not supposed to drink on her medication," Stout explains. "But that was weird."
Stout, 30, began performing comedy in his late teens. With his pretty-boy looks and charming comedic style, he's landed gigs hosting MTV's "A Shot at Love: The Hangover," "More Amore" and "Spring Break '08." But Stout doesn't deny he's a bit of a smart-ass, especially if a fan pushes him over the edge.
"The comedy club is my arena, so it's a lot easier to tear someone down," he says. "I wouldn't necessarily call someone an idiot if, let's say, I was in the bank waiting in line."
His zingers — often meant with the best intentions — sometimes creep into his personal life. "I tend to harass every girl I ever dated," Stout admits. "If fact, I had a friend in college who I would pick on constantly. Later, she told me when someone would joke about her weird hair, she could take it because I helped her become more accepting of herself."
Ryan Stout is performing through Sunday, May 19, at the Fort Lauderdale Improv, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 5700 Seminole Way, in Hollywood. Tickets cost $20. Go to Ftl.improv.com.