Auckland comedian Matt Coombe faces homophobic attacks during set, shares message to heckler

"Do better".

That's the message from an Auckland comedian after he was forced to shut down homophobic attacks during a set last week.

Matt Coombe, a part-time comedian based in Auckland, published a video of one part of his set in Pukekohe last week where a heckler became more and more homophobic.  

Coombe spoke to Newshub on Monday, after his video began gaining traction on Instagram and Reddit, with many social media users applauding him for the way he dealt with the homophobic attacks.  

The video shows a man named Clint continuing to interrupt Coombe's set. He told Newshub Clint had been heckling for most of the night while other comedians performed, but got worse once he took to the mic.  

"Shut the f*** up," Coombe said in the video.  

Clint then stands up and asks Coombe to repeat what he said. "I said shhh," Coombe replied.  

In a strange twist, a member of the audience then meows, but Coombe said it helped de-escalate the situation because he was worried Clint would become physically violent. 

Coombe said the meow allowed him to move on to his material, but Clint wasn't done. The video shows Clint approach Coombe where he runs his finger along 'Hilfiger' on Coombe’s shirt.  

"Hil f*gger," Clint said – referencing the derogatory term for a gay man.  

A member of the audience clearly fed up with Clint's behavior tells him to "sit down". 

Clint begins to walk out, not before patting Coombe on the head and saying: "F***ing big f*g". 

Trying to shift away from the homophobia, Coombe lightens the mood saying the worst part of the whole ordeal is he hadn't "even talked about being bi-sexual. He already f***ing knew I was gay". 

"Don't be gay in Pukekohe," Coombe laughed. 

Coombe told Newshub heckling is especially bad in the regions and said it's "rough" because it's hard enough trying to make people laugh. 

"Someone hating, not necessarily on your craft, but personally for like something that I hold dear to me, it doesn't make sense to me." 

He said there's been a couple of occasions where the heckling has been so bad that he's thought "do I actually want to continue" doing comedy. 

Coombe told Newshub since posting the clip, reaction from those online has been incredible. 

"They've been very nice and supportive." 

When asked if he had a message for Clint, Coombe asked him to "please do better". 

Watch the video above.