LOS ANGELES (CBS) — It was not part of the act and it was no laughing matter when a comic was attacked while on stage at the world famous Hollywood Improv Comedy Club.
“I was mad. I was so mad that what was happening was so inappropriate. I had done that so many times; that’s never happened,” said comedian Randy Kagan.
Friday night, while standing on stage at the Hollywood Improv, a customer tackled him to the ground.
“I was doing a bit about California. Then I got a little applause and then out of nowhere, literally out of nowhere, I was blindsided bum rushed,” Kagan said.
Kagan said that the stage is sacred ground where comedians are supposed to feel free to express.
His body was bruised from falling off the stage and his wrist was injured from fighting back.
“It was a miracle I was able to pummel him in the face more times than I ever have anyone in my life,” the comic said.
Kagan added that the attack was unprovoked. But even if it was he argued that it is his job — this stage is his office.
“If somebody got attacked at their office, they might be a little freaked out about going back to the office,” he said.
The sound-tech person and comedians in the room came to his aid.
“Comics saved me. Not Improv staff, not security,” Kagan said.
The founder of the Hollywood Improv, Budd Freidman, said that caring for its comedians is a top priority.
“We have a few people throughout the room during the show that are here to ‘A,’ squelch hecklers and ‘B,’ keep anyone from going up on stage,” Friedman said.
Security guards detained the man, but let him go before police arrived because they were unsure how long they could hold him.
Longtime comedians say that it is rare to have a customer attack, but it does happen.
“With my jokes I’m dodging bullets and people,” one comic said.
Kagan has a message to comedians hoping to make the wall of fame.
“You have to brace yourself, because free expression isn’t free anymore,” he said.
Kagan’s attacker was not arrested.
Kagan said that, although it is the world famous Hollywood Improv, he would not perform there again.