Michael Tolley knows a good heckle when he hears or sees one. The
35-year-old from Toronto offers 2,001 heckles on his Web site, http://www.heckledepot.com/.
Tolley traces his collection to 1996, when he and a few friends
sat behind the Minnesota Twins' bullpen at a game at SkyDome and
heckled the players with good-natured lines.
"Very lame stuff," Tolley said.
Their best effort focused on reliever Greg Hansell.
"Hey, Hansell," they yelled. "Where's Gretel?"
After a few innings of enduring worse lines than that one, Twins
catcher Matt Walbeck stood up and told Tolley and friends they were
the worst hecklers he had ever heard.
Inspired to improve, Tolley searched for good heckles. He found
none in a library. He picked up a few from movies. But he knew more
After purchasing his first computer, he began soliciting
contributions through newsgroups.
Heckles poured in, and they keep coming. Three have been added
from Monday's incident between Oakland fans and the Rangers bullpen,
including, "Go ahead and throw the chair; everything you guys throw
ends up in the seats anyway."
Tolley lists three criteria for good heckles: They must be
topical, witty and original.
These are 10 of his favorites:
• "That ball's going over your
head, just like Sesame Street!"
• "You've had fewer hits than
• "I've gotten better calls
from my ex-wife!"
• "Nice play, Shakespeare!"
• "Flip over the plate and read
• "Cinderella gets to the ball
faster than you do!"
• "You couldn't save anything
at a Wal-Mart sale!"
• "I've got Internet stocks in
better shape than you!"
• "I've seen snakes with better
• "This guy couldn't hit a
Heckling has been taken to a high art in the movies.
Unfortunately some of the best lines aren't printable, but here are
some that are:
"You guys are so bad, Nike should take away your shoes."
"How 'bout you go back to Utah and get yourself some more
"I should recommend you work on your short game, but I think you
should get drunk."
"What did the old man trade for those guys? A used puck bag?"
"Beethoven was deaf; Helen Keller was blind. I think Rocky's got
a good chance."
"You don't kick well, you don't dribble well, but you could be a
Interviewer: "What's your prediction for the fight?"
Clubber Lang: "My prediction? Pain."
"Heywood leads the league in most offensive categories, including
nose hair. When this guy sneezes, he looks like a party favor."
Willie Mays Hayes: "I'm Willie Mays Hayes. I hit like Mays, and I
run like Hayes."
Manager Lou Brown's reply: "Well, you may run like Mays, but you
hit like ..."
"Saw your wife last night. Great little dancer. That guy she was
with? I'm sure he's a close personal friend, but tell me, what was
he doing with her panties on his head?"