Ariel Elias shared a video clip of the viral incident on her personal Twitter account, which took place Saturday night while she was doing a set at Uncle Vinnie’s Comedy Club in Point Pleasant Beach.
“To answer the most obvious question, yes I took what was left of the beer and chugged it,” it tweeted New York City-based comedian who describes himself as a “Kentucky Jew” in his online bio.
According to an interview that Mrs. Elias gave to Buzzfeed news after the attack, the man who threw the partially filled can of beer at her arrived at the seaside bar with a group of about 20 other patrons who appeared to be celebrating some kind of birthday and already appeared to be quite “rowdy” in front of her 21.30 sat.
She began the night with a routine of jokes about body image, but then decided to open up the set for a round of Q&A with the audience.
A woman from the group of rowdy audience members then threw her hand in the air and asked Ms. Elias, “Did you vote for Donald Trump?”
Mrs. Elias, who told BuzzFeed that she immediately became uneasy about the highly politicized question, then tried to de-escalate the questioning by answering the question with a joke, saying, “Why would you ask me that when I knew I’m the only Jew in this room? Are you trying to get me killed?”
Unfortunately, the interaction didn’t stop there, as the inviting guest then shouts back at the comedian, “So you voted for Biden?”
She replies, “I don’t know. What’s the point?”
The heckler then uses Ms Elias’ deflection as evidence that she voted for Democratic challenger – and incumbent – Mr Trump in the 2020 election, exclaiming: “Yes, you did!” before adding: “I could just tell from your jokes that you voted for Biden.”
Mrs Elias, taking the opportunity to crack a joke and perhaps steer her set back to its original target, says: “I can look at the fact that you’re still talking when no one wants you that you voted for Trump. “
The New York-based comedian then rallies the already cheering audience to continue making noise if they want to show their support to silence the vocal patron who has been questioning the comedian.
Her request is met with applause and cheers, and the woman is no longer heard on camera.
Mrs. Elias then tries to continue with her set and begins to make a joke about her IUD when, before you can really begin to process what’s happening, a loud thud and splash is seen hitting the brick wall behind her.
A clearly stunned Mrs. Elias then turns to examine what has just landed against the back wall, mere inches away from where her face was, and scoops up the partially filled beer with her jaw left open.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” equally shaken audience members can be heard saying moments after the beer is launched on stage. “I’m never going out with this group of people again,” another disgruntled guest can be heard saying.
Ms Elias, in an attempt to maintain the upper hand of her set, then proceeds to chug the partially drunk drink on stage after raising it above her head in mock cheer to the audience.
“At first I was in shock. Did it really just happen?” she told Buzzfeed news.
Elias confirmed to the news outlet that one of the members of the rowdy group approached her after she was willing to apologize on their behalf and another person gave her $20 for her trouble.
This is confirmed by the owner of the club, Dino Ibelli BuzzFeed News that the can was thrown by a man who was the partner of the woman who had asked the comedian’s prodding question.
That person, he said, left the club shortly after throwing the can at Ms Elias, but Mr Ibelli said he had been in contact with local authorities after he was able to identify the suspect.
Elias later confirmed on Twitter that the club is indeed pressing charges against the man who threw the drink at her, adding that there was more positive news to report back:
“Fwiw the club is pressing charges against the guy and ordered me to come back in April,” she tweeted on Sunday.
A spokesperson for the Point Pleasant Beach Police Department confirms this BuzzFeed News that the force had been at the New Jersey club on Sunday to gather evidence, which included security footage of the incident.
The virality of the attack on Ms. Elias even drew attention from Washington DC, including Representative Eric Swalwell, the 41-year-old California Democrat who is making a bid for the 2020 presidential election.
“This is Trump’s America. They prefer violence to voting. And laughing,” the Democrat tweeted Sunday. “I don’t care who @Ariel_Comedy voted for. She is fun and deserved to finish her set. At least she finished that beer.”
“This is where we are political as a country. Elect people who want to unite, not divide,” tweeted Matthew Diemer, a Democratic congressional candidate for Ohio’s 7th District.
Other comedians and artists also came out to voice their support for the Kentucky-born comedian, while also highlighting how dangerous and scary doing stand-up can be in today’s polarizing political climate.
“A hero among us,” tweeted actor George Takei, while comedian Robin Tran called Donald Trump supporters some of the most fragile audiences she’s ever performed in front of, saying: “They used to call The Comedy Store to ask and make sure. nobody was going to make fun of Trump that night. Never seen any other group do that before.”