Locals Defend Themselves Against Comedian

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – Chaos erupted at the Crockett Civic Center Saturday, Dec. 9 during the annual “Fitted Hat Cowboy” event as a comedian brought into to entertain the crowd ended up verbally assaulting them, before physically attacking two members with a large plant from the stage. 

The “Fitted Hat Cowboys” event is in it’s fifth year and is a tribute to the trail riding culture, according to one of the event’s organizers, Ty Denman. 

“It’s a family organization that’s a trail ride club. In our culture, we do these trail ride events based around a rich history in Texas of African American culture,” Denman said. “It’s where African American people get together for their love of horses and the culture of what we bring to the western culture and especially Texas.”

Denman said the event normally attracts older, more mature guests. He has organized many events around the country and wanted two uniformed Crockett Police Department (CPD) officers for an event of that size.  

Comedian Charleston White has achieved some fame online for his antics and is known to sometimes use foul language and the n-word during his shows. No one in attendance Saturday night could have imagined how far he would take the Crockett show. 

Charleston White

White began harassing two local men wearing Los Angeles Laker shirts in the front row, before beginning to verbally harass them, using foul language and insinuating a relationship between the two men. 

A video of the show was uploaded to social media, showing White’s rant and the trouble that came from it. The Messenger has learned the men are locals, one man being the nephew of the older man. The older man and his wife were at the show and, having raised the young man as their son, were understandably upset by the comedian calling them out in such a vulgar way. 

Up to this point, the interactions had all been verbal, with some in the audience thinking this might all be part of a pre-planned skit. 

Screenshots of a video of the comedian’s performance went viral online, garnering hundreds of thousands of views.

When White grabbed a plant used to decorate the stage and threw it at the two men, they had had enough of this big city “comedian.”

The two, now in self defense mode, took to the stage as White threw his microphone at them. As White ran, the two got closer as others came on the stage, both to calm the situation and protect one or both of the parties. 

White seemingly was going to hit one of the men with a chair as the other man tackled him, the three of them rolling behind the curtain, where the altercation was no longer clear. CPD officers could be seen immediately taking the stage to break up the fight. 

The plant decorating the stage later thrown by White into the crowd.

Denman told The Messenger he had seen White’s act several times and knew he would always look for a reaction from the crowd, but never expected what unfolded at the event. 

“I had no reason to believe he would do what he did but comedians in general, including Charleston, start tearing into the crowd, talking trash, going back and forth with people,” Denman said. “I have spoken with him since the incident. He talked about going viral and he knows the value these days of going viral. And that’s just the honest truth – some of these guys will go to extremes to go viral because they know how much money they can make.”

The online video reportedly had over 250,000 views as of press time, with many commenting how White’s constant provocations were long overdue for some kind of response from an offended public. The story quickly traveled to news outlets across the state and the country – from Houston and Dallas to online entertainment site TMZ.

Denman noted he had seen an interview with White where he admitted he thought the whole town of Crockett was storming the stage, when actually it was the organizers of the event itself, looking to protect the comedian from the situation he provoked. 

Denman said he is very protective of his brand, but hopes next year’s event will sell out even faster, although he said the group will choose a comedian more acceptable to everyone. 

There have always been provocative “comedians” who offend audience members and there has always been heckling of comedians during their shows. To take this to the level of a physical assault, however, was a new twist and something not expected by the event coordinators. 

White, too, may not have expected people of this area to be willing to defend themselves against such a tirade of foul language, insulting remarks and physical assault. He now knows better. 

Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]

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