Fans still waiting for refunds after Wanda Sykes' Trump jokes trigger walkout in New Jersey

Chris Jordan
Asbury Park Press

No jokes and no refunds.

That’s the story from attendees who walked out of the Wanda Sykes show Thursday, Sept. 27 in Red Banks, N.J. after the comedian opened with a series of jokes about President Donald Trump.

More:Wanda Sykes Trump jokes heckled at show; angry fans walk out

Check out comedian Wanda Sykes Sept. 30 in the Murat Theatre at Old National Centre.

Diane Gargano, a Trump supporter who left her seat after a fan was kicked out for heckling Sykes, is waiting for a response from the Count Basie Center for the Arts Basie about a refund.

“I left a message with the Count Basie, two of them, and there have been no replies,” Gargano said. “I don’t think it’s fair. I’m a single mom, it’s a night to get out to get away with laughter. I didn’t pay $85 to listen to her political views. I can turn on CNN for that bullcrap. I understand that she’s a political comedian but at some point you have to move on.”

“Generally, event tickets are not refundable,” said a spokesman for the venue. 

During the show Gargano retreated with a group of dissatisfied fans to the lobby bar, and was then asked to leave that area, she said.

“There was a dozen or two discussing it, and asking for our money back,” Gargano said. “A man asked us to step outside and we said why. He said it was disturbing the show. The doors (between the lobby and the theater) were closed and we were standing by the bar. Then they closed the bar down.”

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“Anyone causing a disruption during a Basie Center performance is subject to ejection,” said a spokesman for the Basie. “This includes disruptions anywhere on the premises.”  

The “disruption” began a few minutes after the show began when some audience members began heckling the comedian. 

“Do some comedy!” one attendee shouted according to a previous report in the Asbury Park Press. 

“Too political!” another yelled from the crowd. 

An audience member heckling was asked to leave by “somebody who looked like a handler,” said attendee Ellen Balthazar. 

“That’s why we walked out,” Balthazar said. “We felt that person’s rights were being violated.”

Balthazar, a Sykes fan who has seen her at the Basie before,  said her sister has requested a refund with no reply yet from the theater.

The Asbury Park Press is a sponsor of the Count Basie Center for the Arts.

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