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  #1  
Old 28 January 2008, 03:19 PM
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Shout Did anyone really throw rotten tomatoes on stage?

Did anyone really throw rotton tomatoes on stage if they did not like the performance. It is such a common idea that I wonder if it has some basis in fact.
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  #2  
Old 28 January 2008, 03:30 PM
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Throw Tomato

Wikipedia says so but doesn't cite.

Quote:
The town of Buņol, Spain, annually celebrates La Tomatina, a festival centered on an enormous tomato fight. Tomatoes are also a popular "non-lethal" throwing weapon in mass protests; and there is a common tradition of throwing rotten tomatoes at bad performers on a stage, although this tradition is more symbolic today. Embracing it for this protest connotation, the Dutch Socialist party adopted the tomato as their logo.
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  #3  
Old 28 January 2008, 06:24 PM
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This article (note PDF format) describes how a Long Island actor was demoralised after having rotten tomatoes thrown at him whilst on stage. (The article is from the New York Times of 28th October, 1883.)

(Slight hijack: I am reminded of a song my dad taught me when I was young:

Two lovely black eyes had my Uncle Jim
'Cos someone had thrown a tomato at him
'Tomatoes don't hurt,' said I with a grin.
'Oh yes sir, they do sir, when they're in a tin.'
)
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  #4  
Old 31 January 2008, 05:19 PM
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In the '60s we had "Aktie Tomaat", a group of young Dutch actors who disrupted performances of what they considered to be "old fashioned, classical theatre" by throwing tomatoes and smokebombs at the stage, heckling the performing artists.
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  #5  
Old 31 January 2008, 05:31 PM
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They did in the Looney Toons cartoons.
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Old 31 January 2008, 05:41 PM
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When a friend of mine was in a small local parade, some of us showed up with a basket of.....fake plastic tomatoes! We tossed a couple to him (not at him!)

I've also made fake cream pies....

Silas
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  #7  
Old 31 January 2008, 06:11 PM
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I've always wondered where people get the rotten tomatoes and eggs from? Do they routinely carry rotten food products around. Like "Hey, this show sucks. I am glad I got a stinky tomato in my pocket so I can throw it at the performer" Or do they purposefully carry a basket of rotten vegetables when they go to any show "Two tickets please. One for me, and one for my basket of rotten veggies"
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Old 31 January 2008, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Jay View Post
I've always wondered where people get the rotten tomatoes and eggs from? Do they routinely carry rotten food products around. Like "Hey, this show sucks. I am glad I got a stinky tomato in my pocket so I can throw it at the performer" Or do they purposefully carry a basket of rotten vegetables when they go to any show "Two tickets please. One for me, and one for my basket of rotten veggies"
I assumed the latter but without a basket (ie concealed).
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  #9  
Old 31 January 2008, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post
I assumed the latter but without a basket (ie concealed).
But, why would anyone purposefully carry rotten veggies (concealed or not) to a show? It's not customary to go to the theatre when you are going to throw trash, is it?
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Old 31 January 2008, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Jay View Post
But, why would anyone purposefully carry rotten veggies (concealed or not) to a show? It's not customary to go to the theatre when you are going to throw trash, is it?
I figure:
1) They are a seasoned heckler
2) Insurance in case they get offended.

I doubt that it was done en mass but rather a few jokers. One possibility is that it was done in protest to a policy that was announces (think small village proclamation) when food was more likely to be spoiled
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  #11  
Old 31 January 2008, 06:38 PM
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Throw Tomato

Quote:
But, why would anyone purposefully carry rotten veggies (concealed or not) to a show? It's not customary to go to the theatre when you are going to throw trash, is it?
I've wondered about that myself, especially when I'd read about people throwing stuff like tomatoes and heads of lettuce at players or umpires during baseball games. Who carries produce to a baseball game?

I think the answer might be that, way back in the olden days, urban entertainment centers (such as ballparks and theaters) were typically in close proximity to produce markets/vendors. So it probably wasn't too hard for a patron to pop out an exit and pick up some produce (especially of the rotten variety) that had been dumped in an alley or street, or to have someone on the outside hand it to him over/through a fence.

I'd imagine that all kinds of produce were thrown, but (rotten) tomatoes made for especially good missiles (because they're dense, easy to throw, and produce a satisfying splat).

- snopes
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  #12  
Old 31 January 2008, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
I've wondered about that myself, especially when I'd read about people throwing stuff like tomatoes and heads of lettuce at players or umpires during baseball games. Who carries produce to a baseball game?
I took an orange (maybe oranges) to a lacrosse championship when my school was playing the Syracuse Orangeman- we tossed them toward the field when the Orangemen came out.
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  #13  
Old 31 January 2008, 06:44 PM
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Kind of related:-

Quote:
On the opening night of The Importance of Being Earnest Queensberry further planned to insult and socially embarrass Wilde by throwing a bouquet of turnips. Wilde was tipped off, and Queensberry was barred from entering the theatre. Wilde took legal advice against him, and wished to prosecute, but his friends refused to give evidence against the Marquess and hence the case was dropped.
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  #14  
Old 31 January 2008, 06:52 PM
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Throw Tomato

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Jay View Post
I've always wondered where people get the rotten tomatoes and eggs from? Do they routinely carry rotten food products around. Like "Hey, this show sucks. I am glad I got a stinky tomato in my pocket so I can throw it at the performer" Or do they purposefully carry a basket of rotten vegetables when they go to any show "Two tickets please. One for me, and one for my basket of rotten veggies"
In Huck Finn, the towns people brought them to the last show because they knew the show was bad and then tarred, feathered, and rode the performers out on a rail.

I'm wondering if that is the case where people may already know that it is a bad show and brought the veggies to make a statement.
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  #15  
Old 31 January 2008, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
I think the answer might be that, way back in the olden days, urban entertainment centers (such as ballparks and theaters) were typically in close proximity to produce markets/vendors. So it probably wasn't too hard for a patron to pop out an exit and pick up some produce (especially of the rotten variety) that had been dumped in an alley or street, or to have someone on the outside hand it to him over/through a fence.
My unsubstantiated theory is that many performances of the distant past were long, drawn-out affairs with no intermission, so people brought food for lunch, and any rotten or half-eaten produce could be used in a critical manner. In ancient and Medieval days, truly fresh produce was probably harder to come by, so rotten food was more plentiful back then.
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  #16  
Old 31 January 2008, 08:36 PM
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Throw Tomato

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Jay View Post
I've always wondered where people get the rotten tomatoes and eggs from? Do they routinely carry rotten food products around. Like "Hey, this show sucks. I am glad I got a stinky tomato in my pocket so I can throw it at the performer" Or do they purposefully carry a basket of rotten vegetables when they go to any show "Two tickets please. One for me, and one for my basket of rotten veggies"
I've heard, though this may be a myth as well, that during Shakespeare's time vendors sold tomatoes during plays -- not for eating, but for throwing at actors if you didn't like the play.
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  #17  
Old 31 January 2008, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
I've heard, though this may be a myth as well, that during Shakespeare's time vendors sold tomatoes during plays -- not for eating, but for throwing at actors if you didn't like the play.
Tomatoes were essntially unknown in England during Shakespeare's career and were certainly not market produce. Although they were introduced to england (via Spain) around 1590, about the time Shakespeare started writing, they were grown only ornamentally, their close relationship to Belladonna (Deadly Nightshade) and a general distrust of things Spanish
meant that they were thought to be poisonous and it was over 100 years before tomatoes were accepted as being edible, and mainly as an aphrodisiac, not a general foodstuff.
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  #18  
Old 31 January 2008, 10:46 PM
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Not sure about tomatoes, but someone threw a bottle at Roger Daltrey while the Who were onstage in 2002.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcKFSo7Z-zQ

Warning -- bad language and a very rude two-fingered gesture are in this one.

Lady "ticked off singers aren't nice" Moon
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  #19  
Old 31 January 2008, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post
I figure:
1) They are a seasoned heckler
2) Insurance in case they get offended.

I doubt that it was done en mass but rather a few jokers. One possibility is that it was done in protest to a policy that was announces (think small village proclamation) when food was more likely to be spoiled
or:
3) They are from Philadelphia



Jake
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  #20  
Old 01 February 2008, 01:14 AM
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Groucho Marx wrote of the Marx Brothers' first performance on stage in London. The British didn't get their humor, and in the derisive tradition of the day, they tossed pennies onto the stage. Groucho walked to the footlights and said, "We don't mind your throwing money at us, but we came a long way. How about some silver?" That got a laugh, and the audience supposedly wound up enjoying the rest of the show.
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