'The Hangover' star stops to save woman from seizure in the middle of his gig
As entertaining as live comedy may be, there's always potential for it to go wrong.
Stand-ups frequently get heckled, or mess up the punchlines to jokes, or simply aren't funny enough to please the crowd - but those are known challenges that come with the job, and so comedians (at least, those who are good at what they do) will come prepared to deal with any potential mishaps.
However, sometimes something happens during a show that nobody is expecting; and that's where the true test of professionalism comes in.
Ken Jeong, the comedian and actor best known for his roles in Community and The Hangover trilogy, proved himself this weekend when a woman in the audience began suffering a medical emergency.
The incident happened on Saturday night, while Jeong was performing at Stand Up Live! He was in the middle of his set when some commotion started happening on the third row.
Initially, the 48-year-old believed it was just a heckler. However, it soon became apparent that the stir was not coming from a troublemaker, but rather somebody in distress.
Without missing a beat, Jeong - who is also a trained physician with an MD from the University of North Carolina - jumped off the stage and made his way to the audience member.
The source of the person in need turned out to be Shannon Hernandez, who was unfortunately struck by an epileptic seizure during the performance.
Heather Holmberg, an audience member who witnessed the scene, described it to USA Today:
"It was such perfect timing: Ken just jumped from the stage to help. He couldn’t see what was going on with the lights. He thought he was being heckled. He was playing with them from the stage for a second and it was like, ‘No, no, no. We need you!’ He realized there was an issue, and he came over. It was a moment where time stands still. Someone was having a crisis. There was a hush over the room."
Jeong reportedly took control of the situation and cleared the scene in order to monitor Hernandez's health until paramedics arrived. At the same time, a nearby audience member who happened to be an EMT stayed with her until medical assistance turned up.
Fortunately, the woman was alert again before the paramedics arrived, but she was taken to hospital for further treatment.
Following the disruption, Jeong reportedly returned to the stage and explained what had happened. He assured the crowd that he had checked Hernandez's vital signs, and they responded with huge applause.
Jeong is technically still a licensed physician in the state of California, though he obviously does not practice medicine anymore. In fact, he gave up his career as a doctor shortly after entering the field in 1995, as he realized that his skills as an actor and comedian brought him far more satisfaction.
One thing is for sure, though: Jeong's medical knowledge has not gone to waste throughout his comedic career - as at least one fan will testify.