'I have 2 completely black eyes': Heather McDonald describes fainting onstage in Arizona

Heather McDonald attends the Los Angeles special screening of Lionsgate's "Midnight in the Switchgrass" at Regal LA Live on July 19, 2021, in Los Angeles, California.
Heather McDonald attends the Los Angeles special screening of Lionsgate's "Midnight in the Switchgrass" at Regal LA Live on July 19, 2021, in Los Angeles, California.

Heather McDonald handled an onstage collapse and skull fracture exactly as one would imagine from a comedian: with a healthy dose of humor.

"I've got the scoop on one of the biggest news items (that) came out of Tempe, Arizona, this weekend," the comedian said in the Feb. 8 episode of her podcast, "Juicy Scoop With Heather McDonald."

"It was the fall heard around ..."

"Arizona," said Justin Martindale, a "friend and witness" who was a guest on the podcast.

On Feb. 5, McDonald fainted and fell backward a couple minutes into her first of two sets at the comedy club Tempe Improv. She revealed on her podcast that she is overall fine but feels "woozy" and was advised to avoid driving.

In the 90-minute podcast, McDonald and Martindale go into detail about their trip to Arizona for her shows at Tempe Improv on Feb. 4-5 and the story behind the fall.

Heather McDonald describes her collapse

Before her accident, McDonald said she enjoyed her trip to the Valley. She name-dropped a couple places she visited while in town, including the Montauk and BS West in Scottsdale. She also met "some Juicy Scoopers" while shopping at Nordstrom, she said.

But she "felt slightly weird" immediately before her 7 p.m. set at Tempe Improv. McDonald doesn't know the cause of her fall, but her theories include not eating or hydrating enough before the show or being nervous due to having her family in the audience.

"I think it could've been the booty drop, so we can blame Cardi B," she said.

McDonald had taken the stage to the song "WAP," featuring Megan Thee Stallion. In the episode, she shows footage of the fall, which includes the audible impact of her skull hitting the floor.

Martindale revealed that the crowd was unsure whether the fall was part of her bit.

"I could see everything; my vision never, like, went out," McDonald explained. "But I had the weirdest, like, dizzy kind of a situation. And I'm holding my mic and right before that I was thinking, 'Oh, is this leather jacket too hot? Am I going to have to take this off halfway through?'

"And I was like, 'Wow, what the (expletive) is happening here? This better pass soon. I don't know how I'm going to do the rest of my act for an hour.' ... Honestly, that's all I remember."

Passing out onstage was like a movie

Waking up, McDonald said, was like what you see in movies.

"It was like, four, five, faces around me."

Thankfully, those faces were medical professionals in the audience who were able to help her. She got up, went to "a side room" and received treatment from EMTs. After she threw up in the green room, McDonald's sons helped her walk outside and her sister-in-law drove her to St. Joseph's Medical Center.

"This hospital was fabulous," McDonald said, adding that not only was the facility nice, but the doctors who helped her were attractive.

She said a security guard for the hospital told her she would be under their supervision due to her incident making the news.

"I go, 'Honestly, I'm not that kind of celebrity. There might be some Phoenix moms that might want to come bring me some food,'" she said.

'I have two completely black eyes'

McDonald had to spend the night in the ICU and stayed another day in "a normal room." But it was a while — after she posted a video on her Instagram Story letting her fans know that she was OK — before she found out about the black eyes.

"I really don't want to reveal how bad it is, but I have two completely black eyes, which I guess is a result of when you hit the back of your head really hard," McDonald said. "They just said there's nothing that caused (the fall). Like, I didn't have some ticking time bomb."

The comedian took off her sunglasses to show the evidence of her injury.

"Now I'm just recovering from having a concussion. So I did have a fracture in my skull, which caused some (internal) bleeding. But then the next CAT scan the morning after showed it was already starting to heal itself," she said.

McDonald expressed gratitude for having her family at the show, though she joked about her husband staying at home through the whole saga.

McDonald rescheduled her Tempe shows

McDonald said she was "horrified but at the same time a little relieved" when she learned she would not be doing her two Feb. 5 shows as scheduled.

McDonald was scheduled to return to the stage at 9:45 p.m. on Feb. 5, but that event was canceled after her fall. She will make good on her promise to return to Arizona, however, and has been rescheduled for Saturday, April 9, according to Tempe Improv's website.

Watch the full video of the podcast below.

Reach the reporter at kimi.robinson@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter @kimirobin and Instagram @ReporterKiMi.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Comedian Heather McDonald's collapse in Arizona: How it happened