An audience member viciously attacked a stand-up comedian on stage in a club while terrified audience members looked on in disbelief.

Comic Steve Brown was performing at the Comedy House in Columbia, South Carolina, when a man in the front row took issue with his act.

The assailant jumped onto the stage, grabbed the mic stand and flashed it several times at the comedian, who did well to dodge it.

The aggrieved punter then picked the wooden stool up from the centre of the stage and launched it at Brown, who took the hit, before other audience members finally intervened.

"This unprovoked attack that happened to me tonight is a reminder of why these comedy clubs should have well equipped professional security to protect us entertainers who bring their club so much money," Brown wrote on Instagram.

"I thank God for looking out for me and giving my old a** the ability to bob and weave because this could have ended in a horrible way."

Despite his nifty footwork, Brown did not escape unscathed. In another Instagram post he shared a picture of his arm, which had a nasty gash on it.

The punter returned to the stage bare-chested after initially being led away but he was held back. By this time the club was a scene of chaos, and the incident promptly marked the end of what was reported to be an excellent gig.

Comedian attacked on stage
Comedian Steve Brown used all his skills to dodge the mic stand Youtube

It is not clear exactly why the man launched the attack. Brown said: "We were doing a great show. All of a sudden the dude got up and lost his mind. I asked him if he was OK, and it went from there. I had to give him the comedian disclaimer – if you come on stage your ass is open game.

"You saw what happened: he was doing all the swinging. I was doing the ducking. I you look at the video I was talking to him like, "Dude you're going to get tired and I'm gonna knock your ass out, I swear to God".

"He got no licks in, that's when he started picking up stools and all that bulls**t."

The assailant is understood to have not yet been identified. The Richland County Sheriff's Department responded to a call from the comedy club and has since launched an investigation into the attack, TMZ reported.