JASON BYRNE | COMEDY INTERVIEW
“When I go and see a lot of stand up I can just get bored if they’re not doing a lot of shit.” Starts Jason. “But with me you’re constantly watching me moving around and grabbing stuff. So I challenge anyone to zone out of my gig. It’s too noisy!”
The energy that Jason provides on stage leads to the constant innovation of his act, which already incorporates a lot of improvisation. Most recently, this has taken the shape of introducing props into his routine and inspiring the title of his current tour Jason Byrne is Propped Up.
“It’s not ‘prop-based’, because that just sounds annoying you know? Like there’s a guy called Carrot Head in America who’s really annoying. He just picks up things and then says one liners. So basically my show’s not like that.”
In September Jason released his autobiography, Adventures of a Wonky-Eyed Boy. Jason often refers back to his past as an awkward child in his stand-up routines, and the book recalls his life growing up in upper working class Ireland in the late 1970’s. “It’s basically like Irish Simpsons. Because my dad is very much like Homer, except I’m not like Bart, I’m more like Millhouse. And it’s basically all about him. I talk about that character as ‘him’ and not ‘me’ and he gets into a lot of adventures in the book. So much so that I’m now looking at taking that character out of the book and pushing him into children’s stories.”
The accolade of being the biggest selling comedian at the fringe has been attached to Jason for much of his career, but he remains characteristically ambivalent to this which could so easily be bragged about. “Basically why I do so well up there is because I won’t fuck off. I’ve been going 21 years so the same crowd always comes back to see me and they bring their mates. There’s a heavy weight on you as a comic anyway. You just have to suck it up. So that’s what I do. Just keep going.”
Jason Byrne is ‘Propped Up’, Tramshed, Nov 13. Tickets: £17.50 Info: tramshedcardiff.com
words MARCUS HUGHES