I like my comedy...veteran Fringe: Jason Byrne

Feature by Edward Whelan | 03 Aug 2009
  • Jason Byrne

Edward Whelan disturbs Jason Byrne from watching sheep to talk about his 13th Fringe show

Hi Jason!

I don’t know if you can hear, there are a lot of sheep in the background. The farmer just did something to them and fucked off and they’re all making this weird noise now.

Are they your sheep?

No, they’re just in the field by the house.

So the show's called The Byrne Supremacy

Yeah, I’ll tell you why I called it that, because I went to see the first film, the Bourne Identity and when yanks pronounce my name, that’s what it sounds like: ‘Jason Bourne’ so I thought I had to call the show that. I was going to call it something else; usually my shows have animals in the title, so I was going to call it 2 eyebrows and a fish. I found that from Googling - you know when you’re googling something and you see the different things come up; I was googling for different diagnoses and I saw that – two eyebrows and a fish – so I had to have it.

Tell us what the show is about this year

Well I’m quite nervous this year because the show is all related to a lot of different injuries I’ve had recently. Last year I was on stage and I ripped the cartilage in my knee, so that’s in there, my version of how that happened. And then I was in Australia, I do a lot of shows there, and I thought it would be nice to go swimming before the show, in the sea, and I dislocated my arm! I dislocated my arm swimming! So I’m quite nervous.

So this is going to be your 13th Fringe show…

I know! I was going to mention that. And I might be sawing someone in half during the show so with it being the 13th I’m probably going end up with my arm half off and my leg hanging off. But the Edinburgh shows are a really important time for me; they are where it all comes together.

Is the sawing in half going to be the big finale this year?

No the sawing in half is going to be about half way through. But we will have a finale. In Australia I was rolling people across the stage, I don’t know how that will work with my shoulder injury.

Rolling people?

Yeah, even as I was about to walk on stage I thought ‘What am I doing?’ but it just turned out to be the funniest thing. There was this big muscley bloke on the front row, and me, and we got wrapped around these people and then rolled across the stage. You can see it on YouTube.

Didn’t you get crushed?

Well yeah. But it was all for the art. I like to do a finale. What do most comedians do for a finale? They go ‘Thanks very much, good night’. But I’ll tell you why I work so hard on the shows. I’m still an ordinary person, I used to go to work and go and see comedy shows and I wanted to see some effort. So now I think: what would I want to see for the ticket price? I’d want to see some effort go into it.

Do you still get to see other comedians?

Oh, now, who did I see? Lloyd Langford, is that his name? I saw him and he was very good. I think he would be my recommendation for the fringe. This is his second year.



Jason Byrne: The Byrne Supremacy

21-22 and 28-29 August, 11:30pmVenue 150 @ EICC


Lloyd Langford: Every Day I Have the Blues

9-30 August (not 18), 9:45pm, Pleasance Courtyard