Jason Byrne

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Jason Byrne

It’s commonplace in a show for audience members not to know what to expect as they watch the onstage antics. What joke will come next? Will I be involved? Where’s this story going? These thoughts are natural and occur at any point of the show. What’s not normal though is when the comedian himself has no clue what’s going to come next, and that’s exactly how Jason Byrne’s new show will play out.
Not one to follow the crowd, Jason has thought up an elaborate setup where a wheel is spun and dictates exactly how the show will run. Even the name of the show is up to the audiences’ whim.
“Every show is totally different, sometimes there’s loads of stand-up and not many stunts and then there’s loads of stunts and not much stand-up. But it’s just me on my toes, so it’s good for me – and the audience love it,” Jason says.
“I get bored just doing what I do so I keep moving the goal post and setting the bar higher when I don’t have to, but I just do. I just feel like with comedy I’ve got to keep pushing myself, and this is a tough gig because there’s no safety net whatsoever.”
Pushing the boundaries is something that Jason is well known for and something he thoroughly enjoys delivering to the crowd. If chosen from the wheel this show will see a couple come up on stage, the lady armed with a boxing glove and a rubber glove and, depending on what she answers to each question, she will either stroke or punch his genitals.
“I actually didn’t think it was pushing the boundaries and it was a bit too normal,” he says. “But people just loved it, and people were laughing, cry-laughing at the lady stroking her husband’s genitals.”
Aside from the in-your-face skits, audience members will be asked to mime the show, do tricks with Jason or even go and “rob” something. The show has already done phenomenally well at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival and Jason is certain Australians are going to love it just as much.
“The Aussies are going to love this show and they always have a good crack,” Jason says.
This is a quality Jason fully appreciates as he’s always up for something new. Aside from a unique comedy show, Jason has just started a new TV series and even acted as Pat the Gardener in Alice in Wonderland (1999).
“That was one of the first times I ever actually spoke in front of a camera. Never mind first movie, I’d never even seen a studio,” he says. “Looking back it’s so tiddly potato, and the Irish people would have been looking at it thinking, ‘Geez, what the fuck are you doing? That’s so paddy-wackery you might as well have dressed up as a leprechaun with a pipe’.”
While acting isn’t something Jason does on a regular basis it’s still a part of his career he wants to hold on to.
“Radio is so different from stand-up and stand-up is so different from acting, but I don’t know and I’d hate to give up any of them,” he says.
In future Jason would like to give acting a bit more of a go, just for fun. Until he hits the big screen again you can catch him in his new show and see him perform like never before.
When&Where: Deakin’s Costa Hall (GPAC) – September 20
By Amanda Sherring