Comedian Ed Byrne recently had a full Corn Exchange rocking with laughter.
The Irish comic was finally able to treat Newbury to his “If I’m Honest…” performance, after a two-year delay caused by the pandemic.
This was part of his national tour billed as Ed Byrne taking “a long hard look at himself and tries to decide if he has ANY traits that are worth passing on to his children.”
Due to Covid-19, Byrne referred to the two-year delay and its effect on his routine. One his best jokes involved a reference to the physique of rock singer, Iggy Pop. After the audience laughed heartily at the joke, Byrne revealed that he had worried about the health of Mr Pop throughout the pandemic. Concerned that an ill Mr Pop would have meant he couldn’t use his Pop joke, Byrne said: “I checked on his health more often than I checked my parents”.
There were certain jokes about which the comedian wasn’t worried during the lockdown. Ed Byrne said that he never worries about the shelf life of a certain joke about Irish priests. “That one’s an evergreen”, he quipped.
We heard much about the Byrne family life including their home location under the flight path of a busy UK airport. He described his sons excitedly looking out of an aeroplane in flight to see their house, while a non-plussed Byrne grumbled “We’ll never be able to sell it”.
Byrne also revealed that he had been asked to appear on “Strictly” but turned it down because, he joked, he would have fallen in love with his female dancing partner. In fact, we heard at hilarious length about how Byrne’s whole life would have been ruined by his behaviour, if he had accepted the “Strictly” invite.
The comic also told us how he is scared of live TV, and indeed, Twitter, because he felt he could destroy his whole career and, indeed, life by one indiscreet remark.
All in all, it was a wonderful performance, enjoyed by an audience that was in stitches throughout.
After performing his encore, in a moment of candour, Ed Byrne admitted that, pre Covid-19, he took his stand-up gigs “for granted”, but that the experience of the pandemic meant that he no longer takes his gigs “for granted”.