Comedian Ed Byrne speaks about Cambridge Comedy Festival show – and you could win pair of tickets to performance

Ed Byrne

Ed Byrne - Credit: Archant

Ed Byrne performs his new show at The Junction later this month as part of the Cambridge Comedy Festival. We speak to him about his comedic inspirations, hecklers and holding up a mirror to society “exposing all our weaknesses and flaws”.

What we can expect from your new show?

“A night of unparalleled hilarity and insightfulness ... expect to laugh until you cry; a mirror held up to society exposing all our weaknesses and flaws.

“You can expect whatever you like. What you’ll actually get is a bloke talking about his life and taking every laugh he gets as tacit agreement with whatever point he’s trying to make.”

When did you first realise you could make people laugh?

“Probably at college. I was involved in running the student union so had to make speeches occasionally and I’d jazz them up with the odd gag here and there.”

Where do you find inspiration for your stand-up?

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“Anywhere and everywhere. Most of the best stuff comes from obsessing over the things I wished I’d said in arguments or confrontations with other people.”

You’ve had huge success on the international circuit. Do you find that sense of humour differs greatly between countries?

“Not massively. I find America is the place where you have to tailor your references to the audience more than any other place. If you say ‘footpath’ instead of ‘sidewalk’, for instance, they’ll look at you, baffled.”

What is it about the Irish sense of humour that produces such top comedians?

“I get asked that question a lot. I should really think of an interesting answer for it. The best I can come up with is that we like talking, and talking is a very important component of stand up.”

Who makes you laugh?

“My friends. Nobody will ever make you laugh like the people you know best and who know you best. I’m lucky in that most of my closest friends also happen to be professional comedians so that’s a bonus.”

What are the best and worst aspects of your job?

“The best bit is the time spent on stage. The worst bit is the time spent getting to the stage.”

How do you deal with annoying hecklers?

“Hecklers are rarely that annoying anymore. Most heckles tend to just be an attempt to ‘join in’ with the show. I generally make the heckler realise, in as humorous a manner as possible, that it’s a one man show.”

If you could choose three dinner guests who would they be?

“Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney, all of whom have played Batman. Just as we’re getting ready to eat I’d say, ‘So, what’s with that voice Christian Bale does?’”

Do you have any tips for aspiring comedians?

“It’s nice if you can make the audience think. It’s great if you can make the audience cheer. Neither means anything unless you can make the audience laugh.”

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