STAND-UP TUESDAYS: Steve Byrne

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Stand-Up Tuesdays is a weekly comedy spotlight written by the wonderfully talented Angie Frissore. Covering both known and unknown comics, Stand-up Tuesdays is your new source for all things funny.

This week, Angie puts a spotlight on Steve Byrne’s comedy career. If you or your comedy troupe would like to be featured on Stand-Up Tuesdays, please email utgjames@gmail.com.

Comedian Steve Byrne‘s latest special, Champion, is the focus of this week’s Stand-Up Tuesdays, and I can’t think of a more fitting title. They may say that nice guys finish last, but Byrne is clearly on top of his game and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Byrne acts as a champion for the people in his new special, pointing out life’s oddities and incongruities in an honest, no-holds-barred fashion. Riffing on everything from animal rape to ethnic stereotypes, the veteran performer and star of TBS’ hit show Sullivan & Son calls it as he sees it: you don’t see a lot of fried chicken commercials during hockey games, and there’s something clearly wrong with you if you’re not married by your forties. There are so many moments I know I, myself, could relate to, but would never confess: “When I see a fat girl going to use the bathroom, I assume she’s taking a shit.”

Some might find Byrne’s brutal honesty slightly off-putting, but those folks probably don’t belong in a comedy audience. Having interviewed Byrne a couple of times, I have the advantage of knowing what a great person he really is – and his material is harmlessly fun. Byrne touches upon the subjects and opinions that most people secretly share and does so in a manner that turns the tables on your expectations.

I also find it fitting that Byrne is currently starring in a sitcom based in a bar, given that he’s the type of comedian that you just want to sit down and have a beer with. His high energy and likability are infectious, which is clearly demonstrated as he takes the stage to uproarious applause. My recommendation would be to enjoy Champion on video (it is currently available on Netflix instant), as Byrne’s comedy has a healthy amount of physicality to it (particularly when he’s impersonating a flamboyant gay man).

Steve Byrne certainly is the Champion in my book and should be a key player in your stand-up collection. Stream it now on Netflix, or snag it on iTunes today.

Grade: A-

 

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