A comedian once said “when I start talking about my kids take me outside and shoot me”. But, for Irish funnyman, Ed Byrne, life as a father and a husband forms the core of his current touring show “If I’m Honest…”. Arriving in Harrogate for the latest date on his tour, the Irishman explains how, given the number of years he’s been doing this, most people would be wanting to spend more time at home with their family.
However, for Byrne, nothing could be further from the truth as he admits “I need this more than ever because it’s the only place where I can speak and people give a flying f*** about what I’m saying!”
The first half of the show revolves around his two children Magnus and Cosmo and the qualities as a father that the Byrne wants to pass onto the two who currently see him as “someone a bit famous off the telly”. The ever-cynical Byrne ponders the occasions their words have worryingly dragged up memories of saying the exact same things when he was a child. Exploring the innocence of childhood, Byrne is lost for words as a story being made-up by his kids finishes with one of them uttering the statement “and then he got punched by God”.
Elsewhere Byrne recalls experiences at New Parent Support, internet memes and his thoughts on Strictly Come Dancing. By the end of the first half, you’ve realised how right he was with his opening statement about needing stand-up more than ever.
Now in his forties admitting that, after being asked to confirm his age, he’s pushing nearer fifty, Byrne admits he has no redeeming qualities to pass on to his two children. He goes on to explain this is why he makes sure he hangs around with friends whose husbands are utterly useless at everything while discussing the ups and downs of his own marriage. Continuing through the second half of the show, Byrne digresses from his children for a few routines including, amongst others, a familiar one about internet passwords.
It’s a reliable (and well-used on the comedy circuit) routine but, given the nature of the show, it’s one that sums up Byrne perfectly. He may not be a controversial comedian like some of his fellow comics but, for an hour or so, you can rely on him to deliver a night of warm-hearted, yet self-depricating Irish humour. Byrne is a man who, by his own admission, may not be packing out every venue, but, thanks to his son Magnus, is hugely popular in Iceland.