Ed Byrne performs in Dunedin on May 12. I can play with notions and stereotypes. Some of the things I talk about on stage are quite filthy but, if you analyse it, the moral centre is generally sound,’’ he says.
‘‘There’s a bit I do that I’m quite fond of. I saw a kid wearing a T-shirt that said ‘I love pussy like a fat girl loves cake’. I go through it point by point as to what is wrong with that.’’
For Byrne, every minute of every day is viewed through his wry comedic eye.
‘‘ You’re constantly thinking that way, your brain is skewed that way the whole time.’’
When he’s not on stage, people don’t expect him to be funny, he says, but there are other side effects to life as a comic.
‘‘ The thing that people do when you’re a comic is they think they can be as rude as they like to you and it’s OK. You’re in a shop, you’re discussing a new pair of glasses and the optician knows who you are and starts calling you a w...er.
‘‘Sometimes people recognise you and just start laughing. I’ll take a laugh without having worked for it.’’
The observational comic has made many television appearances on The Graham Norton Show and Live At the Apollo, among others, but has recently branched out into factual presenting, drawing upon his love of the outdoors and mountain climbing.
He’s climbed Europe’s highest mountain, Mt Blanc, twice, and writes a regular column for The Great Outdoor Magazine.
‘‘ I feed my soul by going hiking,’’ Byrne says.
‘‘I plan to do that around the Wellington area so I’ll get my boots out while I’m there.’’
Although he’s playing everywhere from Dunedin to Auckland, there’s one place in New Zealand he won’t go.
‘‘ Argh, Oamaru, ‘‘ he says, with a sigh.
‘‘On my last tour everywhere I went I got laughs and everyone seemed to get and enjoy my show but in Oamaru there was just silence. Shortly after I started that show I just ditched the new routine and went back to the old stuff. Oamaru is a tough gig. Oamaru is not part of the tour schedule this time.’’