Pittsburgh native Steve Byrne isn't new to the stand-up game. He's been successfully touring the globe, appeared on just about every late night talk show, and even has two stand-up specials (“Steve Byrne's Happy Hour” and “The Byrne Identity”) under his belt. But the sitcom world? Well he's a little different. But even for a newbie, he seems like an old pro. (Sorry about the “old” part.) Writing, producing, and starring in the hit TBS show “Sullivan & Son” with his buddies Owen Benjamin, Roy Wood Jr, and Ahmed Ahmed, it seems pretty much like Byrne is living the coolest life ever. And speaking of cool, Byrne is bringing the Sullivan & Son gang with him to the Irvine Improv July 5th through 7th so if you are ready to keep the holiday weekend party going (and who isn't?), this promises to be one explosive show.
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): It's awesome that Vince Vaughn is one of the executive-producers of Sullivan & Son seeing as how you did the Wild West Comedy Show with him. It's a real family affair over there!
Steve Byrne: I did a few pick up dates for that tour because one of the fellas got ill so I filled in for them. When I first moved to Los Angeles, Ahmed was one of the first guys I met and he had suggested that I fill in for the guy. I went and thank god it was one of those shows that totally went my way because I've had a lot of shows that have gone the other way! [Laughs.]
This seriously must be best job you've ever had. Would you say that your character Steve Sullivan is loosely based off of your own life?
Oh yeah, by far it's the best! I think with Steve Sullivan and Steve Byrne, the core of the show is that it's a guy that gives up more of his professional life to give more to his personal life. Because he had no personal life, it was all professional. I was living fifty weeks of the year out of suitcase as a stand-up comedian and traveling non-stop. When I wrote it, I just wanted to write a show about going home and being around the people that you care about. So that's kind of the core of the show.
And you tour with your boys too. They're all coming with you to Irvine right?
Yeah for sure! I mean, it just makes sense because the four of us are all stand-ups and have been doing it for a long time. I think we're all still getting used to working on a show so we're working extra hard on it. But stand-up is something that we all feel comfortable doing and the minute the show got picked up again we were like, let's go hit the road again! It's just something that's a complete blast and we look at it like running for office. We have to get out there, shake hands, and kiss babies. We're a show that is on in the middle of the summer so we like to get out there and introduce ourselves and part of that is going out and hitting the road with a grassroots kind of tour.
Oh my god, you guys really don't get sick of each other! It's like a four-way boyfriend love fest.
[Laughs.] I think that will happen you know, knock on wood, in season four or five. That's when we'll all develop drug problems, start hanging out in Vegas, and go the Charlie Sheen route. Until then, we're just peachy-keen kids from the Midwest having fun.
OK I'd watch rerun after rerun of that! It kind of comes full circle because I assume filming the show in one place gives you more balance your own life.
Yeah it's kind of funny how I wrote a show about a guy who wants more of a personal life and then once the wheels got in motion with it, that's kind of when everything started happening with me personally. Like with getting married and having a baby. It's crazy how life imitates art and art imitates life.
Off topic, I was wondering if you've stolen another comic's essence lately.
[Laughs.] I haven't run across anyone's essence that I yearned for so I'm OK on that front. You know it's funny because that story was something that was known in the comedy community, kind of like an urban legend thing. Then Dane Cook went on Marc Maron's podcast and talked about it so I was like, OK, now I'm free to talk about it. You know I have to say this about Dane, once I went on Maron's podcast and talked about it also, within two weeks Dane saw me at the Hollywood Improv, we had a nice talk, and he apologized. Look, I think it's just a matter of being younger and it's just one of those silly things that happen. But I respect him for having a conversation with me and it's all water under the bridge.
Oh good, I'm glad the “beef” is squashed. So before I let you go, I hear we share a love of the band Oasis. Thoughts on their new stuff with Beady Eye and High Flying Birds?
Oh I'm a huge fan of Oasis! I love Noel's last solo album, I thought it was amazing. On Beady Eye's first album, “The Roller” is a great tune but the rest, I don't know about. I just got into the second album and there is like, two or three songs that are catchy. They just need to bite the bullet, get back together, and understand that there was such chemistry and such magic that they had together collectively. I think that they'll just have to learn it the hard way. I'll be one of those idiots that goes and spends a hundred dollars to see them on their reunion tour. But, I can't wait. I absolutely love them!
Steve Byrne performs at the Irvine Improv on July 5th-7th, 71 Fortune Drive Irvine, CA 92618., (949) 854-5455. For tickets go to www.Improv.com. For more info, check out Steve's website www.SteveByrneLive.com. Be sure to tune in to Sullivan & Sons Thursday nights on TBS and since the whole cast also live tweets during each episode, be sure you follow the guys on Twitter @SteveByrneLive, @OwenBenjamin, @RoyWoodJr, and @AhmedComedy.