Are you as tired as I am of comedians making the same Irish-Korean jokes?
Yeah, I didn’t think so. In fact, I didn’t know Irish-Koreans existed. I mean, theoretically I figured there is a combination of every type of heritage imaginable, but that is just one of those combos that never really crossed my mind. But here is comedian Steve Byrne, living proof that Irish-Koreans exist.
Okay, full disclosure, I picked up The Byrne Identity because I find Steve Byrne ridiculously beautiful. I had heard of him before and seen probably one of his bits, but I wouldn’t have even said I knew him. Whatever it was that brought him to me, though, was fate. He is officially one of my new favorite comedians.
From the moment he steps on stage, I know this is going to be good. Perhaps in the same vein as Barney Stinson, Steve Byrne is “suited up” and means business. That business? Being funny.
Obviously smart, his approach to race jokes and cultural differences have a new twist on an old subject. Of course, that’s because he lets us see the world through his eyes: his large, “always open, even when kissing a girl,” light blue-green, Asian eyes. (I’m telling you. Beautiful.) Jokes about his visit to Beijing and Ireland literally make me stop and think. After I am done laughing, that is. Can you imagine? A comedian talking about timely subjects while being hilarious, thought-provoking, and not wildly offensive. It’s my geeky, comedy-loving dream.
His subject then takes a turn to yet another popular subject: the differences between men and women. It wasn’t until writing this review, however, that it even occurred to me that was what he did. His style is so fresh and his jokes are so funny I hadn’t noticed he was using worn-out topics. When he gets to his bit about “finger blasting” (a phrase he will never tire of), I keep wishing I were more mature than that and above laughing at such sophomoric humor, but that leads straight into fart jokes. As it turns out, I am not, in fact, above them.
He then dives into his views on stereotyping, and–putting his own twist on it–he stereotypes people based on their musical preferences. According to him, as a jazz-lover I am an older white person who loves eating Sun Chips. Touche, sir. Touche. (The harvest cheddar kind are sooooooo good!) Perhaps the weakest part of his show, it still trumps most of what I’ve seen from other comedians in the past couple of years.
Finally, we get to the great stuff. For his big finale he admits he has always dreamed of being in a boy band. (What a coincidence! For the past hour I had also been wishing he had been in a boy band.) He then assembles a motley crew of 4 gentlemen from the audience to help him round it out. (5 is the magic number. Hear that 98 Degrees? FIVE.) If I didn’t know better, I would have thought he planted these guys to pull up on stage and seduce a “lucky” young woman with their dance skills. Giving them all nicknames to represent their personal flavor, the boy band Sausage Party* consists of Steve Byrne, Prison Fuck Toy, Uncle Creeper (Dear Lord Jesus, did that name fit), Tijuana, and Romeo Horsecock (whose name I couldn’t actually remember; I just took a BIG leap of faith and Googled it. The filters failed me.). Being so bold as to have the audience be his final bit really paid off. I was almost crying it was so funny.
Look, I know it’s not a movie like “Hey, let’s go to the cinema!” but it is 1 hour and 15 minutes that you need in your life. Do yourself a favor, go find a place that will let you rent/own The Byrne Identity, and then watch it. You will not be disappointed. Also, screw 8 Minute Abs, laughing is more fun.
*This video doesn’t do it justice, but at least you get the picture. No, literally, you now can properly picture Uncle Creeper. ::shivers::