Review: Ed Byrne's Outside Looking In @ SDH
So, the night began... a nice hot chocolate and coffee in Starbucks, then a wander around town before heading into Saint David's Hall to pick up the tickets and head up to see Ed Byrne. We got some pre-show drinks, which was fun because the card payment system had crashed so my plus one paid, then the show was getting ready to start, so we climbed up to the fifth floor, where we were on the left balcony near the stage. Our seats were great because Ed couldn't really pick on us. After everyone was settled in, he came bounding onto the stage and his first joke was about how he recently failed miserably at a bankers' do, where apparently nobody laughed. He even tried a self-defecating joke that he knows always gets a laugh. So, I thought I was working with a lively audience tonight, which didn't work. One guy even turned around to give him a distasteful look.
Ed then went on to comment "And now you're all thinking 'this is the guy who we've paid to see and we are trusting with our Saturday evening'". He did get a few laughs, then went on say how he hates interviews because you always get the same questions: "Was there a time you died on stage?" (meaning not making anyone laugh), "What do you do if they don't laugh, Ed?", and the most obvious: "What makes you laugh?"
He then had a rant about it before he told a joke about sports people and how even when they are great at sport, don't do an interview with them because they can't talk about their sport to save their lives: "No matter what sport it is they are good at, they can't talk about it", then he quoted an interview: "So, umm, I kicked the ball and then they ran and it went in the net." Ed talked about how he loves Andy Murray but said "If I have to listen to him talk about tennis one more time...?", then he did a pretty good impression of the bored mono-voice Andy has when talking - and you realise how right he is.
"Almost everyone in the hall burst out laughing"
The fun really started when he asked the crowd if anyone has had a bad date, at which point my plus one (also new boyfriend) pointed to me laughing away and tried to get me to raise my hand but luckily Ed was too busy looking at the crowd, and then he went on to tell a few stories he had heard at different shows. "We were at dinner and he licked the knife... if he was like that on a date, what would he be like at home?". There were many people laughing and Ed went on to talk about some bad dates he had been on himself, like when he dated a veterinarian, which he didn't know until she ordered a vegetarian dish but he ordered the steak! He said: "I just couldn't help myself; whenever I cut into the steak, I went moo, I'm pretty sure that I screwed that date up." Almost everyone in the hall burst out laughing and that led him onto the age old argument of Slut Shaming, which is about how men can sleep with any number of women and get a high five, yet if a woman does the same, then they are refereed to as a slut, and so now, these days, women don't want to sleep with a man for months after the first start of dating: "So, you men out there, you pigs, are the reason all those hot girls wouldn't do anything with me?" Then, he spoke about an interview he did where he said: "Me and my wife were a one night stand but we were too polite to end it". He got a lot of flack for that not only from his wife but even a few women in the crowd gave a little heckle. He joked about his kids saying, "Mummy, what's a one night stand?", and it was about this time that he called for the break, so most people went to the loo or to get more drinks, as we did.
"That had a few of the parents in the crowd giggling"
When we came back, Ed seemed deep in a discussion with a mildly drunk audience member who clearly was very Welsh by her accent, then he talked about how he gets shy around pretty girls and how once, in a hotel, he saw his reflection after getting out of a shower and immediately called his wife to say "I now know what you do for me and I am sorry, you are right about everything". He asked the crowd if anyone had kids and mostly the crowd did not, so he went on to say "So, you are the people who don't like people like me when I take my kids out". He said how he loves to spend time with his kids and he took them to a coffee shop where someone turned around and said to him "It's not a creche, you know", to which point he said he wanted to punch the guy in the face: "Yes, I know it's not a creche, but I wanted a coffee while I was out with my kids sorry. You're company is too cheep to have an office for a meeting?". That had a few of the parents in the crowd giggling, including myself, I'll admit, as I've been there myself.
There were also many other jokes, but I'd like to leave this review on his last one about his son: "The first time his innocence was lost, we took him to Clarks shoe store and he picked his own trainers, which he loved. He wore them all the time. The weekend came and everything was fine, but then Monday morning when it was time for nursery, he wouldn't wear them and his reason was another boy said he had girls' shoes". Apparently, in the boy's defence, they were pink trainers with hearts on and pink sparkles over the toe-tops. He told us how he used something that Eddie Izzard said, which honestly I can't remember now, but I do remember Ed saying this: "Are you a girl?", to which his son said "no", and then Ed said "Well how can they be girls shoes?". He went on to talk about sexuality being defined by colours, then ended by showing a picture of his son in the trainers 2 months' on and still loving them. He headed off stage with Aerosmith playing the song Pink.
"I loved the show"
Since I've gone through all the jokes that I can remember, I must say I loved the show. I've seen Ed Byrne on Mock The Week and Live At The Apollo many times but in person, well, all I could think this was this Irish guy has made me laugh more than I have in a long time. Also, because he has kids, I found his humour even better as a parent myself. He's not like Frankie Boyle, although he does have the few what I call "rude" jokes, but, still, he is incredibly funny. He even took good humour to the nickname people give him: "Doctor Who" (because he looks similar to David Tenannt).
All in all, a great show and I'd happily see him again. I have seen a few comedians and he was the one who seemed most human... more down-to-earth with us mere mortals.
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