COMEDIAN Jason Byrne is hoping to show his business credentials are no joke after joining up with a tech entrepreneur to launch a new comedy app.
He and Irish entrepreneur Brendan Morrissey are in the final stages of completing work on the project, called iLaugh, which has the backing of some key British investors.
The evolving face of the live entertainment industry has forced him to think of new ways to reach his comedy fans and he's hoping to unveil the app with Morrissey next month.
"He's been doing some amazing stuff with tech, working on things for kids with dyslexia and some mental health stuff," Byrne said of his tech partner.
"So he approached me and now we're working on a thing called iLaugh. It is a new comedy app which will run alongside Instagram and TikTok.
"We have been working on it now since before the lockdown so we're launching that hopefully around December.
"It's a place where comedians will eventually be posting stuff but punters can post there as well."
However, he and Morrissey are adamant that the app will be used in a positive way.
"I think that TikTok has a sense of evil about it, there's a touch of nastiness in there," Byrne said.
"We're going to have teams working around the clock to drag any of that stuff out of it and it will just be funny stuff.
"There will be dark humour in there as well, but there won't be anyone dying or falling off stuff."
The comedian admits the whole process of moving into the online world has been a learning curve.
"I thought an app was something a teenager could build on his lunchtime," he said.
"This has a tech team of about 150 heads working on it. Even if you have to just swipe something up, that costs loads of money and takes about 40 million hours to type in."
Byrne also warmly welcomed the €50m fund from the Government for the live entertainment industry.
"That grant, which will be brilliant, means that if a venue can hold 300 and can only take 50, the Government are going to top it up as if it's a sold-out gig," he said.