Byrne brings brains to the the INEC

Fergus Dennehy talks to famous Irish comedian Jason Byrne about his upcoming show in the INEC ‘The Man With Three Brains’, his love of performing in Killarney, the usual Jason Byrne madness and what he’s up to in the future

Jason Byrne
Jason Byrne

Love him or hate him, there's no denying the huge popularity that Irish comedian Jason Byrne has garnered over his long career in the industry.

Described by critics as "consistently funny" and "unmissable", the man from Ballinteer in Dublin has continuously drawn huge crowds to his shows and this, his latest production, 'The Man With Three Brains' looks to be no different, with extra dates being added, left, right and centre.

Jason will perform in the INEC in Killarney on the night of February 10 and he says that his impending return to the famous Killarney venue is something that has him very excited.

"I've played in Kerry so many times now that I've actually lost count; I've obviously gigged in the INEC and so many other different venues around the place and every single time that I've played here, it's been fantastic!," he said talking to The Kerryman on Friday afternoon.

"My home in Kerry when I'm gigging there is the INEC; I'm very much looking forward to playing there on February 10. I feel like it's such a lively place with some absolutely lovely people down there, it still very much feels like there's a small part of Old Ireland there. It's going to be the usual manic show," he laughed.

"I think the reason that I move so fast, shout so much and basically become this huge ball of energy while on stage, is that I know myself - if I don't keep changing it up every few minutes - I'm going to drift of. As a result, I'm always trying to do these different things on stage, I never want to end up doing the same thing all the time," he continued.

On the name 'The Man With Three Brains', Jason admits that while he initially he had no rhyme or reason for picking the name - it slowly started to develop a life of its own, the more the thought about it.

"It kind of came to me one night when some guy said to me after a show that I'd need more than one brain to keep up with everything going on while on stage."

"This idea stuck with me then and so I decided that I'd probably need three brains to do it all and so I started to develop this 'three brains' idea more and more and suddenly the new show was born," he continued.

"I separated one brain into all of the stunts that I do with people on the stage, the improv moments with the audience where I have to think on my feet is another brain and then all of the scripted and written material I've prepared is the third and final brain," he laughed.

"That's loosely what it all is and I hope that there's some semblance of logic in that," he chuckled.

"Basically though, I'll be honest with you - I just love the frikkin name and the poster!" he confided in me with another hearty snigger.

Some of his own fondest memories of playing in Kerry he says have come from shows the played in the INEC and he says that the image of two Kerry people swapping trousers live on his stage is something that highlighted to him how unique Kerry people are.

"When I gig in Kerry, the crowd there are always the best of craic; one of my main memories is this one night I was playing in the INEC and I had these two fellas up on stage with me and one of them was wearing sort of a beige trousers and the other was wearing jeans, and the tops they were wearing weren't matching their own trousers at all but they were matching the other fellas trousers!"

"I said I would chance my arm and I said to them then 'Lads, if you's swap trousers, ye'd look brilliant!' and you know what, they actually did just that! They swapped trousers with each other live on stage and they even kept them on for the rest of the night! That's what I mean about Kerry people being great craic, it's not many places in Ireland that you'd get people to do that."

"When you leave Dublin and you get into places like Kerry, there's a wonderful way about the people there; they are just far more relaxed about things," he continued.

On what people can expect from this newest show, Jason says that sometimes he doesn't know what will happen on the night - it's an "ever changing" show he says.

"This time of year, I always try to liven things up and add in some more mad stuff for people to get up on stage. With this particular show, the second half of it has been delving more and more heavily into me ripping into the young people of today - but in a good way," he reassures me.

"They seem to be given everything they want these days, without ever having to work for it. I was at one gig recently and this young fella had an iPhone - I asked him how much he paid for it and he didn't know! Can you believe that? They don't even have to know how much their phones cost anymore. It's madness," he laughs.

"So yeah, a portion of the show is going to focus on that theme. About how we had to survive years ago and how kids live today - it's black and white. After this then, there will be the usual scattering of madness and stories and improv. Basically, Fergus, the gig is just going to be mayhem so come on down!"

Tickets to Jason's show can still be booked online from the INEC box-office or by calling (064) 6671555; tickets will cost €25.00 with doors set to open at 7.00pm with the show itself set to start at 8:00pm.

Aside from touring, the rest of the year is shaping up to be another busy year for Jason as he prepares to take up a judging role on a new series of TV3's 'Ireland's Got Talent show' wherehe will work alongside Michelle Visage, Denise Van Outen and host Lucy Kennedy.

Till them, we can only hope that Jason takes my advice on board and books in a Tralee show for Siamsa Tíre for sometime next year - we'll be waiting.