On April 7th Steve Byrne will release his fourth stand-up comedy hour on Showtime. While that’s about 3 weeks from now, it doesn’t mean that we can’t check out a teaser. In the clip, we see Byrn essentially wrapping his hour with a guitarist as he monologues a bit about being an American.
Byrne took to his Facebook page to talk about how it came to be…
This is the closing bit of the special and it’s not necessarily a joke. I wanted to explain how this came to be.
I was a month out on filming the new hour in Chicago and the set all locked up. One night, I was thinking about the special as a whole, having my parents and brother introducing me, spending so much time talking about my wife and pillars of conduct I want to impart on my children as they grow older. I kept thinking about all the elements and just thought: “do I really want to end the set with a blowjob joke???”. The answer was YES!!! It always got a great response and I was a month out.
I kept thinking about it and with 4 weeks out, I thought, let’s at least try something and if what I come up with isn’t any better, we will go with the ol’ bj joke (by the way, a great bj joke). What is the one, singular facet about me, my identity I want to relay to my kids. One night, I was out taking a walk and kept rattling off major markers in American history. Accepting that America is flawed but is even better by the people that choose to move us forward towards a better country. I just kept identifying with these dates, events, individuals. (Bear in mind, it’s impossible to put every single thing in. Just ask Billy Joel) In one night, I basically shaped it all (Thank you The Killers playlist!!!). The foundation of it also came about because of our current climate. When I taped this, we had a looming election and Black Lives Matter was in the news constantly. I, like most, was affected and wanted to put forth an inclusive message.
I spent the next 4 weeks, working on it on the road. Memorizing it, finding the flow. 3 weeks in, last minute, it clicked. It worked. It got such a great response I knew I had to close on it. Good bye BJ joke. (My beloved BJ joke, we shall see each other again on a Friday late show….)
The day of the taping I knew I had my closer but I perhaps having Jamiah Rogers, my “mood opener” join me? I ran it by him, he was game. We tried it at the run through that afternoon and the first time we did it, it fell flat. Everyone, stage hands, producers, everyone was like, HUH? BJ JOKE might not be dead after all? Matt Schuler, our producer, asked us to try it one more time with him having the perspective of being the back of the room as opposed to on stage. Matt went to the back of the room, some others joined him, Jamiah and I did it once more. Matt walked up to us and simply said, “yes, absolutely”. Jamiah shared a smile and that was it. We rehearsed it twice, we filmed it and the cut you see, is from the first taping. We just gelled. There’s a moment where I did get emotional. The bit was still so raw to me, I truly kept seeing my kids in my mind when I did it. My son was just born and was hoping they’d be proud of their father. I could’ve edited it out but I wanted to keep it in. I wanted the moment to be a part of it, so folks know, I really do mean it. I can’t thank Jamiah enough for working with me on the fly on this and Matt for asking us to run it once more.
I worked on being more vulnerable in this special. Talking about my personal life, my children and relaying the lessons I’ve learned in life and passing them on to not only my kids but folks much younger than me. I wanted to be proud of this one and I think I did a good job. My kids will tell me what they think later on, when they’re old enough to watch it. I hope you’ll tune in to Showtime, April 7 and let me know what ya think. I’ll be posting more clips in the coming weeks, with actual jokes but for now….