My editor wanted me to ask you for your favourite ever joke, I say to stand-up Irish comedian Jason Byrne.
“My favourite jokes? You couldn’t even print them in the paper. I’m not a children’s entertainer.
“You should just have a blank section on the page and let people fill in their own favourite jokes.”
Never expect a straight answer from a comedian or, even, a polite one, necessarily. The award-winning, gangly Dublin-born comic has done everything in comedy after first making a name as a finalist in So You Think You’re Funny contest in 1996.
His latest show, which comes to Harrogate Theatre as part of Harrogate Comedy Festival next Wednesday, October 4, is called The Man with Three Brains. Older comedy fans among readers will realise Jason’s latest show is inspired by a classic film of the 1980s.
The likably silly Jason said: “It’s going to go further than the Steve Martin film, The Man with Two Brains.
“He just banged one in a jar. I’ve got three on stage altogether. It’s just an excuse for me to do improv and let my subconscious come through.
“The poster should really say “a lot of **** is going to go on”.”
One of the fastest-thinking stand-ups around, the scope for comic mayhem on stage in his new show is huge.
Family man Jason, 45, likes to play on his name - The Byrne Supremacy was the title of one of his previous tours - so I tell him I’ve also interviewed another brilliant Irish funnyman, Ed Byrne. Don’t you feel bad for using the same surname, I ask him? “Yeah. I’ve been copying Ed for 21 years!” he replies, laughing.
Known for his love of props on stage such as giant ducks, rubber hands, owls and magic stunts, the presenter of Sky 1’s popular Wild Things programme has just announced a new TV series for the Dave channel.
Called Don’t Say It, Bring It, it takes the game show to levels of madness not even Vic and Bob approached in their legendary BBC series Shooting Stars.
Even Jason himself seems surprised by the carnage he’s created.
He said: “It’s not like a game show you’ve ever seen before. We actually film it on the street. We have no idea who’s going to turn up. We’ve had trucks nearly backing into us. It’s chaos.”
Jason Byrne: The Man With Three Brains is at Harrogate Theatre on Wednesday, October 4 at 8pm.