Steve Byrne
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Steve Byrne

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The best kept secret in music


"Steve Byrne and The Kim's of Comedy"

Steve Byrne grew up in Pittsburgh, moving to Ohio to to attend Kent State for his higher education. He never even considered being a stand up comedian. "As soon as I finished college, my father was transferred to New York City with his job. I thought that I would like to experience the city and see what it was all about, so I crashed on his couch for three or four months. The first day I got there I got a job at Caroline's Comedy Club. I started out just taking reservations, but I really enjoyed watching all of the comics perform. I got so interested in it and one day decided to try it out. The second time I was on stage I was approached by a manager right off the bat and started doing dates from there. Within about eight months I was performing part time and then in a little under two years I was doing stand up as a full time job."
Steve never had a real job between college and the start of performing, but before that he did just about everything. "I even used to sell kitchen knives door to door. I have probably had 50-60 jobs since I was twelve. The last one worked so I am pretty fortunate."

There are a lot of different comics out there and a lot of different kinds of comedy. In the club, no one is safe from being ripped, but Steve says you can rest easy with him. "I pretty much like to make fun of myself. There are some comics that might pick on somebody but I focus on making myself the butt of the jokes because ultimately, I have found, for me at least, that failure is funny. If you see someone trip, you laugh. That is part of life. What happens? You pick yourself up and you learn from it. That is something that happens to everyone and everyone can relate to it. I have been really honing in on that recently. When I first started with comedy, it was all about being young and going to dance clubs and stuff. Now that I am getting a little older, I find failure is pretty funny. Now there ar certain circumstances that can negate that kind of humor, but there is a certain amount of pleasure in watching somebody screw up, or bust their ass. It's not sadistic or malicious, its just human nature. All of this is just intensified when it happens to you and you can talk about it to other people that will find it funnier than you do."

Steve started in the comedy clubs in New York, but has really focused much more on the college market in recent times. "I have done a lot of colleges over the last few years. I try and divide my time between colleges, headlining clubs and working various other clubs in New York and Los Angeles. I split my time between New York and L.A., spending two weeks a month in each location. I like going back and forth. This is apart from my regular college schedule along with the occasional headlining gig in various major cities throughout the country."

Steve is currently involved in a project with Bobby Lee (MAD TV), Kevin Shea and Dr. Ken, called The Kims of Comedy (all participating members are Asian). "We originally filmed a concert together about three or four months ago. It was at the same theatre where they did all of the "Last Comic Standing" shows. We basically split up the theatre, had five different cameras filming and packed it in. It was a really big production and a lot of money was invested into it by New Wave Entertainment. There have been very few things that I have done in my life as a stand up comedian that I look back at and I am just blown away by or I just say 'Wow that is really great.' This is one of them. It is in its final editing process right now and is being pitched to HBO, Showtime and Comedy Central. All of us that are involved with it are really confident that it will get picked up by a network sometime in the next year. We finished the film and we wanted to see if there would be any interest in the four of us together outside the film. We figured that the film would happen and we would just say ÔAh, that's it.' But we did the film, then the four of us talked about it and decided that San Francisco is known for having a lot of Asians so why not go there just to see if people would be interested in coming in to check out the show?"

We booked the show and it didn't have a whole lot of publicity. We had one write up in The Chronicle, did one radio program and ended up selling out all the shows. The people at the Punchline told us that we were one of three acts in the last year to have a sellout and we were the only act to sellout all four shows of the weekend. The Punchline is a really reputable club and they get a lot of great headliners there, so for us to have done that we were completely blown away by the interest."

From this point, Steve and the guys decided they should start working together on a more regular basis. "We contacted Kate at Sophie K. and asked her if she would be interested in helping us put this show together because we may be going to the new HBO Las Vegas Festival in November. People are really starting to talk about this and se - Campus Activities Magazine


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Steve Byrne is one of the hardest working comedians out there today. Currently living in New York City and originally from Pittsburgh, he was born to a Korean mother and an Irish father, which provided him with a wealth of material. His stand up has been featured on The Late Late Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Last Call with Carson Daly, BET's Comic View, ABC's Good Morning America, Comedy Central's Tough Crowd, Premium Blend and Chappelles Show. Steve has taped DVD's for National Lampoons' Young Comedians Special, The Kim's of Comedy with Bobby Lee and his own film, 13 or Bust, where he goes on to try to break the record of most performances, 12, in one night by a comedian in New York City. He's most recently been named as the new host on the International Channels stand up show, Asia Street Comedy. Steve opened for Mariah Carey on her Charmbracelet tour as well as Colin Quinn on a USO tour of Iraq in March of 2005.