Jason Byrne has a special connection with his audience, and that rapport is crucial to his appeal.
“The interaction with the audience is vital,” confirms the comic.
“I’m very much a people person, and every night the audience make me laugh a lot. Punters are really funny.
“One time, I had three guys on stage wearing horses’ heads and running on the spot.
“They were doing involuntary comedic movements and had no idea what they looked like. I was just laughing my head off.”
This is typical of the wonderfully daft, totally winning sense of humour that characterises Jason’s stand-up.
It has helped make him one of the most in-demand comedians around.
He is now touring with his show “You Can Come In, But Don’t Start Anything.” which was a huge hit at the Edinburgh festival Fringe.
It played to full houses and confirmed his poosition as one of the festival’s biggest box office draws.
Jason is a mesmerising live act who simply dazzles audiences with his sheer madcap energy. As he triggers laugh after laugh after laugh, his constant stream of marvellously inventive material scarcely allows audiences the chance to breathe.
Part of Jason’s enduring brilliance lies in his ability to take audiences completely by surprise.
Every show is a different comic tour de force.
He is a bona fide Fringe legend – he’s has played it for 23 consecutive years and is officially its biggest selling funnyman ever.
Now he can’t wait to hit the road with “You Can Come In, But Don’t Start Anything”. He has a particular love for British audiences.
The comedian explains that, “British audiences are totally brilliant.
“ They are really clued into comedy.
“They’re very open-minded and don’t mind what avenue you take.
“In Lincoln the ceiling in the venue is very low.
“An iron girder runs through the middle of it – I’d bang my head on it if I ran off stage without thinking.
“So every year, the audience encourage me to try and kick it. They urge me to play ‘Kick the Girder’. Every year so far I’ve managed it.
“But I’m getting older so I don’t know how high I can go this year!”
The other delight for Jason is the fact that audience members are more than willing to take part in the show.
“It’s like a sitcom is taking place in the room; the audience are the characters and I’m the writer. They might be wondering why they’ve paid to come – I should be paying them! It’s also great to see the same faces in the audience year after year.
“Perhaps I should have called the show, ‘The Reunion’!”
Such is Jason’s bond with his audience that – quite unprompted – his fans now bring comedy props along to his show.
The Irishman, who in person is comic, charming, compelling, charismatic, coruscating, captivating and (sometimes) crazy - gives an example of the sort of presents that his aficionados donate
“Every year when I perform in Birmingham, a woman brings me a pomegranate. That’s because one year I invited people to bring props, and I had to make up a routine about them on the spot. She brought a pomegranate.
“So every year since she has brought me one, and every year I have to do a different routine about it!”
Apart from Jason’s unbridled exuberance on stage, the other element that electrifies his audience is his absolute unpredictability.
“I get a real buzz from the unexpected,” he admits.
“The pleasure comes from not knowing at all where it’s going to go.
“ I love that thrill. When you jump out of a plane, you can’t get back in it again.
“That’s what my stand-up is like. If you’re out there and lose your thread, you can’t simply say, ‘Right, I’m off now.’ You just have to keep going.”
What Jason relishes above all is the fact that no two nights are the same.
“A lot of stand-ups will do the same routine every night,” observes the comedian, who won the Gold Sony Radio Award for Best Comedy for Radio 2’s The Jason Byrne Show.
“But my brain won’t do that. It is constantly pushing me to improvise and get people from the audience up on stage and to rant and rave about random subjects.
“My brain has a mind of its own! People come and see the show because they never know what they’ll get.
“For me, that’s the joy of it.
“You don’t have to warm the audience up.
“ They don’t demand anything of you. You simply have to walk on stage and they start laughing.” Such is the immediate connection he has with his fans.
>> Jason Byrne, Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline. Saturday.