Steve Byrne may seem to be all jokes, but his incredible work ethic and determination has excelled him in the comedy and acting worlds. You may know him as of Steve Sullivan in the hit TBS show Sullivan & Son or the guy that is ranked high on the list of famous comedians, but there is more to him than meets the eye. Be sure to keep reading for more personal information about Steve, as well as what is in store for the new season of Sullivan & Son premiering on June 24th.
ShareTV.com: When did you decide that you wanted to get into stand up comedy?
Steve Byrne: I never decided that I wanted to do it, honestly. It was just something that happened. I moved to New York City after college and I walked up and down Broadway, starting at 96th street, until I got a job. Finally, I walked into Caroline's Comedy Club and the manager happened to be at the entrance. I said, "hey, I'm looking for a job," and hee said, "what do you want to do?" I said basically I would do anything. He said, "come back tomorrow," so then I started working at the comedy club. I started watching all the great comedians and I thought "oh that looks like fun," and four months later I had worked up enough nerve to go to an open mic. That is how I just fell into it.
ShareTV.com: Did you have a role model that you looked up to whenever you were trying to get into comedy?
SB: I think my role model would have to be Dean Martin. There is just something really laid back and cool about the guy. He's someone I've always idolized for some reason. We all gravitate some sort of genre of music or certain person we just appreciate. He for some reason or another has always embodied just a cool guy. He was a night club entertainer- I've always appreciated that. He was from Ohio and I'm from Pittsburgh, so we aren't that far away from each other. There is just this easy going demeanor about him and he was funny.
ShareTV.com: Do you prefer working with stand-up comedy or acting on television? Or do you like them both?
SB: I like them both. They are both very different. The profession of stand-up is truly a profession of solitude- you are always by yourself. So now that I am a part of a team, I can show up to work and there is a ton of other people. It's fun to be a part of a team and it's also great that you don't have to pack your bags every single week, go to the airport, deal with delays, and flying. I would take this any day over going to LAX.
ShareTV.com: The third season of Sullivan & Son is coming out on June 24th, what can viewers expect to see this upcoming season?
SB: Well, I think the first two seasons you are always discovering or experimenting with the characters and story lines. I think that we have found what works for us. Season three is our best season by far. We know what works and we started going with our strengths. We also wanted to explore the Steve/Melanie relationship that has always been teased over the last three seasons. We have played with the idea and I think viewers are really going to be surprised with what we have come up with. I really can't wait for people not only to discover season three, but also see the relationship between them and what happens.
ShareTV.com: Does Steve Byrne relate to Steve Sullivan?
SB: I guess there are a lot of similarities between Steve Byrne and Steve Sullivan. I have always tried to have a good moral compass and I am very close with my parents. I try to spend as much time with them, but Steve Sullivan is actually living with his parents on the show. We are both pretty easy doing guys, we are very supportive of our friendships, and we enjoy (to a degree) the spotlight.
ShareTV.com: Did you ever think that you would be on television?
SB: I never thought in a million years that I would be in this situation, to be honest. I kinda resigned on Los Angeles a few years ago and was just going to be a road comedian. But, Vince Vaughn suggested the show to me and said, "hey you should write something." So, I went ahead and wrote it and here I am a few years later. Every step of the way is like a lottery: selling the script, getting the script bought, filming a pilot, then from pilot to series. It's like winning the lottery six or seven times in a row. Fortunately, I think we have something very special and it's been successful because we have tapped into something that people enjoy. Hopefully, we will be able to continue to do it for many years.
ShareTV.com: I read that your jaw had to be wired shut for six weeks after an altercation between a cab driver, what exactly did you do in those six weeks that you weren't able to work?
SB: Well, for six weeks I really concentrated on the situation and it made me appreciate my friends, my family, the cast and crew. It makes it really become a lot more introspective when life gives you set backs. I believe it made me stronger. It made our cast and crew stronger. It galvanized us in a way where I knew I could be supportive of these people because they were so supportive of me.
ShareTV.com: Do you have any advice for people who are trying to break into the business of stand-up comedy?
SB: The advice I would give is what people use to tell me when I was younger. It doesn't sound like much, but it truly is the backbone and foundation of what you have to do to become a successful comedian and that's to write all the time and get up on stage as much as you can. Every comic has a different way that they did it and those are the two keys to really making it. I know that everything that I have accomplished in my career was never given to me. I had to work for every single thing that I have ever gotten. So I would say do those first two steps and then work your ass off to get what you want.