Interview: comedian Ed Byrne on Prince, pork ribs and pre-internet babysitting
The Irish comic runs the gauntlet of our First and Last questionnaire
First record you ever bought
It was the 12" version of ‘Let's Go Crazy’ by Prince and the Revolution. Still the perfect crossover between rock and pop music anyone has ever written. And the B side (‘Erotic City’) had the F-word in it which 12-year-old me was blown away by. Different times.
First film you saw that really moved you
I have to admit, I welled up a bit at the end of 127 Hours. His plaintive cry of ‘I need help’ when he finally came across those ramblers was a lovely touch.
Last lie you told
Actually I've never seen 127 Hours.
Last time you cried
August. I'll tell you the when, but not the why.
First thing you do when you’ve got time off work
Pull on my walking boots and head for the high ground.
Last great meal you cooked
My older brother bought me a charcoal meat smoker a few Christmasses ago. The pork ribs I do in it take about a day to cook and would make you weep.
Last book you read
I'm currently reading a biography of Jim Henson by Brian Jay Jones. I'm really enjoying it. Like a lot of people my age, Jim Henson basically helped to raise me so it's interesting learning about the man.
First great piece of advice you were given
For perfect crackling, scald the skin by pouring a kettleful of boiling water over your pork joint before putting it in the oven.
Last time you were starstruck
I met Johnny Depp on The Graham Norton Show last year. That was fairly awesome. Say what you like about The Graham Norton Show, it's a great way for touring-level comedians to meet Hollywood stars.
First thing you’d do if you ran the country
Pass a law banning people from wearing t-shirts with bands on unless they are actually fans of the band. The police will be able to do random stop-and-checks. ‘Name your three favourite Iron Maiden songs that were never released as singles. Can't think of any? GIVE US THE T-SHIRT!’
Last meal on earth: what would it be
Did I mention how much I love well-barbecued ribs?
First time you realised you were famous
An insurance company once refused to give me home contents insurance on the grounds that they didn't deal with people ‘in the public eye’.
Last time someone criticised your work
Someone is probably criticising my work right now as they read this article. ‘Why are they asking him these questions? He's shit!’
First three words your friends would use to describe you
Paul's older brother.
First concert you ever attended
The Wonder Stuff at the SFX in Dublin. I was 17 or 18. They were great. It helped that they only had two albums so I knew all their stuff. I saw them again at Glastonbury 2009. Still got it.
First object you’d save from your burning home
Is my home burning? What a way to find out. I need to end this interview now!
Last funny thing you saw online
For funny online stuff you can't go wrong with Adam Buxton. His ‘Richard and Judy: You Say We Pay’ sketch is awesome [watch it below].
I used to babysit for the neighbours. In the days before satellite TV / the internet / DVD players. Man, that was boring.
Last song at your funeral
Probably ‘Present Tense’ by Pearl Jam. That's how it's spelled, by the way.
First person you’d thank in an award acceptance speech
Depends on the award. It would have to be one of the three women in my life. My mother, my wife or my manager.
First thing you think of when you wake up in the morning
Why didn't I go to bed earlier last night?
Last thing you think of before you go to sleep
Look at the fucking time!
Ed Byrne performs at the Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow, Sat 2 Nov.