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Interview: Steve Byrne excited about 'very funny' season two of 'Sullivan & Son'

Steve Byrne and the gang are ready for another round of “Sullivan & Son.”

Steve Byrne

The program returns with its second season June 13.

The show originally came about after some urging from friends to write a pilot.

“I’ve been friends with Vince Vaughn for quite some time,” Byrne said. Vaughn and Peter Billingsley (both of whom are executive producers) told him to pair up with a great writer, which he found in Rob Long.

“Rob and I punched up a script,” Byrne said, then they pitched it and TBS picked it up.

Byrne said they are “not a bad bunch of guys.” Byrne said the producers are ”very hands on,” and are at every taping.

On working with Dan Lauria and Brian Doyle-Murray, Byrne said they are “amazing. Every day I go ‘that’s Mr. Arnold (from “The Wonder Years”)! That’s the owner of Noah’s Arcade (from “Wayne’s World”)! They’re solid guys, great guys.”

Along with other veterans like Christine Ebersole and Jodi Long Byrne said they mix well with the standup comics on the show. "It's weird- Everyone totally gets along.”

Are there a lot of changes in season two? “Not really,” Byrne said. He said in the first season there are a bunch of experiments while trying things out. “By the end of the first 10 episodes, the characters are fleshed out. In season two, you’re done experimenting and know what works.” He said Sullivan & Son actually “ran out of the gates in a strong way.”

“I’m proud of season one, excited about season 2. It’s really very funny.”

Byrne started up as a standup comic, “traveling to every ‘Improv’ and ‘Funny Bone.’ I was doing well professionally, but had no personal life.”

The character also had a job and was doing well for him. Byrne said he was taught to study hard, work hard, but “gave it up to move back home.”

That change has had the most meaningful effect on his life, he’s discovered. Now Byrne is “living the life of Steve Sullivan,” and become a contributing member of society, he said.

During his time on the road Byrne also opened for bands. ”I’d take any gig,” he said, mentioning opening for Puddle of Mud, Kings of Leon and Kanye West, among others.  “It’s not something I’d advise other standups.” If you’ve ever been to a concert where the crowd is hostile to an opening band, you can only imagine how they react to a standup comic. Byrne described it as “horrible.”

Billy Gardell (“Mike & Molly”) will also return this season. Byrne said he had great table reads, maybe the best they’ve had. “It’s probably my favorite episode.”

Years ago Byrne and Gardell were on a Jameson Whiskey tour as standups. Now both are on TV shows, and now are on the same Warner Bros. lot.

When asked what other projects, he is working on, Byrne said he’s ”always working.”  He’s got his third special coming up this fall, and is writing a script. He’s hoping to do whatever he can on for the new season, and said hopefully there’ll be a season 3, 4 or 5.

Production was halted for a few weeks after an incident where a cab driver reportedly broke his jaw, which was then wired shut. Byrne said he is 100 percent now after being on the DL six or seven weeks.

“It happened,” Byrne said, calling it a mixed blessing. He said it gave him time to think about what’s important in life.

“It’s great,” he said, getting the time to spend with family, and getting to ”reevaluate the time I get to spend with the cast and crew.”

Things were already rolling along great on season two. “It gave us a second wind we didn’t need.”

Season two of “Sullivan & Son” debuts June 13 at 10 p.m. on TBS.

- Steve Byrne
- Sullivan & Son
- tbs

Written by: KurtK26
May 31st, 2013, 11:21 am

Images courtesy of TBS

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