I have always liked Ed Byrne, the comedian who looks like Darlene on Roseanne. This stand-up comic is a regular at the Just For Laughs Montreal International Comedy Festival and I have had the pleasure to share a beer with him at least once a year. He is very nice and the hardest working comic at the comedy fest. I wanted Pedantic And Whimsical, his first stand-up comedy DVD, bad enough to seriously think of ordering it from the UK. Fortunately, it is now available in Canada and that other country in America.
The problem with really looking forward to a comedy DVD is your expectations sometimes build up so much you end up being disappointed. This is not a problem with Ed Byrne Pedantic And Whimsical. Hell, even the menu is lots of fun and worth sitting through the main menu just to see what happens. Granted, ninety minutes on stage forces Byrne to go for the occasional moldy comedy oldie such as stuff about checking your bags in at the airport but this is a starting point for some funny stuff and a really good closer so what the hell.
Byrne then goes for a very good bit on assorted jobs such as builders in which he gets in a good crack at an audience member. It is also an example of moments where the comedy on this DVD, much like Guinness, does not travel across the pond perfectly intact. I doubt many North American viewers will get why a tea pot on stage would attract builders. His bit on dentists is also fun, original stuff, even if he does go "annanyanya nya" a couple of times -a comic genius, you say? (a comment you'll get when you hear it in context). Anyone who has dealt with a dental hygienist will laugh hard at his story about his encounter with this particular profession.
Ed Byrne is not a high energy comic. He relies more on his ability to tell a good story, poke fun at himself, and his wit to get laughs. It really works most of the time though his Glaswegian guy bit goes a bit long. It is also a rare time where he does not segue well into the next bit, on LL Cool J. His next routine on Pedantic & Whimsical on having an argument while in a relationship (or, later on, in bed) is good, fun stuff.
Also solid on this comedy DVD is his bit about the stuff you buy when your girlfriend moves in such as a bathroom scale. His snooze button bit is also lots of fun tough a bit long. His next routine, about talking in bed, falling asleep in public -a rare moment where Byrne gets really raunchy-- and talking during sex is really good.
Pedantic And Whimsical closes with a fun bit on drinking and the advantages of shopping with your girlfriend when it comes to booze. His suggestion on how to shop for alcohol at the supermarket is something most people will certainly want to try at least once in their life. The encore is his classic take on Alanis Morissette's understanding of what irony is.
Ed Byrne is a genial witty comic and much the same can be said about his stand-up comedy DVD Pedantic & Whimsical.
Extra features include a commentary track by friends and other comedians. Not much there, especially since they are trying to talk over the original audio track. There is also an interview with Dara O'Brian.