Alum returns with laughs and support for Kent

Kim Rodia

Kent State alum and Comedy Central star Steve Byrne will bring his high energy physical comedy to the Kent Stage tonight at 8 p.m. The show will include fellow Kent State alum Ryan Dalton and comedian Mike O’Connell.

The 1997 theater graduate has appeared on Comedy Central, the Tonight Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Byrne said he loves coming back to Kent to perform, although he admits that he was not the greatest student while attending the university.

“I had a great time at Kent, but I still to this day cannot believe that I graduated,” Byrne said. “I was pretty much the laziest student that you could ever imagine. But the friendships I made and the experiences I had, they made me a really grounded person.”

Byrne teamed up with Mike Beder, the owner of the Water Street Tavern, to bring his comedy show to Kent in order to help out local businesses.

“When I asked Steve if he’d do a free show, he didn’t hesitate at all,” Beder said. “He’s always been very generous with his time and makes sure to stop in Kent whenever he’s close to the area. He’s a great example of a generous guy who enjoyed his time at KSU.”

One-hundred percent of the show’s ticket sales will benefit Main Street Kent and the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce.

“We saw this as an opportunity to put on a show and try to help raise some awareness and some money for the city,” Byrne said. “I worked at so many jobs downtown, and I got fired from all of them. So, I would love to go back and try to support them. I’d love to give something back.”

– Kim Rodia