KSU grads to share laughs tonight

Erik Urycki

For comedians Steve Byrne and Ryan Dalton, coming to Kent State isn’t such an unfamiliar experience.

Byrne and Dalton, who will perform tonight in the Student Center Ballroom at 8 p.m., received their degrees from Kent State. Their performance is part of the Homecoming festivities.

Both were members of Sigma Alfa Epsilon, which is where they first became friends, and both have fond memories of their time in school.

“It was like Christmas every time I would go to the Loft for three dollar pizza,” Dalton said. “I would show up with rolls of quarters.”

Byrne, who grew up in New Jersey, came to Kent State to study theater and play hockey.

“My memories of Kent State mostly involve having as much fun as possible, Byrne said. “I am literally amazed that I graduated.”

After school, Byrne moved to New York while Dalton landed a corporate sales job with his marketing degree.

Both had no intention on becoming comedians until Byrne stumbled upon a job at a comedy club in New York.

“I happened to walk into Caroline’s Comedy Club the same day a guy got fired,” Byrne said. “Within a year I was on stage.”

Byrne began performing in comedy clubs across the country.

Ten years later, Byrne has been a featured player on the new NBC series “The Real Wedding Crashers,” as well as the “Comedy Central Presents” series where his show was voted eighth most popular of all time.

During that time, Byrne approached Dalton about doing some stand-up comedy.

“Steve is really the reason I got into comedy,” Dalton said. “He told me I had some really funny stories and that I should tell them.”

Byrne invited Dalton to open for him in a New York Holiday Inn, which Dalton said was a great experience.

“I fell in love with it.” Dalton said. “Once you get that first laugh, and the crowd is into it, you are addicted.”

Dalton decided to quit his day job and become a professional comedian, and now is on the road three weeks a month.

This past summer Byrne was chosen to go on the road as a part of the MySpace Comedy Tour where he asked Dalton to join him as an opener.

“It’s really surreal.” Byrne said. “If anyone would have told me in college that I would be going on a nationwide comedy tour with my friend, I wouldn’t have believed it.”

Contact on-campus entertainment reporter Erik Uryck at [email protected].