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You might remember Ed Byrne as the comic who took Alanis Morisette to task. More than a decade ago he ripped into the Canadian pop star for ‘whining’ in her hit pop song Ironic. “The only ironic thing about that song,” he famously quipped, “is it’s written by a woman who doesn’t know what irony is.”

Now pushing 40, Byrne reflects that being a comedian is about the only job where you can, “pick holes without offering any solution. That and being a politician.” Despite being slightly older (and perhaps wiser) with a wife and children there’s still plenty to mock although touring doesn’t come as easy: “I can’t commit to going somewhere like Australia unless I can spend an appreciable amount of time there” he said. “ It’s fun to just hang out with other comedians.”

And that’s exactly what he plans on doing when he will appear alongside the likes of Drew Carey, Rhys Darby and Aziz Ansari in a rare Sydney stopover for the Just For Laughs festival. But expect more, “getting married, having kids and owning a cat” than surprise celebrity attacks. “Although,” Byrne laughs, “I quite fancy the idea of fabricating a celebrity feud. Let everyone know I’m going to come down there to tear Merrick and Rosso a new one!”

Oct 21, Opera Theatre, Sydney Opera House, from $40, 9250 7777, sydneyoperahouse.com