• Sweden edition
 
Stephen Lynch - laughing in the face of the inferno

Stephen Lynch - laughing in the face of the inferno

Published: 08 Jun 2011 11:43 GMT+02:00
Updated: 08 Jun 2011 11:43 GMT+02:00

Swedish comedy fans have been spoiled over the past year.

First there was the triumphant visit of the Flight of The Conchords pair, and then John Cleese brought his one-man show earlier this year.

And just last weekend, Jerry Seinfeld took the stage at Stockholm's Ericsson Globe Arena.

Soon to be added to the procession of notable comical acts making an appearance in Sweden is American Stephen Lynch, who touts a unique combination of comedy and music.

To those unfamiliar with his name and reputation, in short, Lynch writes and sings humorous songs, designed to make one laugh and wince at the same time.

Like many in his profession, the 39-year-old from Pennsylvania in the eastern United States has a less than conventional family background.

With a former priest as a father and former nun as a mother, so it is tempting to think that Lynch's parents' religious inclinations may have played a role in both Stephen and his brother choosing careers in comedy.

But as Lynch explains, his father's musical talents and encouragement played a more decisive role.

“I don’t really use religious imagery in my act, so from that perspective it wasn’t really a factor," he tells The Local.

"However, our parents always encouraged us to express ourselves creatively and it was always a very musical household.”

Although acting was Lynch's first ambition, (he starred in a Broadway adaptation of hit movie The Wedding singer”), encouragement from friends to develop his songwriting took his career on another path.

"From college I moved to New York with dreams of becoming an actor. Or a rock star. Or a temp worker. I managed to accomplish the latter in about 2 days. Dreams really DO come true!"

The first song he ever wrote, at the age of 15 was a country music song about a cowboy who breaks up with his girlfriend, then goes to a diner. There, his entrée reminds him of his lost love.

The name of the song? "Beefy Burrito."

To the uninitiated, Lynch's is the kind of show that would appeal to fans of Flight of The Conchords - music based comedy, though the difference in Lynch’s case, being "closer to the knuckle” content.

There is very little in his act that doesn’t push boundaries, he explains.

“My wife is a soundboard for all my ideas. I don’t go out to offend anyone, I just try to find an angle that is amusing in things that perhaps on the surface are not immediately funny," he says.

"In the same way that Mel Brooks can poke fun at Hitler and The Holocaust for example, I can make comedy from things like AIDS tests or Anne Frank. It all depends on your approach.”

One of Lynch’s most popular sketches is about the Special Olympics. He admits to feeling sensitive about the song but gauges it in the same way as his other material.

“You just develop a feeling for what is okay and what isn’t, but I don’t have any qualms about my material," he explains.

"If I feel that I am picking on someone or being cruel, the chances are I wouldn’t find it funny, so I wouldn’t use it anyway.”

Highlights in his set include very funny ditties on ugly babies, homosexuality, and waiting for the result of an HIV test - not for the sensitive at heart.

The latter features a great line about Denzel Washington defending him if he loses his job, which will strike a chord with all those who have seen the movie "Philadelphia".

Lynch has warm memories of his first gigs in Sweden three years ago.

“I was worried because I thought we wouldn’t sell any tickets, but the promoter convinced me it would be okay, and in the end we sold out the shows," he recalls.

"The Swedes 'got it' and I had as good a reaction as any I had ever received in the US, so each time I have come back we have added more shows and towns.”

No doubt Lynch will be using the show to plug his material which includes four CDs, the latest of which "3 Balloons” came out in 2009, as well as an upcoming DVD project.

Lynch is playing four shows in Sweden, kicking off at China Theatern on Thursday, June 9th.

He then heads north to Luleå for a show on Saturday, June 11th, before heading south and west to Gothenburg and Malmö for shows on June 13th and June 16th, respectively.

By his own admission, Stephen Lynch may well be on his way to Hell, but one still get the feeling that at least he’ll be laughing all the way there.

Related links:

Geoff Mortimore (mortimore.geoff@gmail.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Late summer sun set to hit Sweden

Late summer sun set to hit Sweden

Forecasters have predicted sunshine across Sweden this week, with a warm front moving in from Russia and temperatures of up to 25C. READ  

International police hunt
Swedish killer arrested after European hunt
Photo: Police

Swedish killer arrested after European hunt

UPDATED: Police arrested a man on Tuesday afternoon after he went missing from a psychiatric ward in western Sweden at the weekend. The man had been convicted of murdering a five-year-old schoolgirl in 2003. READ  

Music
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Swedish singer Tove Lo. Photot: TT

The five best Swedish songs of the month

The summer may be (almost) over but the music will keep on playing here at The Local. Our resident music guru Paul Connolly will be selecting his top new Swedish tracks for us in a new monthly feature. READ  

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

African pygmy hedgehogs are being bought by growing numbers of Swedes, as a trend for keeping exotic pets sweeps the country, the Department for Animal Welfare and Health tells The Local. READ  

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden
The mushroom in this picture is not the same as the one from the story. Photo: Shutterstock

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden

A person selling freshly-picked mushrooms in Gothenburg has come under fire after it turned out the delicacies were not only poisonous but also hallucinogenic. READ  

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

The largest hacking case in Danish history began in confusion on Tuesday, after lawyers representing Swedish Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg accused the prosecution of "unreasonable" tactics. READ  

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

As H&M expands into Ethiopia, Sweden's state venture capital unit Swedfund has announced that it will back the clothing giant, in a move hoped to create more jobs for local women. READ  

Elections 2014
Social Democrats reveal election manifesto
Photo: TT

Social Democrats reveal election manifesto

UPDATED: Sweden's main opposition party the Social Democrats has revealed its election manifesto at a press conference at a high school in Stockholm, with a key focus on education and welfare benefits. READ  

Teen run over by train after 'shoplifting' chase

Teen run over by train after 'shoplifting' chase

A teenage boy is in a critical condition after he was hit by a passing metro train in Stockholm. The accident ground rail traffic to a halt, and has police suspecting attempted murder. READ  

Swimrun
Record win at Sweden's tough island race
Photo: Jakob Edholm/ÖTILLÖ14

Record win at Sweden's tough island race

Two Swedes crushed last year's course record at the Swimrun world championship in Stockholm's archipelago on Monday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
National
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
Politics
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Blog updates

02 September

America night (Blogweiser) »

" There was an event this weekend for the ‘Americans in Sweden’ Facebook group. I’m a member, and I brought my girls to the evening. The gathering was at a Boston-themed sportsbar in a mall. There were loads of screens, a bowling alley, a game room and a jumbotron. It was as good a place as any to..." READ »

 

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
How immigration became a key election issue
Society
Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

755
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se