More than anything, that effort is what makes Sullivan & Son stand out. With Steve leading the way, the cast has gone out of their way to make the home audience feel like part of the bar family. They give us a chance to get to know them, laugh with them, and share in their passion for the show. For the second straight year, the four comedians in the ensemble - Steve, Owen Benjamin, Ahmed Ahmed and Roy Wood Jr. - are hitting the road for a comedy club tour, returning to their roots while giving the TV audience a chance to connect with them in that way. (You can view tour dates and get tickets here.)
Steve also told us that he and other members of the cast will be live-tweeting, and unlike with most other shows, it won't be just once or twice. "We'll be live-tweeting during each episode," he said. "That's something we really look forward to, interacting with the fans. It's been a lot of fun to see how people view the show, how they enjoy the show, and how they quote the show on Twitter." With that kind of transparency, it gives the audience a sense of not just who Steve Sullivan and his regulars are, but who Steve Byrne and his colleagues are, too. It's like you could easily amble up to the bar yourself.
So how close is Steve Byrne to his fictional counterpart? "I think I'm pretty in step with Steve Sullivan," he said. "The original pilot was based on what I was going through at the time in my life when I wrote [it], prior to [showrunner] Rob Long stepping in and making it a hundred times funnier. I just toured the country fifty weeks a year, living out of a suitcase, and I had a great professional life but no personal life. And I ultimately wanted to have a life that matters. I wanted to be around friends and family. I wanted to have a place that was home to me, because home was just hotel rooms and eight ounce bottles of shampoo. That was really the core of it.
"And I do believe that I try to be guided by the moral compass that was instilled in my brain and my heart by my father when I was younger and all through my teens and everything. He's been somebody I still call for advice. So I think I have a pretty good moral compass.So I think that Steve Sullivan and Steve Byrne are pretty much in step. I'm not sure that I'm as patient as he is with friends or family but we're pretty much in step with each other."
That similarity isn't surprising. If Steve Sullivan is the guy you want to see behind the bar on Thursday night, that's because Steve Byrne is such a genuine, hardworking person, too. Here's a man we'd all be lucky to sit down and share a drink with.
The second season of Sullivan & Son kicks off tonight at 10 PM ET/PT on TBS. You can also follow Steve on Twitter (@SteveByrneLive), and he'll be live-tweeting tonight's premiere, too. If you haven't yet, make sure you pay a visit to Sullivan & Son.