If you’re “sensitive,” Stephen Lynch warns several times during his show, you might want to leave. Though he’s not kidding, he’s also setting up the audience for his next joke. And when Lynch promises to be offensive, he never fails to disappoint. With songs covering topics like ugly babies, Catholic priests, masturbation and mental retardation (those are probably the most politically correct subjects), Lynch knows to how to pen the human condition into comedy. His work has landed him on Comedy Central several times since 1997 as well as on “Last Call” with Carson Daly. I spoke to Lynch after his show to promote his newest release, “Superhero,” at Toad’s last Saturday night:
scene: It seems like you’ve got your dream job and it’s working out for you. What was the worst job you ever had?
Stephen Lynch: Every job. I worked at a bank, as a temp, in an ice cream shop, at a video store —
Was there anyone who helped you get started doing this?
No. Four or five years ago, I quit my “real job.” It’s working out. My first paying gig was opening up for Jeff Foxworthy in upstate New York. It was not my demographic. Originally, I was supposed to be onstage for 40 minutes — and then 20 — and then about seven. Good thing — I’ve got a photograph of the whole arena. There were about two or three thousand people — and not a single person was looking at me.
You seem to cover pretty general human topics. What kind of material are you looking for for your next album?
It’s hard to find something to write about. No current events, no Monica Lewinsky. My next album is in its infancy. I need about five more songs. Over the summer, [my new songs] went well on tour.
Are all your songs based on your own experiences?
Everything comes from somewhere within — although I’ve never slept with my mother.
Do your parents come to a lot of your shows?
[My parents] are very supportive, and they’ve come to a couple of shows, although I think they mostly watch the crowd [for entertainment] — they’re happy as long as I’m doing something that makes me happy.
You sing about stuff like Tourrette’s syndrome and the Special Olympics. Have you ever known anyone with mental retardation?
No. I have moral dilemmas about that. I really do hate that song.
You refer a lot to being Catholic. Do you have any Catholic guilt? Have you played at any Catholic schools?
No Catholic schools yet. I don’t have any real Catholic guilt. I’m not trying to really hurt anybody.
You had a lot of audience participation tonight. What was up with that guy who kept shouting stuff out?
He was an asshole; he wasn’t really a part of the show.
Aside from him, how’d you like the crowd tonight?
They either laughed or sang along. That’s all you can ask for.