Another one of my favourite comedians is the grumpy ranting Irishman, Dylan Moran. While Moran mostly spends his time performing stand-up comedy tours and occasionally appearing in movies, he first shot to fame as the character Bernard Black in the massively successful British comedy Black Books, and it is from this part of his career I feel it’s best to start this blog post.
Black Books was based in a second hand bookstore in the outskirts of London, around three main characters – Bernard Black (Moran), the Irish drunkard bookstore owner who smokes and drinks too much and is rude to customers and his friends, Manny (Bill Bailey) who is his bumbling assistant at the shop, and Fran (Tamsin Greig) who is an old friend who frequents the shop. All three characters are wildly different, and together are simply hilarious with story lines ranging from accidentally drinking a seven thousand pound bottle of wine meant for the pope while house sitting, to attempting to write a children’s story while drunk. Dylan Moran created and co-wrote the series, as well as playing the key role which seems to embody a lot of his on stage persona. If you’ve never seen this show, you absolutely must – there’s only 3 series and 18 episodes in total, but every episode is pure comedy gold.
His stand up comedy grew in popularity after the success of Black Books, particularly due to Moran’s likeness to his alter ego in terms of his grumpy, cynical way of looking at the world. As with many great comedians, it’s not just what he says that is funny, but the way he says it, the way he mumbles as he explains his point of view and suddenly springing to life when you least expect it. The next clip is of him discussing the idea of potential, and why we shouldn’t touch it, and while it is incredibly negative and not what most people would agree with, the way he conveys his opinions is very funny.
Lastly, I want to include a very short clip of one of his shows where he discusses Australia, and how ridiculous he thinks the country is. What makes me laugh about it is that in the last few weeks we have been hit by hundreds of bushfires, record breaking temperatures, cyclones, and now severe storms and mass flooding, and I find myself wondering if Moran actually has a good point in this clip. Anyway, enjoy.
Have you seen Moran’s stand up or Black Books before? If so, what are your thoughts? If not, do you think you would watch it?