Dylan Moran

Dylan Moran


Navan, Co. Meath, Ireland

Birth Name

Dylan Moran


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Dylan was born in 1971 in Navan, County Meath, Ireland. His career as a stand up comedian began in 1992, in Dublin's Comedy Cellar in the International Bar on Wicklow Street.
In addition to his comedy, he wrote a weekly column for The Irish Times in the…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • (On how he met Bill Bailey, his "Black Books" co-star almost ten years before they worked together)
      Dylan: Ten or so years ago, we'd see one another in the London clubs, a sort of nodding acquaintance, but the first time I remember talking to Bill was in one of those typical, dreary, provincial hotels where you have to give your grandmother's maiden name to get a drink after 11pm. We bumped into one another, while gigging around the country, and collapsed, knackered on a sofa and had a very desultory chat about the thrills 'n' spills of service station food and touring. I didn't know him terribly well at all, but he was wise and friendly.

    • (On why he chose to take a role in the movie "The Actors")
      Dylan: I just laughed out loud, which doesn't happen that often with scripts. I connected instantly with this script – it was this immediately recognisable voice of a place, of Dublin. I lived there for a while. I grew up not too far from there. Conor (McPherson) has a brilliant ear for the people, the Dubliners. it's great, it's very recognisable.

    • (Answering a question asking if the Irish really hate the English)
      Dylan: No, but there is a huge cultural difference. There's a lot of mutual respect there, as well as a huge tradition of piss-taking on both sides, and you can see why. They're not polar opposites but, my God, they are maybe the two broken halves of the same piece. Certainly the emotionalism and the exaggeration and the caricatural way of talking of Irish people is a very stark contrast to a lot of understated English talk. But then you go down into the regions or you go up north and you get more colour, you get more of a tincture of feeling and humour in the way people talk.

    • (Commenting of the English reputation of being emotional cold)
      Dylan: The English are emotionally benumbed sometimes. I think emotion is given a very different kind of value here.

    • (Talking about his "Black Books" co-writer Graham Linehan)
      Dylan: I learned a lot about sitcom writing from Graham by the end of the process I knew about structure so it wasn't a case anymore of Graham knocking my stuff into shape. We had jokes that came and went. Jokes in sitcoms only work when they're not conspicuous and they reveal character. The characters can't be wittier than people are in real life. They have to be character witty.

    • (Talking about his co-stars on "Black Books"; Tamsin Greig and Bill Bailey)
      Dylan: I didn't know Tamsin before, but it was clear from the first that she was in charge of the part. I knew Bill from the comedy circuit, but had never actually worked with him. Like every other comedy performer in the country, I knew how good he was.

    • (On who inspired him when he was creating the character of Bernard Black whom he played in "Black Books")
      Dylan: There is a guy in a Dublin bookshop who provided the image of Bernard Black. He looks like he's swallowed a cup of sour milk and peed himself at the same time. He has this green bilious expression, years of displeasure have shaped his face. In fact he looks like every other second hand bookshop owner I've seen. It seems to go with the job - being miserable. He's still there now seething in his ash-smudged cockpit, daring somebody to buy a book; I doubt he's ever watched Black Books. I know nothing about the man himself, it's only the image of him that appealed to me.

    • (Answering a question asking if he intends to come back to television)
      Dylan: It's quite nice being off television and I'm always so surprised when people bring up Black Books. I've no plans to return to either. I do think television is in need of a shake-up, particularly in terms of what's coming out of Britain. I've had my fill of this sort of "comedy of embarrassment" - where everything is dependent on one character's fuck-ups. It's a very strict sitcom style and I think it's very samey.

    • (On the fear of being typecast because of his roles in films "Run, Fat Boy, Run", "Tristram Shandy: A Cock And Bull Story" and television series "Black Books")
      Dylan: I seriously would like to try new things - maybe I could go off and play middle-aged soviet nurse in the next thing I do... At the same time though, I know my own limitations and I know what I can actually work with.

    • (On why he chose to work on "A Film With Me In It" which was written by Mark Doherty, a fellow comedian and friend)
      Dylan: Mark told me he had a film for me and I said fine. Things carried on as normal and a few years later he came back with a draft. I read it and, along with tremendously feelings of jealously and anger, immediately knew I wanted to do it. That was that really. I mean the thing about this industry is - everyone says they have a film but Mark put the work in and delivered an extremely polished story - nothing felt vague, everything was nicely honed.

    • (How doing a good impression on his Stand-up's audience hasn't change since he's well known)
      Dylan: In the days when people didn't know who you were, you went out with the idea of making sure that they knew who you were afterwards, because that's how you made a living. It's not so different, because I still have to make sure that the audience get as much enjoyment as they can.

    • (On modern society and the humans' interaction with it)
      Dylan: The roar of the vacuum is louder than it used to be because of 24-hour media and the homogenisation of every Western country. There is also definitely a feeling that you have to keep up with rolling news 24 hours a day. But when on earth do you get the chance to process all that alleged information? There is pressure on us all the time, which is diverting us from what's really important in life. I think it's caused by a fear of being alone. If you're alone you have to take responsibility for your life – and that's scary!

    • (On his messy hair)
      Dylan: It's its own bioculture, I just leave it alone. We sleep in separate rooms.

    • Dylan: I don't do drugs. If I want a rush, I just get out of a chair when I'm not expecting it.

    • (Explaining the relationship between his audience and himself when he does Stand-up comedy)
      Dylan: When you catch a wave with an audience, you get such a buzz. It's not like sounding off through a megaphone. Despite appearances, it's a genuine conversation. If you're the lead singer, then the audience is the rhythm section. There's nothing like it.

    • (On not making a fourth series of "Black Books" even after being offered a lot of money)
      Dylan: We were pleased with what we did up to then - I thought it was funny - and I didn't want to mess it up by doing something half-hearted. We enjoyed ourselves. We thought we were doing a good show. We made each other laugh anyway, and we didn't want to do what a lot of people do and make another series just because people wanted one. We wanted to quit while we were ahead, basically. The financial side wasn't a great pull to be honest. I believed in myself enough to know that I'd get another gig.

    • (Commenting on modern politics being a show and the 2008 US presidential race)
      Dylan: Politics becomes performance, because you're imbued with a culture that is materialistic, where people shop for what they want. And they do that with politicians as well. Look at who is running for president of the US – you don't get anymore photogenic, smart, or nimble than Barack Obama. I watched that guy dance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which I happened to see on telly. Can you imagine a politician 20 years ago dancing his way to an election?

    • (On the modern world and it's consequence on human interraction)
      Dylan: Maybe this is just me, but as time goes by I'm more bewildered by modernity, it gets more unfathomable with every passing year. It's a very opaque area, the recent past, but if you consider the changes of the past decade or so, they're amazing. I fear we might be losing the basic human facility to be alone - and with that you throw out independent decision-making, what to trust, what not to trust, key stuff, a perilous loss.

    • (on working with Sir Michael Caine on "The Actors")
      Dylan: I was so far out of my depth there was nothing to do except concentrate all the time. Also, if I got nervous, a thing that would get you through it is the fact that everybody else around you would look after you because they're so experienced and so relaxed that they make it easier for you.

    • (on interviews)
      Dylan: Apparently, I don't do interviews, but I've done at least 13 million interviews. There is nothing left to say, of course, but they keep asking. It's necessary, but it makes you feel like one of those guys standing outside a dodgy restaurant saying 'Come in, come in', or a fairground huckster with a performing monkey.

    • (on religion)
      Dylan: Religion is the yeast of death cakes. It is the most awful agent on a vulnerable mind. It's the refuge of alienated and lonely people. It's what people had before television. It yokes people together into an imaginary world. It is just people talking to their imaginary friends, at length. I wouldn't mind, but some of the people are world leaders.

    • (he described his home town of Navan as ... )
      Dylan: A classic, middle-Ireland, draconian, theocratic, bigotridden hell-hole.

    • (on ending "Black Books" on a high)
      Dylan: I thought we hadn't embarrassed ourselves too much and it was time to go. Otherwise it reaches that tipping point; like when you're at the party and everybody's having a fantastic time, but then suddenly it's four in the morning, you're still there eating their bread and cheese, saying there must be more drink somewhere, and everyone else's eyes are falling out of their head. I didn't want that to happen.

    • Dylan Moran: I have no qualifications to do anything else and there weren't any formal application forms you had to fill in for stand-up, so I thought I'd give that a twist.

    • Dylan Moran: Arsey is a very good description. I think I might put it on my tombstone.

    • Dylan: All drunken stories are basically the same: they're all variations on locking yourself out of something you want to be inside of or locking yourself inside something you don't want to be in.

    • Dylan Moran: To tell the truth, I have never had a job. I never planned to get a job, either. My life's mission is to never ever say 'I have a job'. I've got work, but I don't want a job. I can't do them - the turning up, the walking in to the building, the staying in the building, the not leaving. I can't do it.

    • Dylan Moran: I don't really see myself as having a career, I was completely surprised to win the Perrier [award] - I thought then that they should have given it to Bill Bailey - but anyway, it's a piece of media rubbish.

    • Dylan Moran: (About how he was as a child) I was fat! I was pustule-rich! I looked like a pink human grenade! When did I blossom into the irresistible little orchid that I am now? I don't know. Getting taller helps. It spreads out a bit.

    • Dylan Moran: (About his school experience) I was too thick. Rubbish at exams. Fat tears of boredom rolling sploshing down on the desk in front of me. I couldn't stand the place. Hated all of the subjects. Eight years of Gaelic. I don't remember a word. Terrible, terrible books about 300-year-old women living on farms, who only have one potato and have to milk it every morning. Oh! And I did a bit of drama. You know - pretending to be a jacket. That sort of thing.

    • Dylan Moran: Of course, every actor wants universal hosannas and handfuls of caviar thrown at them, but you can't let the critics get to you when that doesn't happen. It's the function of sneery critics to sneer. They don't want to work out their childhood problems, so they become sneery critics instead. I hope they and their children flourish

  • Dylan Moran, pronounced More-Ran

    I first saw Dylan Moran in the comedy series Black Books in which he both starred (as Bernard Black) and co-wrote. This quickly became one of my favourite comedy shows and was disappointed when it only lasted 3 seasons (though not due to cancellation). Since then I have followed his stand up career and watched for his cameo's in movies such as 'Shaun of the Dead' which starred Simon Pegg, another great British comedian who had a small role in an episode of Black Books. Recently I was fortunate to see Dylan Moran live when he came to my capital city and was not at all disappointed with his performances. 2 hours of non-stop laughter - this coming from a person who generally does not like stand up. Original and engaging, he was able to poke fun at audience members, himself and the town he came all the way from Scotland to kindly visit while maintaining his Irish charm. There should be more comedians like him.moreless