On Getting Older And A Doomed World

8 July 2015 | 5:31 pm | Travis Johnson

"I know it’s all gloomy and so on, but some of it is very good grist for the comedy mill."

More Dylan Moran More Dylan Moran

When we speak to Dylan Moran, he’s in the early stage of his international stand up tour, a period which inevitably involves a lot of tweaking and fine-tuning of the material he is intent on launching at his eager audiences with all the acerbic bombast he can muster.

“It’s going really well, actually,” he muses. “We’ve had lots of nice notices that people say in theatre, people are coming, people are happy, people are laughing. Actually, I’m still messing around with it, but that’s because I’m that way. I don’t really let it alone - I kind of, you know, re-cook it, and smash it in the face, and tear it apart again, and do it all over again.

“But that’s what’s happening with this tour. I’m recording it in a week in London. Normally by now I would have been doing the same show in much the same way for a few nights to get ready to record it, but I’m not doing that this time for some reason. I keep messing with it and sticking new bits in and taking other bits out.”

A flexible approach is an absolute necessity for the comedy star, who first came to prominence in the BBC sitcom How Do You Want Me? before achieving cult notoriety as the misanthropic, alcoholic Bernard Black in Black Books. It’s the only way to incorporate current events into his routines, such as the UK general election, a week past at the time of our speaking, which he views with typical pessimism.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

“Well, I think there’ll be more riots.” he says matter-of-factly. “I was in Australia a few years ago when there were riots in London, and I think that’s gonna happen again. The world’s just on the boil at the moment - I talk about that in the show as well. There’s a huge sense of suspicion and mistrust, on top of all the suspicion about climate change and the rest of it. I know it’s all gloomy and so on, but some of it is very good grist for the comedy mill.”

Moran has also been meditating on the ageing process of late - an understandable preoccupation as he negotiates his early 40s. “I think it’s kind of interesting, you know. You get a bit older and you look up and everybody has a moment where they’re thinking, ‘Hang on, what the fuck is all this for?’ Because in the early part of your life you’re busy working and making children and paying your mortgage and all the rest of it, and you don’t get that much time these days to look up and look around.

“I think it happens more in middle age, or early middle age as I am or whatever you want to call it. So people are looking for The Other Thing - the other dimension in their lives and, by and large, they’re not going to religion any more - they seem to be going more to technology, and I don’t think that’s going to be satisfying either.”

Originally published in X-Press Magazine