Dylan Moran: Off The Hook

17 July 2015 | 5:01 pm | Chris Komorek

"Moran is truly Off The Hook as he speaks frankly about taboo topics such as growing old, death and depression."

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"Tony Abbott is a genius." The crowd burst into hysterics; after all the state of politics in Australia is becoming — if it hasn't already — a big joke. "No really, he's a true genius — and HE'S YOUR GENIUS. YOU CHOSE HIM." The crowd still laughed, but it was more an embarrassed chuckle: wait, is he serious? Of course he wasn't — but that was the tone (no pun intended) for the night; comedy that would make you laugh and also think.

Diehards of Moran (I'm looking at you, owners of the Black Books boxset) would be up to speed with his sardonic observational comedy, and it felt like the sold out audience all knew his measure. First impressions, from media appearances prior to the show and his onstage presence, suggest he's mellowed over time, much like a fine wine. That being said, he still owns the spotlight while explaining his disenchantment with life behind a screen — at one point singling out an audience member, enquiring about Bieber's movements — and discussing the cultural shifts he's missed, including groomed beards, in his bumbling Irish accent.

Moran is truly Off The Hook as he speaks frankly about taboo topics such as growing old, death and depression. He described adult life as plain, remarking, "Death can't find me if I'm not properly alive" — that one hit home. There were times in this show where you could feel the audience collectively thinking, "Where is he going with this?" Their response to the punchline not as explosive, especially when he spoke about topical issues, and it's a shame that it felt that way; after all, it is comedy, and we should feel able to laugh.

If you see Dylan Moran's live show, you'll probably wind up in a cafe the morning after, making facial jazz while drinking your capattawooleewoola (that's Moranish for 'coffee') and reassessing your life (in a good way). That will make sense once you've seen him Off The Hook.