Dylan Moran – Off The Hook

Stand-up comedian, actor and writer Dylan Moran visits Sussex in April when he performs at the Brighton Dome and Daniel White sat down to chat with the creator of Black Books to talk about the female comedians, ISIS and much more…

(c) Andy Hollingworth Archive

So, you’ve set off on tour with your new show, Off The Hook, how’s it gone so far?
A: Well we’ve just started, we did some smaller dates beforehand just to get up on stage basically but it’s good, it’s enjoyable, it’s new.

Q: What sort of feedback have you received so far?
A: I haven’t had any bricks thrown at me yet.

Q: So what’s the show about?
A: It’s about a lot of things, it’s about now, it’s about the media, it’s about a lot of the black news that we’re getting a lot of the time, very dark news, you know.

It’s about the different generations that are in conflict in the country at the moment about the election and what’s going to happen and Scotland and America and Russia and what’s going on with the Islamic state situation and, you know, a lot of it is just about ordinary things; getting older, getting fatter, family life, death, I pretty much tried to cover the whole front here.

Q: You spoke about the black news that is so prominent in the media currently and the press portrayal of groups such as ISIS; do you think following them so closely could be misleading to the public from what they should be focusing on?
A: I don’t think it’s misleading the public, I think what’s changed is that the media is constant. [pullquote position=”right”]We’re immersed in this sort of fizzing, digital bath all day long and you have to question what it does to yourself.[/pullquote]


You’re not going to feel quite right at the end of the day if you’ve spent your day in an office looking at a computer screen and you come home and you’re looking at another screen to be told the world is on the boil.

I don’t think you’re going to go to bed and get up the next morning with a spring in your step so I think people actually have to start considering how they want to live.

Q: One of your most noticeable mannerisms on-stage is of someone who doesn’t care, however, the issues you raise are very important, are theses to highlight the issues or make people see the funny side of them?
A: What I’m trying to do is open these issues up to find out how they work, you know, that’s what I’m interested in and doing that in front of people.

Trying to work it out and talking about all the things we imagine, all the things that we are prejudice about, all the things that we expect, how we’re proved wrong, why we have these set ways of looking at these important issues within our lives day after day without ever really seeing them clearly.

Separating our own bulls**t from the bulls**t of the wider world and the people around us, these are the things I’m interested.

Q: And that’s all packed into the show?
A: Yeah, by the end of it everything’s absolutely sorted out, everybody’s achieved a new level of enlightenment and their clothes are clean and they have a fresh smile and everything.

Q: How do you find it taking a tour like this on the road, is it still exciting?
A: I’m not going to do this if I’m bored or I don’t want to do it. I’m here because I want to do it, I want to go out, I want to talk, I want to work this stuff out in front of people, with people, talking to people and seeing how they react and so on.


"I love Sussex and I have always loved playing in Brighton"

“I love Sussex and I have always loved playing in Brighton”


[three_fifth_last]Q: One of the hot topics in stand up comedy in recent times has been the lack of women in the field of stand-up, where do you stand on the debate?
A: It’s much healthier than it used to be. It’s actually very encouraging, I think there’s a lot more women around doing interesting work than I can remember because when I was coming up through the scene in London, nearly 20 years ago, there seemed to be a lot less. They commonly used a couple of techniques to deal with what they would get from an audience, sometimes they would be super-aggressive, which would sometimes worked, sometimes they would devote what they were saying exclusively from the vantage point of a woman, that happened quite a lot, and then sometimes there was a twist in their act; they were character or musical actors.[/three_fifth_last]

But what you find now is that you get a lot of female stand ups who are straight ahead stand ups who are really excellent at what they are doing; they’re just talking about their world view and the fact that what their gender is, is of no more influence than it would be in anybody else’s, than if some guy said it, so I think that’s a real move forward and there are some fantastically women out there.

Q: You’re bringing your tour to Sussex in April, are you excited for the trip?
A: Yeah I love Sussex and I have always loved playing in Brighton. When I began there was a club called The Cocktail that was probably my favourite club in the country at the time. Brighton was always an absolute bash.

I have friends there and I like the place, I like the atmosphere, I like the vibrancy and the colour and, you know, it has a kind of optimistic feel about it; I like it a lot.

Q: Has your attitude towards comedy changed during your time in the industry?
A: Yeah, sure it has but I couldn’t even begin to tell you how as it has probably changed four or five times in a big way since I started. I mean, I’m still really interested that’s for sure so the way I go about things might be different, you know, that’s inevitable as you get older and lumpier but I’m just as energised and charged by the prospect as I ever was.

Q: Do you think being in the comedy world has also changed your view of society?
A: Yes it has because of what I’m looking at. I’m travelling, I go to different countries, I talk to people about life and how they’re living and I try and figure out what’s going on for them.

I was in Lithuania a couple of weeks ago, it was their independence day and the way the international or European relations have gone at the moment, it was pretty tense over there so there were American flags in the audience at the independence day, there were NATO jets flying overhead, you know.

We are living in really critical times so you’ve got to stay awake and you can’t take anything for granted.

Q: I know you must be asked all the time but I’m going to join the list, is there any possible return for Black Books in the future?
A: No, I have been asked five thousand times and there still hasn’t been a return for Black Books.

Q: What does the future hold for Dylan Moran?
A: Well I’m doing this tour which will go on until 2016. I’m in Britain for three months and then I go to Australia and then I’m in Ireland for a month and then I’m off all over Europe and probably America and Canada so I’ll do that and then I’ll begin thinking about something else.

For more information or to buy tickets for Dylan Moran’s tour, visit www.dylanmoran.com

About Daniel White
Dan has written numerous articles for Title Sussex. He no longer works for Title Media and has made a confident career in the world of coffee!