Best of 2006: Dylan Moran

""He Uses a lot of words, doesn't he?"", Simon Amstell says at half time. No shit, Columbo.

archive review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 09 Jul 2007

At his most dastardly, like Connolly of old, Dylan Moran commands the stage with a cool and quietly cunning affability. As such, it’s no wonder he so quickly transcended playing Portakabins to reach the grandiose heights of these two consecutive sell-out Usher Hall performances.

In the context of Moran’s universe, however, grandiose is a term best used loosely. This is a comic too grounded in reality to be implicated with high-minded snobbery. Cutting yet compassionate, a realist on the prowl for any and every old and new subject matter that catches his pupil, local or global, Moran’s astute Yin and Yang comes with the profundity of a jaded Nietzschean observer. He like, totally... makes short work of dogmatic endeavour, by pitting Jesus against Batman. He dismisses the countryside as a place laden with League of Gentlemen-esque stereotypes. Nobody's safe; Glasgow also catches it: "They have glass festivals there, usually on a Friday and Saturday night"), as does California ("a state where the ability to lift things apparently equates to power – I’d hate to see his successor,” he says of Governor Schwarzenegger).

To describe this output, however, makes him sound slightly like a bastard, but to see him communicate it in person is testament to the fact that Moran is a true demon at his craft. By generating incredibly potent imagery he effortlessly conjures up dark cartoons that ooze a Tim Burton-like absurdity. Whether riffing on sexuality, on raising kids, or on the curious dualism of the Irish face; Moran waxes lyrical on topics that benefit significantly from a humble posture, an intense storytelling prowess and sheer verbal dexterity. "He uses a lot of words, doesn't he?", a watching Simon Amstell declares at half time. No shit, Colombo.