Dylan Moran brings his deadpan, witty and crackpot lyricism to Geelong

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Dylan Moran brings his deadpan, witty and crackpot lyricism to Geelong

Legendary Irish comedian Dylan Moran is bringing his brand-new show Dr. Cosmos to Geelong this month, offering audiences his unique take on love, politics, misery and the everyday absurdities of life, all served with poetical panache from one of the finest comedians of his generation. We sit down with the Black Books co-writer/star and notoriously dark comic ahead of the show.

You’ve been to Australia many time over the years, has the journey over become any easier? And what do you do on the 87-hour flight to pass the time?
You know what, it bloody well is a long flight, so I am lucky they put me on a nice aeroplane, it certainly makes all the difference! But it’s a 20-hour flight, so you know to pass the time what I do is I get up and stretch my legs every few hours because if I don’t do that my arse locks and I don’t go anywhere or can’t do anything for days. So it’s all about keeping moving!

Does your family come along on tour these days? Or do they hold down the fort at home?
Actually, we have done in the past, but not this time. There are just so many shows, I actually counted it up the other day and there are like 45 dates on this tour, so it would be crazy to bring them along. You have to be pretty disciplined, you know, just get up and go from place to place, and be organised… stuff like that. But I’ll be hooking up with them later on somewhere on the planet I’m sure of it!

You’ve got some great regional shows on this tour, one of which being Geelong where we are based. Do you do any research prior to doing shows in a new place… Just in case you need to poke some fun at the locals?
Where is Geelong on the map anyway? Are you near Ballarat? Hahah! Yeah absolutely you do! As far as I’m concerned you’ve gotta do that, you’ve gotta know who you’re talking to, where they’re coming from and what’s going on. But at the same time, you don’t want to get too hung up on details because what everybody is thinking about deep down is all the same stuff anyways in the end.

Do you get any time to yourself to see the sights? Is there anything you’d like to do in particular when you’re down our way?
You know what, I’ve never done the Great Ocean Road, I have always wanted to. And I am actually going to be in Melbourne for a little while, so I might go and hire a car or something for a couple of days and check it out!

Is there just an insane amount of pressure to provide laughter wherever you go? Do you feel like you always have to be on? Like if someone sees you at the milk fridge at the supermarket, do they expect a zippy one-liner from you about dairy?
Hahaha no, no! I have no idea what the expectations are of the people in the supermarket are or anywhere else for that matter. All I know is for the time I am on stage, then I am on. I don’t worry about it the rest of the time. If you did, you’d be neurotic!

I noticed that you have a pretty strong presence on social media now, with an official Instagram and Facebook etc, do you keep track of your own social media, interact with your fans or do you have Dylan Moran worker bees that do that type of thing for you?
Oh geez! I actually don’t know anything about it. What I did do was, I did put up pictures on Instagram for a while when somebody told me this thing existed and you know, it gets your stuff out there. So I was taking a few pictures of some of my old drawings, which I quite liked. It made me kind of go back over things I had forgotten about. But I’ve kind of jumped ship now. It’s become like a job, and it’s turning everybody into a producer and making people too self-conscious. It’s very strange. I think it points to some sort of fundamental question underneath everything. It’s almost like we want people to be looking at us all the time, or to have somebody there that we can yell out ‘Look man! No hands!’ to.

Speaking of your drawings, you are also a wonderfully talented artist, does your artwork feed into or compliment your comedy? Or is your artwork its own beast you use as an escape?
Oh thanks very much, I’m glad you like it. Ordinarily, I would never talk up my own stuff, a lot of what I do is just nonsense. But yeah, you know it probably is an escape to an extent. I think everything is an escape from something else you know. So in that sense it probably is, but it is all coming from the same person, so it’s probably related! But I really enjoy it. I was using my artworks as part of the show previous to this tour, but it won’t be making an appearance at this one, unfortunately. A couple of people have asked me about it recently, which is funny because it has been on my mind so once I’m done with the touring and stuff, I’ll probably get back into it, write a couple of stupid kids books or something!

Speaking of kid’s books, growing up I was heavily influenced by the art of Herge, who illustrated the Tintin book and the music of the Beatles. Who are your creative influences?
I like cartoonists as well, to be honest with you, that’s what I grew up looking at. So I love Saul Steinberg and William Steig, you know people like that. A lot of those New Yorker guys, I loved a lot of that stuff. But if you’re talking about fine art… I like Sidney Nolan actually. He was somebody I loved as a kid actually, I came across him and I have always loved him, so while I am here I love being able to go and see his works at MOMA when I am in Hobart.

Now, if I don’t ask this question, I will be hunted down by our readers. With streaming services aplenty, and reboots being a hot topic these days… And if we offer you our designer Nathan as a live-in maid for year…free of charge… Will Black Books ever return?
Oh no, no, no, no, no! I don’t get that kind of thing, I never have. You know, it was fun, it was then… I don’t see it yet. But, you know, look …never say never I guess, but I am very happy and interested in the stuff I am doing now. You wanna develop and keep things fresh.

Finally, I do just have to mention that every single time toast has been made in my household for the best part of twenty years, somebody always says ‘Jam, Jam, Jam!’, which I think might be your fault!
Hahahah! Very good.

Thanks for chatting with Forte Magazine Dylan, looking forward to catching you at the Geelong show!
You’ll be my first port of call when I’m researching the place! Take care.

Catch Dylan Moran at Deakin’s Costa Hall, Geelong – Sunday October 27. Tickets via geelongartscentre.org.au

Written by Matt Wilkinson