Dylan Moran in 1997

I can’t remember if it was me or my friend Ronan who recorded it off the TV. Maybe both of us did. Anyway, at least one of us used a VCR (ask your parents) to capture a late-night broadcast of The Comedy Store on BBC 2 at some point in the mid to late nineties. This was significant because it was the first time I saw Dylan Moran performing stand-up comedy.

Dylan Moran was an old man in a young man’s body. He was shambolic, sarcastic, surreal, serrated. He was world-weary to the point of absurdity. That tape had maybe eight minutes of his act. It was great. I watched it over and over. I probably knew it word for word the first time I saw him performing live, a few months later, the next time he did a show in Cork.

For the next twenty years, I followed Dylan Moran’s career with a personal interest, as if I discovered him. I went to see him live a few times, watched him in Black Books with Bill Bailey and Tamsin Greig. I saw Dylan Moran in that movie with Michael Caine in the cinema, I got the stand-up DVD – I had been in the audience when it was recorded in Vicar St. I told people to watch the stand-up of the uptight guy in Shaun of the Dead who gets his guts ripped out by the zombies.

If you’re not already a fan of Dylan Moran, you should be. Why don’t you start where I did… the year was 1997… I just found the thing on YouTube (just now, two sentences ago)… this is the Comedy Store gig from the mid to late nineties. I’m still raving about it.

I’m glad I caught that on TV and got it on tape to watch over and over. Go on, ask me how I am. I’m terrible, I have piles, my skin is falling off in huge lumps, I live with an old woman I don’t really know underground and we suck stones for money, I have an incredibly rare leg disease and my incredible collection of Bonsai trees was wiped out today… If that was your first time seeing Dylan Moran, good news! You’ve got a lot to catch up on.

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