By Graeme Wiggins
VANCOUVER – Comedian Dylan Moran does not want to talk about his process. Currently getting ready to embark on a lengthy international tour, Grumbling Mustard, the Black Books and Shaun of the Dead star feels like he doesn’t have much to say on the topic.
“I talk to journalists about comedy and they ask me about my process and I don’t know,” he says. “What’s your process when you’re making love? Do you want to talk about it? I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t know how to talk about it. I’d love to be able to describe it in detail and be able to analyze it, but the truth is, if I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it. Like, if you interview a guy on a diving board about what he was going to do he’s never going to leave the board.”
That being said, he’s not one to shy away from talking about bigger ideas. His new stand up show might be seen as a meditation of sorts on age. But that’s probably too simple. He clarifies, “It’s in there, and will always be in there. We’re living in a pretty extraordinary time, pretty much everyone agrees, it’s a bit about that. We’re living in a time where everyone is desperate for a quick fix, everyone wants one answer to horribly complex questions. They’re seizing on individuals and seizing on big ideas. Taking everything off in one go. So that’s essentially the show. That’s what’s going on in my mind, but for most people it will sound like I’m talking about the same shit. I’m talking about what happens in your kitchen, about your family, about the whole cycle of our lives, really.”
Moran has a focus on finding the commonalities in our experiences. It’s this focus that allows him to tour internationally the way he does, as well as draw a pretty diverse crowd.
“I’m not interested in just talking to a single set of people, any more than I’m interested in talking to one certain age,” he says. “There are loads of people who are teenagers or 20, or loads who are 60 or 70. I’m delighted that everybody comes; I want everybody there. I don’t just want people who agree with me that are experiencing what I’m experiencing. In the course of your life, you are all these people: you are a 20-year-old, you are a 90-year-old.”
Moran’s goal is essentially empathetic: “It’s not facile to talk about the crazy times we live in. The reason I mentioned it more than once is that people really do need to check each other. What do we have in common with each other? What still applies to all of us? Because we hear so much about ‘you’re this’ and ‘you’re that’ and the reemergence of fierce polarity and binary bullshit that’s everywhere. What are the universals? What happens to all of us, what is human experience?”
This also is what keeps him away from intentionally hurtful humour.
“Most of the time it’s just lazy,” he adds. “You’re just doing it to get laughs, being shitty to somebody, which is a failure of imagination apart from anything else. People don’t go to the theatre to see that, because that’s available anywhere. If I go and see somebody, I want to see somebody that’s doing something that they know how to do. Everybody knows how to be an asshole. That’s easy.”
Catch Dylan Moran live on June 21 at the Vogue Theatre.