Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dylan Moran - Like, Totally... (2006)

"Why not have a physical afterlife? Just come back as a tenticle and a set of lips, looking for huge lumps of chocolate to fuck." And so goes the brilliant mind of Irish comedian Dylan Moran.

Comedian probably isn't the right word for what Moran does. Like Bill Hicks, George Carlin, Eddie Izzard, and other giants of the industry, Moran doesn't get on stage and tell jokes. He is an "observationalist" of the best kind. He can make us look at things about ourselves and do it in such a way that we find ourselves ourselves. In his show, "Like, Totally...", he manages to compare Jesus to Batman, points out that Arnold Schwarzenegger only became Governor of California because he lifted heavy things, and remarks on British prejudice while stating very comedically that Germany "is a toilet".

While many of the subjects that he touches on (religion, children, travel) are not exactly uncharted territory, it's his takes on them that makes him so compelling to listen to. The fact that he can also so seemingly effortlessly move from one subject to the next, in some sort of cohesive flow, is riveting. By the time he reaches subject F, you find yourself thinking how in the hell did he get here, when just a few minutes ago he was talking about subject A, which is completely unrelated? But in reflecting on it, you realize that A led to B, which in turn begat C, which logically came to D, followed naturally by E, which brings you to which time he's already on to J, and you have to rewind a bit to see how that happened. But it's all worth it.

In the second half of his show, Moran hits upon the subject that produces the most laughter from the & women. The differences, similarities, petty jealousies, and just overall nonsense that comprise the two are fodder for his wit. Again, while not inventing the wheel with the subject matter (it comprised a large chunk of the second half of his Monster DVD as well), the observations on it are so keen and insightful, and FUNNY, that it doesn't seem like a tired old retread, but a fresh, new, exciting look at it.

Moran's deadpan delivery and almost total lack of movement (except to shuffle over to the small table onstage containing a myraid of liquids that he frequently refreshes himself with) don't make for much of a visual presentation, but you find yourself listening so intently to what he has to say that you don't care. And that's precisely the point. As with anyone worth his salt, it's substance over style.

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