Dylan Moran

Last updated

Dylan Moran
Dylan Moran Melbourne.jpg
Moran in April 2006
Born (1971-11-03) 3 November 1971 (age 49)
Navan, County Meath, Ireland
  • Stand-up
  • film
  • television
Years active1992–present
Website dylanmoran.com

Dylan William Moran ( /ˈmɔːrən/ MORE-an; born 3 November 1971) is an Irish comedian, writer, actor, artist and poet. He is best known for his observational comedy, the comedy series Black Books (which he co-wrote and starred in), and his work with Simon Pegg in films such as Shaun of the Dead and Run Fatboy Run . He was also one of two lead characters in the Irish black comedy film A Film with Me in It .


He is a regular performer at national and international comedy festivals such as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Just for Laughs Montreal Comedy Festival, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and the Kilkenny Comedy Festival. In 2007, he was voted the 17th greatest stand-up comedian by Channel 4 [1] ; in the updated 2010 list, he was ranked as the 14th greatest. [2]

Early life

Dylan William Moran was born on 3 November 1971 in Navan, County Meath. [3] [4] [5] [6] He attended St Patrick's Classical School, where he experimented early on with stand-up alongside fellow comedians Tommy Tiernan and Hector Ó hEochagáin; he left with his Leaving Certificate at age 16. [7] He has said that he then spent four years unemployed "drinking and writing bad poetry". [8] He worked as a florist at some point, but hated it and quit after a week. [8] He has said that he was very passionate about rugby and enjoyed watching many games when he was growing up, but has since lost interest and has no interest in any other sport either. He nonetheless makes an effort to keep somewhat abreast of popular sports, explaining: "otherwise nobody would talk to me, as its very hard to find anyone else who's not rabid about sports." [9]


Moran came to comedy at age 20 after watching Ardal O'Hanlon and other comedians perform at Dublin's Comedy Cellar, a fifty-seater comedy club with no microphone, in the basement of The International Bar on South Wicklow Street. He began his stand up there in 1992 and got a good reception. [7] In 1993, he won the So You Think You're Funny award at the Edinburgh Festival. He went on to become the second youngest person to win the Perrier Comedy Award in 1996 at the Edinburgh Festival at age 24. [8] Gurgling For Money was Moran's first major one-man stand-up UK tour in 1997. He went on to perform at many other festivals including the Hay Festival, Montreal comedy festival, Vancouver Comedy Festival and the Edinburgh Festival. Between 1995 and 1997 Moran wrote a weekly column for The Irish Times .

Moran won his first major television role in 1998 playing Ian Lyons in the BBC 2 sitcom How Do You Want Me? , with Charlotte Coleman. [7] He went on to appear in a small role in the 1999 movie Notting Hill as Rufus the thief. In 2000, Black Books was launched on Channel 4. The sitcom, about a depressed, bitter, alcoholic, chain-smoking and misanthropic book shop owner, Bernard Black, was based on a dream Moran had in the mid-eighties during a weekend away in Limerick.[ citation needed ] It was brought into existence with the aid of co-writer and fellow Irishman Graham Linehan, and producers Mark Buckley and Albert Kenny of Kenley Studios. The second series was televised in 2002, and the third, which aired in 2004, was greeted with great enthusiasm by critics and fans alike. [7] In the same year Moran appeared in his first major film role playing David in the horror comedy, Shaun of the Dead .

Moran toured his new shows Monster I and Monster II in 2004, including performances in New York and Milan, as well as a tour across Britain and Ireland, culminating in a week-long run at London's Palace Theatre, before two shows at Dublin's Vicar Street, and finally an appearance at the Hay Festival. The tour was described by The Times as a "masterclass of comic charisma: swinging from topic to topic in a manner seemingly spontaneous but actually tightly organised". [7]

A live DVD of the Monster II tour, filmed on 28 May at Dublin's Vicar Street, was released that year, as Moran's first live stand-up DVD. After a successful run in New York City in 2004 as part of the British/Irish Comedy Invasion (including performances by top British and Irish comedians such as Eddie Izzard, fellow Black Books star Bill Bailey and Irish comedian Tommy Tiernan) Moran returned to New York for a month-long run at the Village Theatre. He then performed a two-week London West End run at the Wyndham's Theatre, 1–13 November 2004.

His third major tour, Like, Totally, opened at the Buxton Opera House on 3 May 2005, [7] and as with his previous tours the stand-up routine was accompanied by projected cartoons drawn by Moran. A DVD of the tour was released in December 2005. Moran appeared as the character of Gordon in the comedy film Run Fatboy Run , released in September 2007 which cast Moran as the best friend to Dennis ( Shaun of the Dead co-star Simon Pegg), having played an adversary to Pegg's character in Shaun of the Dead.

In June 2008, Moran appeared with Ardal O'Hanlon and Tommy Tiernan at Liverpool's Echo Arena in 'The Three Fellas', [10] a one-off comedy event, part of the city's 'European Capital of Culture 2008' celebrations. Between October and December 2008, Moran embarked on a new UK tour entitled What It Is, starting at the Grand Opera House in York, and ending at Oxford's New Theatre. Other notable venues include Colston Hall at Bristol, Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall, the Waterfront Hall Auditorium in Belfast and the Corran Halls in Oban. The tour was extended into 2009 and has now been released on DVD.

A compilation DVD of highlights from Moran's three previous stand-up shows was made available in November 2010 called Dylan Moran: Aim Low.

Yeah, Yeah, a stand-up tour of Scandinavia, the Baltic states, United States, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the UK began in April 2011.

In 2012, Moran performed shows in Russia (following two sold-out performances in neighbouring Estonia [11] ). The show's promoters indicated that they believed it to be the first time an Irish stand-up had performed live in a Russian venue; his routine mocked Russia's new law banning "homosexual propaganda" and jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky. [12]

Moran has written a pilot for ABC about "news media and conflict, war zones and cable news". ABC has, however, decided not to go ahead with the show but may possibly sell it to another network. [13]

In July 2015, Moran took his latest stand-up show, "Off the Hook", to South Africa for the first time, performing three sold-out shows at the country's National Arts Festival. [14]

In June 2019, while on Ray D'Arcy's RTE radio programme, Moran reported he was developing a "small format" (five episodes) show for the BBC. [15]

Awards and commendations

At the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, he won the 'So You Think You're Funny? Award' in 1993, and the Perrier Award in 1996, but later dismissed the latter as "a load of media rubbish," stating Bill Bailey deserved it more.

A popular poll commissioned by Channel 4 ranked him the 14th-greatest comedy stand-up. [16] Moran was declared "the greatest comedian, living or dead" by the French newspaper Le Monde in July 2007. [17] He has also twice won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Situation Comedy, both for Black Books .

Personal life

Moran is married to Elaine and they have two children. The family lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. [18]

Moran quit smoking in 2014 and became teetotal in 2018. [19]



1999 Notting Hill Rufus the Thief
2003 The Actors Tom Quirk
2004 Shaun of the Dead David
2005 A Cock and Bull Story Dr Slop
2006Tell It to the FishesFinn
2007 Run Fatboy Run Gordon
2008 A Film with Me in It Pierce
2011 The Decoy Bride Charley
2012 Good Vibrations Pat
2014 Calvary Michael Fitzgerald
2020 Pixie Potential Buyer


1998–99 How Do You Want Me? Ian Lyons
2000–04 Black Books Bernard BlackAlso creator and writer
2012 Little Crackers Father1 episode, also writer
2017 Uncle Marsh4 episodes

Stand-up DVDs

Monster – Live15 November 2004Live at Dublin's Vicar Street
Like, Totally... Dylan Moran Live27 November 2006Live at London's Hammersmith Apollo
What It Is – Live23 November 2009Live at Sydney's State Theatre
Aim Low: The Best of Dylan Moran29 November 2010 [20] Selected scenes from previous three DVDs
Yeah, Yeah – Live in London14 November 2011 [21] Live at London's Hammersmith Apollo
Off the Hook30 November 2015 [22] Live at London's Hammersmith Apollo

Related Research Articles

Bill Bailey British comedian and actor

Mark Robert Bailey is an English comedian, actor, singer, and musician. He is known for his role as Manny in the sitcom Black Books and his appearances on the panel shows Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Have I Got News for You, and QI, as well as for his stand-up comedy work. He plays a variety of musical instruments and incorporates music into his performances.

Richard Herring

Richard Keith Herring is an English stand-up comedian, writer and ventriloquist whose early work includes the comedy double act Lee and Herring. He is described by The British Theatre Guide as "one of the leading hidden masters of modern British comedy".

David ODoherty

David Nicholas O'Doherty is an Irish comedian, author, musician, actor and playwright and son of renowned jazz pianist Jim Doherty. His stand-up has won many international awards including the if.comedy award in 2008 and Best International Comedian at the 2014 Sydney Comedy Festival.

<i>Black Books</i> British sitcom

Black Books is a British sitcom created by Dylan Moran and Graham Linehan, and written by Moran, Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley, Linehan and Arthur Mathews. It was broadcast on Channel 4, running for three series from 2000 to 2004. Starring Moran, Bill Bailey and Tamsin Greig, the series is set in the eponymous London bookshop and follows the lives of its owner Bernard Black (Moran), his assistant Manny Bianco (Bailey) and their friend Fran Katzenjammer (Greig). The series was produced by Big Talk Productions, in association with Channel 4.

<i>Shaun of the Dead</i> 2004 zombie comedy film directed by Edgar Wright

Shaun of the Dead is a 2004 horror comedy film directed by Edgar Wright. The film was written by Wright and Simon Pegg, who stars in it as Shaun. Along with friend Ed, played by Nick Frost, Shaun is caught unaware by the zombie apocalypse; they attempt to take refuge in a local pub with their loved ones. The film co-stars Kate Ashfield, Lucy Davis, Dylan Moran, Bill Nighy, and Penelope Wilton. It is the first instalment in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, followed by Hot Fuzz (2007) and The World's End (2013).

Dara Ó Briain Irish comedian and television presenter

Dara Ó Briain is an Irish comedian and television presenter based in the United Kingdom. He is noted for performing stand-up comedy shows all over the world and for hosting topical panel shows such as Mock the Week, The Panel, and The Apprentice: You're Fired!. For his work on Mock the Week, he was nominated for the British Academy Television Award for Best Entertainment Performance in 2012.

Jimmy Carr British comedian

James Anthony Patrick Carr is a British-Irish comedian, writer and television presenter. He is known for his dark humour, distinctive laugh, and heckler interaction. After working as a marketing executive, Carr moved to a career in comedy in 2000.

Omid Djalili British-Iranian stand-up comedian

Omid Djalili is a British actor, comedian and writer. He is bilingual in English and Persian.

Tommy Tiernan Irish comedian, actor, and writer (born 1969)

Tommy Tiernan is an Irish comedian, actor, and writer. He is best known for hosting The Tommy Tiernan Show (2017–present) and playing Gerry in the sitcom Derry Girls (2018–present).

John Moloney is an English stand-up comedian of Irish descent.

Andrew Maxwell Irish comedian and narrator

Andrew Maxwell is an Irish comedian and narrator, known for narrating the MTV reality series Ex on the Beach.

Rob Rouse is an English comedian.

The Chortle awards were set up in 2002 by the comedy website Chortle to honour the best of established stand-up comics currently working in the UK. As of 2002, the Chortle Awards are the only UK-based awards that solely honour the live work of stand-up comedians at a professional level. A panel of reviewers draw up a shortlist, which is presented for public vote at the Chortle website.

Jarlath Regan is a London-based Irish comedian and podcaster. A former graphic design consultant, he began his stand-up comedy career in 2003 and by the end of 2004 was a finalist for three major UK comedy newcomer awards: So You Think You're Funny, BBC New Comedy Awards and the Chortle Student Comedian of the Year. While attending University College Dublin, he was auditor of the Literary and Historical Society.

John Gordillo

John Gordillo is a director and former comedian, known for his work directing and producing live shows, specials and TV series for Eddie Izzard, Reginald D Hunter, Josh Widdicombe, Dylan Moran, Michael Mcintyre, Mark Steel, Shappi Khorsandi,Seann Walsh, Shazia Mirza and Sean Lock among others.

Michael Smiley Northern Irish comedian and actor (born 1963)

Michael Smiley is a Northern Irish comedian and actor. He is perhaps best known for his roles in the films Kill List (2011) and The Lobster (2015).

Kevin Andrew Bridges is a Scottish stand-up comedian. His 2012 television series Kevin Bridges: What's the Story? was based on his stand-up routines.

Daniel Sloss is a Scottish comedian, actor and writer, notable for having become established as a professional live and television performer whilst still in his teens.

Joanne McNally

Joanne McNally is an Irish stand up comedian, writer, and actor. She is a native of Killiney, County Dublin. She was the co-host of Republic of Telly for RTÉ and has also appeared on The Late Late Show, The Afternoon Show, Ireland AM, Two Tube and The Commute for RTÉ. She has a weekly agony aunt section on RTÉ 2fm Chris and Ciara show called 'Dr. Joanne', and her own 'Mack the week' segment on the Eoghan McDermott show on RTÉ 2fm.

Frederick Cooke is a stand-up comedian and actor from Kells, County Meath, Ireland.


  1. Guide, British Comedy. "The 100 Greatest Stand-Ups Series 1, Episode 1 - The 100 Greatest Stand-Ups 2007". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  2. Guide, British Comedy (11 April 2010). "Billy Connolly retains top spot in C4 poll". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  3. Meath County Council. "Dylan Moran Comedian/Actor".
  4. IMDB. "Dylan Moran IMDB".
  5. The Irish Times. "'Irishman Abroad' episode 13: Dylan Moran".
  6. HotPress Magazine. "Did You Hear The One About The Irishman Who was born in Navan".
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Maxwell, Dominic (22 April 2006). "Bye bye Bernard". The Times . London. Retrieved 26 July 2007.
  8. 1 2 3 Kelner, Martin (June 2005). "People have told me I'm grumpy". BBC Bradford and West Yorkshire. Retrieved 26 July 2007.
  9. https://www.thecoast.net.nz/shows/nights-with-jason-tikao/irish-comedian-dylan-moran-shares-his-thoughts-on-the-all-blacks-with-mel-homer-and-jason-tikao/
  10. Anderson, Vicky (16 June 2008). "LIVERPOOL COMEDY FESTIVAL: The Three Fellas, Liverpool Echo Arena". Liverpool Daily Post. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
  11. DELFI. ""Black Booksi" staari Dylan Morani etteaste on kui naerutav hingepeegel - Publik". Publik.delfi.ee. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  12. "Irish comedian Dylan Moran 'makes history' in Russia". BBC News. BBC. 19 April 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  13. Graeme Virtue (5 April 2014). "Dylan Moran: 'A lot of what's on TV now is filler'". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  14. Jennifer (5 April 2014). "2015 National Arts Festival Line-up Announced: Including Dylan Moran of Black Books". Books Live. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  15. RTE (6 June 2019). "Dylan Moran writing new show for the BBC". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  16. "100 Greatest Comedy Comedy Stand-ups". Channel4.com . n.d. Retrieved 26 July 2007.
  17. Le Monde, Issue 37954-2375a 29 July 2007
  18. https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/dylan-moran-smoking-or-breathing-one-of-them-had-to-go-1.3564055
  19. https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/dylan-moran-smoking-or-breathing-one-of-them-had-to-go-1.3564055
  20. "Aim Low: The Best of Dylan Moran [DVD]".
  21. "Dylan Moran: Yeah, Yeah – Live in London [DVD]".
  22. "Dylan Moran: Off the Hook [DVD]".