Dylan Moran

Dylan William Moran (/ˈmɔːrən/ MORE-an; born 3 November 1971)[1] is an Irish comedian, writer, actor, filmmaker and artist. He is best known for his observational comedy, the television sitcom Black Books (which he starred in and co-wrote) and his work with Simon Pegg in Shaun of the Dead and Run Fatboy Run. He appeared as one of the two lead characters in the Irish black comedy titled A Film with Me in It in 2008.

Dylan Moran
Moran in April 2006
Born (1971-11-03) 3 November 1971
Navan, County Meath, Ireland
MediumStand-up, film, television
Years active1992–present
GenresObservational comedy, black comedy, deadpan, satire, surreal humour

Youngest winner of Perrier Comedy Award (1996)

Moran's most recent film is Calvary, an Irish black comedy drama film written and directed by John Michael McDonagh. Moran is a regular performer at national and international comedy festivals including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Just for Laughs Montreal Comedy Festival, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Kilkenny Comedy Festival. In 2007, Moran was voted the 17th-greatest stand-up comic on Channel 4's 100 Greatest Stand-Ups and again in the updated 2010 list as the 14th-greatest stand-up comic. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife, Elaine, and two children.


Early life

Moran was born in Navan, County Meath, Ireland.[1][2][3][4] He attended St. Patrick's Classical School, where he experimented early on with stand-up, with fellow comics Tommy Tiernan and Hector Ó hEochagáin, and left at age 16[5] with his Leaving Certificate. After leaving school, it has been said that Moran spent four years unemployed "drinking and writing bad poetry".[6] At one point, Moran worked as a florist but quit after a week because he hated the job.[6]


Dylan Moran came to comedy at age 20 after watching Ardal O'Hanlon and other comedians perform at Dublin's Comedy Cellar, a small 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, although nervous, got a good reception.[5] 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.[6] 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.[5] 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. 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.[5] 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".[5]

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,[5] 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',[7] 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[8]). 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 referenced Russia's new law banning "homosexual propaganda" and jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.[9]

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.[10]

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.[11]

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. [12]

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.[13] Moran was declared "the greatest comedian, living or dead" by the French newspaper Le Monde in July 2007.[14] He has also twice won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Situation Comedy, both for Black Books.



Year Film Role
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
2006 Tell It to the Fishes Finn
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
TBA Pixie


Year Film Role Notes
1998–99 How Do You Want Me? Ian Lyons
2000–04 Black Books Bernard Black Also creator and writer
2012 Little Crackers Father 1 episode, also writer
2017 Uncle Marsh 4 episodes

Stand-up DVDs

Title Released Notes
Monster – Live 15 November 2004 Live at Dublin's Vicar Street
Like, Totally... Dylan Moran Live 27 November 2006 Live at London's Hammersmith Apollo
What It Is – Live 23 November 2009 Live at Sydney's State Theatre
Aim Low: The Best of Dylan Moran 29 November 2010[15] Selected scenes from previous three DVDs
Yeah, Yeah – Live in London 14 November 2011[16] Live at London's Hammersmith Apollo
Off the Hook 30 November 2015[17] Live at London's Hammersmith Apollo


  1. Meath County Council. ""Dylan Moran Comedian/Actor"".
  2. IMDB. "Dylan Moran IMDB".
  3. The Irish Times. ""'Irishman Abroad' episode 13: Dylan Moran"".
  4. HotPress Magazine. ""Did You Hear The One About The Irishman Who was born in Navan"".
  5. Maxwell, Dominic (22 April 2006). "Bye bye Bernard". The Times. London. Retrieved 26 July 2007.
  6. Kelner, Martin (June 2005). "People have told me I'm grumpy". BBC Bradford and West Yorkshire. Retrieved 26 July 2007.
  7. Anderson, Vicky (16 June 2008). "LIVERPOOL COMEDY FESTIVAL: The Three Fellas, Liverpool Echo Arena". Liverpool Daily Post. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
  8. DELFI. ""Black Booksi" staari Dylan Morani etteaste on kui naerutav hingepeegel - Publik". Publik.delfi.ee. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  9. "Irish comedian Dylan Moran 'makes history' in Russia". BBC News. BBC. 19 April 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  10. Graeme Virtue (5 April 2014). "Dylan Moran: 'A lot of what's on TV now is filler' | Stage". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  11. Jennifer (5 April 2014). "2015 National Arts Festival Line-up Announced: Including Dylan Moran of Black Books". Books Live. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  12. RTE (6 June 2019). "Dylan Moran writing new show for the BBC". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  13. "100 Greatest Comedy Comedy Stand-ups". Channel4.com. n.d. Retrieved 26 July 2007.
  14. Le Monde, Issue 37954-2375a 29 July 2007
  15. "Aim Low: The Best of Dylan Moran [DVD]".
  16. "Dylan Moran: Yeah, Yeah – Live in London [DVD]".
  17. "Dylan Moran: Off the Hook [DVD]".
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