Comic Dylan Moran On How to Lose Your Baggage When Traveling Abroad

Categories: Comedy, Q&A

Photo by Andy Hollingworth

Dylan Moran, the star of the British sitcom Black Books and actor in movies such as Shaun of the Dead, Notting Hill and Run, Fatboy, Run -- and who is now writing a pilot for ABC -- spoke to Mixmaster about what topics he plans to tackle when he takes to the Lakewood Theater's stage tonight. Be prepared to see stereotypes disassembled and to learn how to be subversive and funny in an autocracy like Russia -- or the United States.

I imagine it must be challenging for an Irish comedian to play for a general audience in our state in some respects.
The thing for me to consider is to ditch my own baggage, if you like, when I get there because you have a reputation that precedes you as a state. So I have to do as much as possible to swing that out and absorb the reality of what it's like when I'm there. If I come in with a suitcase full of prejudice, then I'm not going to learn anything.

See Also: Our Dylan Moran live show review

Is that what every show is about for you, this cultural learning experience?
A lot of it is for me, yeah. The great thing about stereotypes is it's kind of where you start from but that's just what you use to open the box and get to whatever is in there and that goes for anywhere, Russia or Ireland or anywhere. If you just play familiar territory all the time, you get complacent. You generally know where everyone's operating systems are.

Is there a challenge or difference when you play American audiences compared with others? Do you have to tailor the material or have anything you can't talk about?
No, there's nothing I won't talk about. It's not the subject, it's how you treat it. That's what it's all about. Nothing is off the table, as Americans are so fond of saying. There's no real strategy. I just try to find out what the hell is going on wherever I am as soon as I get there. So I ask a lot of questions to people working in restaurants or cabs or the hotel, anybody I can find. Somebody running the gig with me will sit down and have a cup of coffee with me and I'll fire off certain questions. I'm not looking for the definitive answer. I'm just looking for what everyone's talking about, whatever it is and just get what I can.

I imagine you're boning up on American politics thanks to the way things are going with the government shutdown and the debt ceiling. You probably don't have to seek it out.
Yeah, it's everywhere...

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