Friday, August 27, 2010

Unseen Stand-Up Comedy

So in the week leading up to Independence Day this year, I did a half-dozen write-ups of DVD's by stand-up comedians, all of whom are from either the United Kingdom or Australia (irony, folks...). Since I'm not sure if I'm gonna get to an actual blog entry here soon (lotsa editing to be done for Unseen Films, plus I need to write a couple more pieces of my own up for that as well), I present the next installment in my previous writings for Unseen Films; my write-up of Monster, a 2004 show by the hilarious and brilliant Dylan Moran.

At the beginning of Dylan Moran's Monster DVD, there is footage of an "interview" being shot in his dressing room. Before the "interview" starts, he asks, off camera, "Why do people buy DVD's? Don't they have lives?" Well, yes, but we prefer they be enriched by the witty social commentary of someone such as...well, Dylan Moran.

Moran comes across as a regular guy at a party that is holding court. Since he's holding a microphone in one hand, he has to alternate between holding his glass of wine or a cigarette in the other, but he'd be holding both at the same time at the party sans microphone. One of his better lines in the early part of the program is "Your potential is like your bank's always a lot less than you think it is." But much of his material doesn't come across as...material. His delivery is so seemingly random and natural that it feels like he's just talking to you at that party, making all of this stuff up as the conversation goes along.

He spends the first half of the show tackling the subjects of drinking, children, and the generational gap. He makes keen observations on each, and peppers them with oftentimes bizarre analogies that come so out of left field that he does seem to have just said the first thing he thought of at that moment. It is probably scripted, but again, his delivery and demeanor are so relaxed that it comes across as completely natural, and it makes you really want to hear what he has to say next. It doesn't hurt that the Irishman is just a few months younger than I, so I can completely relate to many of his cultural and psychological references.

The topics attacked after the interval include politics and religion, and don't ask how, but he somehow logically gets to a wonderful portrayal of a French couple shouting at each other in their house in between the aforementioned subjects. It's probably the only moment in the show where he maintains a character for more than just a moment, and it's a bit of a shame, because he does it very well. But as funny as everything has been up until now, it isn't until the topic of conversation turns to men and women that Moran really hits full stride. While the comments on life have been astute up until now, they border on genius in this section...particularly his claim that men are more romantic creatures than women.

The nearly 90 minute show, filmed in Dublin, is well worth getting the DVD for, despite what Moran says about people who do.

Blog Post Soundtrack; The Roots, Public Enemy, Pearl Jam (live), The Beatles, The White Stripes, and whatever I would have been listening to when I originally wrote the piece for Unseen, which obviously would have included Monster by Dylan Moran...

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