Review: Dylan Moran: Dr Cosmos

The Irish comic's chambolic charm continues to delight

★★★
comedy review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Dylan Moran: Dr Cosmos
Published 17 Aug 2018

Dylan Moran's shambolic, digression-ridden, loquacious persona remains a delight, decades after he won the Perrier. His mastery and breadth of comic material is shown here in that his set responds entirely to audience suggestions. That his ramblings are so deft means that it's hard to distinguish between the improvised material and that which is assiduously honed. And all is shot through with his belligerent charm, enabling his detours into bleak, existential matters to somehow remain upbeat.

Some comedians struggle as they get older to align their persona with newer sensitivities, but Moran's maturity has deepened what he has to offer. Where his ramblings were previously a result of his drinking, a now-sober Moran has instead found anger inspired by the simple act of getting old. Dividing his audience into those who remember life prior to the internet and those who don't would in lesser hands result in little more than grumpy old man whingeing. But here he also bemoans the norms of the older generation, especially in terms of his religion-soaked upbringing in Ireland. It means there's a coherence to his decades-old persona, one that signals his continued relevance.

Indeed, he might capitalise on his elder statesman status more, especially in terms of real world events. He tries to avoid mentioning Trump but finds him irresistible, and then chides himself for being suckered by his attention-seeking antics. But Moran's humane and insightful engagement with the world is one we need for these discombobulating times, so he should let his ire be more palpable.