Dylan Moran was doing his stand-up at Theatre 80 St Marks and rtb and I were there. mollyT was supposed to join us but she had to work. I’m sorry she didn’t get to experience Moran’s brilliant sarcastic witty sense of humor.
Theatre 80 St Marks is a small theater and it’s always nice to see a comedian in an intimate setting. There’s a bar/restaurant next door that the house kind of pushes you into before you get to the theater. There’s a direct line from the door to the theater but instead we had to walk through the bar and then back into the theater lobby. The usher thought it was as ridiculous as rtb and I thought it was.
Grumbling Mustard is the name of Moran’s latest tour. He enters with his glass of wine (as always) and started up but the mic wasn’t working, so there was a little riff off the top of his head about that. Behind him is a screen with a slide show of his original drawings. He immediately took off his jacket because it was hot in the theater. I’m not sure why there wasn’t any air conditioning. It was cooler when the doors were open but during the show it became almost unbearably hot.
The audience skewed young but there were plenty of people my age and older than me there. We were with him for the entire ride and willingly went wherever he took us.
Moran started with observations about NYC and how fast everything is and how anxious we all are. After one very funny observation, he mentioned that he couldn’t get away with that in Des Moines. He touched on politics for a bit and I can’t remember all he said about Mike Pence but it was very funny. There were bits about death. And others that touched on stereotypes or clichés about the differences between men and women or young people today and his generation. But the material isn’t throwback – we all know that it’s done tongue-in-cheek and no one is offended.
I’d love to repeat some of the bits but I’d never get them right and I’d ruin Moran for you. Everything he says sounds as if it’s just off the top of his head (and I think some of it is), so it was surprising when in the second half he took a bunch of papers out of his pocket to make sure he was doing it correctly and that he didn’t forget anything. He did apologize for having the papers in front of him and said he didn’t want to mess up like he had in earlier shows.
There are funny surprises like when he was ranting about how all our restaurants have one word names like Fork, Bleed, or Stab, and he gets on a roll and you find yourself trying to catch your breath because you’re laughing so hard.
The second half was much shorter than the first half. One of the funniest moments came not from anything he said but Moran was trying to open a water bottle while holding and talking into the mic and he couldn’t get it open and he asked if there was a small child available to do it for him and he kept going on with his routine while struggling with the bottle and audience was laughing at both the routine and his struggle.
His hand shakes a little while holding the mic and he has a habit of running his hands through his hair, which makes it go in all different directions. I find both things endearing.
He’s touring across the country and I urge you to see one of the funniest comedians working today.
By Carene Lydia Lopez