In 2009, I saw in Time Out New York an ad for Dylan Moran doing standup in New York. I got really excited…until I found out the show was yesterday. Three years later, I had the opportunity to see him perform his show “Yeah Yeah” at Theatre 80, and he did NOT disappoint!
He began the show with a series of lies, playing with the tropes of standup comedy. “The other day, I was in a museum, except I wasn’t. I’ve been to lots of museums, but it just happened that this time, I wasn’t in one, but it works for this story. So anyway, I was in the Whitney or the Gugenheim or whatever museum it was that I wasn’t in, and…” Eventually, you didn’t know what was real anymore, but it didn’t matter. The honesty and emotion sold it.
Unlike Simon Amstell, who I’d just seen the previous month in that same space, Dylan’s set is rambling and loosely connected. He does bits as he remembers them. In fact, he ended on a joke that he introduced by saying “I’m going to end by telling you this one thing, not because it’s a great closer but because I forgot to tell you it earlier.” But the great thing was that the more he spiraled out of control and went on tangeants, the funnier he was. He’s the kind of guy you think was probably born crotchety–It suits him so well. He had two glasses of wine and a chocolate bar on stage. If they would have let him smoke, I’m sure he would have (Is that why there was an intermission?).
Despite the ramblings, you can tell he’s written these jokes out perfectly because of the word choice. Very clever wording that couldn’t have possibly have been written funnier.
“What’s that app for?”
“Oh, it tells me how far away I am from sand.”
“What? Why would you need that? You’re insane.”
“No, I’m using a different app now.”
“What’s that one do?”
“It calculates the burning point of celery.”
“I hate the way vegans lie. They tell you “You can get everything you need in life from limabeans” and shit like that. Yeah, everything you need, except friends!”
“Heavy metal is just a bunch of people who aren’t very bright who get together and try to destroy air.”