Dylan Moran: on Writing Comedy

“I don’t analyse it too much, otherwise I’d freeze up and fall over, like a fridge”.

Interviewed at the Edinburgh Festival, on BBC Radio 5 Live, this is sparkling, fascinating, honest talk on political power, the world, the universe and writing comedy.

The interviewer, Nihal Arthanayake, talks to him about how he goes about writing comedy.

Immediately, Dylan says he doesn’t investigate why he writes comedy – he thinks it would just tie him up in knots.

How do you go about writing comedy?

Dylan says that if you approach writing comedy as an aim, you’re already in trouble.  For him, it happens with naturally noticing certain things.

“If you’re sitting down with a pen looking at a piece of paper, that’s a sign that you’re generally in trouble – it doesn’t come at you like that, it comes at you sideways, it reaches from beneath or grabs you by the ear – and then you make note of something.”

He describes the pub culture back home in Ireland – that you would have a drink with people, and everyone would try and tell the most interesting story.

“In Ireland everybody talked – it made a lot of sense because it was free.  You’d stand around with a drink in your hand and you’d compete, to see who’s listening to your story – everybody’s doing a show.”

“It was like an early form of podcasting, with no wires.” (background sounds of a BBC interviewer, convulsed with laughter)

Listening Access

Programme:  BBC Radio 5 Live, “Edinburgh Festivals – Day One” – “Headliners”, 13th August 2018

(UK people with TV/Radio licence can access it online at BBC i-player for a month, at

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06hcnkb)  Dylan is interviewed from 8 minutes in, starts by straight talking  intelligent take on the world we’re in and politics, and then speaks about comedy writing from 14 minutes in.








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