“Religion is a massive deal in Russia,” says Moran, who is the first Irish stand up to play a series of sold out shows there.
“You have to talk about it extremely carefully. It’s a mirror image of America in a sense, minus all the Cold War stuff.”
Like a lot of people, thanks to the recent election America has been on Moran’s mind lately. Its religious life in particular interests him greatly.
“America’s work ethic is non-stop; it’s not even enshrined in law that workers have to get their two weeks holiday money. But Americans work harder than everyone else I can think of.”
One thing he won’t be drawn into is any narrow nationalism or flag waving. There’s good reason for that he says.
“I grew up in the 1970’s and I remember the news, which was shootings. I lived in Belfast for a year and I knew people directly affected by it,” he recalls.
“It was murder, death, blood and dead children. What can you say about it that’s good? People screaming the name of their country or their province. Bringing up stuff from 400 or 500 years ago and painting it on a wall – are you out of your mind? What are you doing, you’re alive now.”
For Moran’s American shows he plans to talk about American life, he reveals.
“I’m trying to figure out what’s going on. In my mind jobs, fiscal cliffs, the divide in the country, the electoral college votes, the tax cuts for millionaires.”
The possibility of a Mitt Romney presidency had terrified him.
“Romney should be on a packet of peanuts or a stick of butter. It was amazing he was even considered,” Moran reckons.
“He was like the face on a hair wax commercial from the 1950s. With regard to him having his hands on the launch codes, everyone in Europe was crapping themselves.”
But don’t think because he takes one stance on an issue that he isn’t interested in debating with people who may not agree with him.
“I’m playing New York, San Francisco and LA. I’m not playing Louisiana, I’m not playing Alaska. I would like to,” he says.
“I don’t want to just talk to people who agree with everything I say. I want to open it up. I’m an outsider. That makes me look past the stereotypes to what’s really happening.”
Dylan Moran plays Theatre 80, 80 St. Mark’s Place, on December 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8 at 8 p.m. For information, visit www.theatre80.net.