About six years ago, flipping channels late one night, Allan and I stumbled on "Black Books" on Comedy Central, the US comedy channel. This British comedy, starring and co-written by Irish comedian Dylan Moran, was one of the funniest shows we had ever seen. The Comedy Network never promoted it, and they never re-ran it. It disappeared.
Allan found some episodes online and downloaded them, and kept a look-out for a possible DVD set. Meanwhile, the show became a legend in our world: something glimpsed once, then cruelly snatched from our grasp.
That was the state of Black Books in our world for the past six years.
Then, last December, Allan learned Black Books was out on DVD: a boxed set of three seasons. I didn't even know there was a third season! He ordered a set, and we waited.
Then we saw "Shaun of the Dead" [corrected: previously said "Hot Fuzz", my mistake], and were amazed to see Dylan Moran in a small role. We had never seen him in anything but Black Books.
Then our DVDs arrived. Let the Black Books Festival begin.
Then my blog-friend Nigel Patel mentioned he bought the Black Books boxed set with some birthday-gift money.
Then last night we saw "Tristam Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story," and who has a small role in it? Of course. Dylan Moran.
Any minute now he'll become the world's most famous comic actor.
Very funny movie, this Tristam Shandy. It features British comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, among others, including Stephen Fry playing two small roles.
But if you rent DVDs and can find Black Books, you're in for a real treat. I recommend starting from the beginning.