Black Books was an Irish reality television show set in London, England focusing on a bitter, misanthropic bookshop owner named Bernard Black who attempts to launch a career as a bitter, misanthropic stand-up comedian named Dylan Moran. His name is an anagram of Andy Normal, Bernard's comedy hero. Bernard and Dylan also both happen to be Irish, because Bernard couldn't be bothered doing an accent. The show began in 2000 and ran for 36 series of roughly half an episode each until Mr. Benson the cat passed away and the cat-loving public towards whom the show was aimed lost interest.
Throughout the show there were many appearances by Bernard's best friends Manny Bianco, who was attempting to launch his own largely unsuccessful career as an actor, and Fran Katzenjammer, who had a very silly last name and may also have done something else at one point. After the show ended Bernard continued to enjoy great success giving interviews about how he had enjoyed making the show, but now wanted to move on and do other things, like give interviews.
The story begins back in 1999 when Bernard Black, while sitting under a tree, is suddenly hit in the eye by a falling book about apples and the idea comes to him to make a comedy show with gravity in it. After toying about with ideas for characters such as an increasingly childish ex-accountant, a woman who can't keep a boyfriend or a job, and somebody played by Simon Pegg, he decides that all of these ideas are so uninteresting that if he uses every one of them the show is sure to enjoy great popularity. Searching for people who share his enthusiasm for this new concept, he encounters Manny, a character who resembles Bill Bailey, except he has long hair and a beard. Manny suggests that the idea is rubbish and he would be better off simply creating a comedy show about himself. Delighted with this suggestion, Bernard buys a camera crew and filming begins.
The second book, also known as book number two, was mostly filmed in Bernard's bookshop in the past tense. Bernard, having creating his Dylan Moran character, at first used him only in small, safe doses for comedic purposes. But after awhile Dr. Jekyll - I mean, Bernard - started to become Dylan. And this was very, very annoying, because nobody liked Hyde, remember? You have read that book, haven't you? Good, I haven't. After his transformation, Dylan sought to rid himself of every last trace of Bernard. He got as far as attempting to brush his hair, but his hair ate the comb and he gave up shortly afterward. He then got a job as a professional chicken stripper in a gourmet restaurant. It was around this time that The Guy Played By Simon Pegg came along, his appearance in everything Dylan is in being mandatory due to a deal with Satan gone horribly wrong. Which deals with Satan usually do. Luckily, a security man with a Subbuteo player in his hair came along and turned The Guy into a cat named Mr. Benson, who was then eaten by a group of furry, beaked animals who had invaded the bookshop.
The third book was very short and nothing happened in it.
Black Books was over, although Dylan made three more episodes, which he called Monster, Like, Totally and What It Is. For these he got rid of all unnecessary characters, scenery and plots, creating a much more pure version of the show. Fran took this quite well, and she and Dylan eventually married, although he did not have sex with her to avoid further upsetting most of his ill and dangerous teenage female fan base. Manny, however, was not at all pleased with this, and burnt Dylan's bookshop down. He was arrested and found guilty of arson, but did not go to prison, because no one cares about bookshops. The show won lots of awards, including the Shows That Got Beyond The Planning Stage Award and the Shows That Win Things Award.