Surely, life is demanding enough - Des runs his own theatre production company and is currently developing a Billy and Tim follow-up which, to listen to the basic premise sounds hilarious - without turning to stage comedy.
"It all came about because my eyes began to fail," says the Coatbridge-born writer.
"No, seriously. When I'd write a new book, I'd do readings at bookshops and do the funny sections, because those bits seemed to get the best reactions. But my eyes would get sore and I'd just tell the story, without reading it.
"And I began to get a reaction. And it made me think about doing stand-up comedy, but I never had the bottle.
"It was only years later when I had my mid-life crisis, and an epiphany, that I began to think about all the things I was too scared to do.
"So I made a list, which included rock climbing, because I was terrified of heights. Then I thought I'd have a go at stand-up."
Des read a self-help book, the 'feel the fear and do it anyway' sort and worked up the courage to phone round a clutch of theatres and make bookings.
So far so good. Now, all he had to do was get up there and perform.
"But with six months to go I was scared senseless. It was like waiting for a court case to come up. To try and ease myself into it I told more and more stories at the book readings and I got a good reaction. Most times."
His first gig, in the studio theatre at the Citizens, was in front of 75 people.
"The walls were covered in post-it notes, because I was convinced I'd forget my stories," he said.
"Then everyone filed into the theatre, where I had the Irish Rover playing to gee me up, and I followed in behind them. And the music stopped and there was absolute silence.
"And my body language must have betrayed me. Every single soul in there knew I looked like I had stepped into a ring, and was about to box Mike Tyson."
Des knew he was set to fail. But he didn't. His opening line saw the audience burst out laughing.
"All I said was 'See when I married my third wife . . .' And that did it. I don't know why they figured this was so funny. But it worked. And the nerves kept me going for the first 45 minutes. And the applause brought me back out for the second half."
What Des didn't lack was material. Great material. He doesn't tell jokes. His comedy is Connolly-like storytelling. With stories that range from the rather dark to black as the bottom of a muddy canal, but hilarious.
"For example, I tell a story about my sister, Geddy, who divorced her man, Big Tam, because he was too tall and his feet hung over the edge of the couch. Nice big guy. But luckily, the next man she married was a midget.
"I also tell of the time she was in holiday in Spain with Tam and she asked him if she got pregnant while they were on holiday, 'Would the wean speak Spanish?'"
There's no doubt Des, 53, has a deep well of personal experience to draw from.
"I guess I've been telling stories since I was nine," he recalls.
"Then I turned them into books, and now I'm telling the stories."
His career path was less than straightforward. Before he rechannelled the devilment, becoming a writer and going to university (he'd later go into teaching) he had an alternative career in alcoholism, drug taking and violence.
But he remodelled his life, married his third wife Joanne and moved to Galloway and went to become one of Scotland's most successful writers.
However, while he's changed his lifestyle - drink and drugs have been replaced by skiing, kayaking and bodybuilding - he hasn't entirely surrendered to conformity.
Regarded as one of the most naturalistic dialogue writers in Scotland, he wrote for River City for a period, until he walked out after script editors reduced his lines to 'stupid levels.'
Now, he's working on developing plot lines for new plays. Yet, he'd like to develop his stand-up career. The fear seems to have dissipated.
"I've realised there are so many stories to be told," he says.
And he's right. He talks about his experiences growing up in a large Catholic family, about the working-class world he occupied that's so often surreal.
"That's not to say my gigs have always worked," he admits, smiling. "I once closed the Edinburgh Book Festival. And I really do mean 'closed'. My sort of comedy just didn't sit right in that world.
"But in the right venue, with the right working-class audience, I'm laughing."
And so are his audience.
n Des Dillon Storyteller, Cumbernauld Theatre, Friday, with dates in Dumfries and Stranraer later in the year.