Bernard Black (Dylan Moran)is the proprietor of Black Books, a bookshop just off Russle Square, in the hit comedy series. He is perhaps best described as the personification of a Monday Morning Hangover. He has long, un-combed, and as a result, un-combable, brownish hair, a permanent cigarette hanging out of his mouth and a dangerous amount of blood in his alcohol stream.
Bernard is, contrary to popular belief, not a complete bastard. He simply not comfortable in the real world. He at some point retreated into books, preferring a world which can’t hurt him to the one that not only can but frequently does. He loves books so much that he opened a bookshop with the worrying name of “Black Books.” He doesn’t like customers buying his beloved books, so tries to scare them off, then complains when he has no money. Sometimes people do buy his books, but Manny, his accountant, assistant, servant and confidant, will deal with that.
Manny and Fran are the only people in the world who he doesn’t hate. In fact he does hate them, but can’t get rid of them. At some point something happened between him and Fran, she remembers, he’s not allowed. Bernard employed Manny after Manny accidentally ingested the little book of calm. Manny is fairly conductive to Bernard since he can provide him with wine and inform him when he is eating coasters, thinking they are biscuits (“well it’s very good, are there any more”).
Bernard is basically out of place in life and is just compensating for it by being horrible.