Eddie Izzard: Laughing Made Mandatory

Eddie Izzard

Eddie Izzard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The immensely talented Eddie Izzard proves that not being rated the number one comedian in U.K. doesn’t mean that you are a third-rate comedian … even if you are currently the #3 comedian in the UK. Blending observational humour with mocking, witty social commentary, Mr. Izzard delivers, not the one-liners that one would expect from one of his ilk, but rambling, seemingly disjointed anecdotes with polished deadpan, hyperbole, and more than a few rings of truth, punctuated by the odd histrionic remark and cheeky Brit humour that will have you laughing at every crack he makes.

The comedic timing of Izzard is such that, even when he’s delivering his monologues in another language (say, his second tongue French, or even German), it’s funny — even if you don’t understand a single word he’s saying. The fact that he delivers his act with a generous amount of gravitas while often dressed as a transvestite (of which he has confessed to being) with heavy pancake makeup, mascara, heels, close-cropped pageboy haircut and sometimes the odd spaghetti strapped gown makes the juxtaposition between what he’s saying with what he’s wearing all the more ridiculous and in a twisted sort of way, eminently believable.

Nothing under the sun is sacred. Everything is fair game for a roasting. Izzard tackles topics like religion (“the free Presbyterians, the locked up Presbyterians”), language (“you Americans pronounce it ‘erb’, we British prononounce it ‘herb’, because there’s an effing h in front of it”), politics (“the Ottoman Empire, full of furniture, for some reason”), colonialism (“we stole countries through the cunning use of flags!”), technology (“I have no techno fear. I have techno joy!”), late night convenient stores (“I’ve got bread for my bread gun!” “We’re murderers — Twix, please”), low-power vampires, horse whisperers versus horse shouters … I’ve been listening to him too long if I can even recite bits of his acts from memory. To say nothing of the loyal legion of Izzard fans who have brilliantly put (and named) some of his other skits to exhaustive Lego animation on Youtube … sheer brilliance!

I start each day, not with a shot of coffee, but with his Death Star canteen routine ala Lego animation. It’s almost a prerequisite for waking up, because his acts are not just zany but a much needed and comparable caffeine buzz to break up the somberness of reality with moments of levity. Plus, the absurdity of having Darth Vader jump through hoops in order to penne alla arrabiata from the cafeteria of the formidable Death Star (“this one is wet, this one is wet, this one is wet, this one is wet … why, with the power of the *#!@ Death Star can we not get a tray that is *#!@ dry … did you dry these in a rainforest?”) isn’t too much to stomach.

Laughing made mandatory.


Your comments are like chocolate for my soul ... I can never get enough of them! Bonus brownie points for witty comments! I love a good turn of phrase. :)

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