Thursday, March 18, 2010

Eddie Izzard

I hardly ever watched stand-up comedians before I met Jeff. I would occasionally watch someone like Jeff Dunham or catch a bit of George Carlin's act but I never consciously sat down to watch a comedian. Jeff on the other hand can spend an entire evening doing nothing else but watching stand-up, comic after comic. After a couple years of marriage I have swung around to Jeff's point of view. Not only do I enjoy watching comedians but I'll actually seek out the routines of my favorite ones.
Such is the case right now with Eddie Izzard. Jeff rented Eddie's Glorious routine a couple years ago and we were hooked. Since then we've been slowly renting more of his material, and I've even found myself heading online to find more routines. Eddie's comedy is stream of consciousness. He basically stands up on stage and says whatever comes to mind with hilarious results. He mumbles, he rants, he speaks in French, and he's absolutely brilliant. What I love about Eddie's stand-up is that it's intelligent humor. He never plays down to a crowd and you really have to be listening to catch all the jokes. He tends to be a very rapid fire talker so you have to keep following along. He discusses religion, history, his life, and occasionally does whole sections in French or German. And even those I find hilarious (without speaking a word of French myself). He's a master of the non sequitor and you'll often find discussion on jam, dogs, and God in the same sentence. He will jump from history of World War 2 to supermarket lines in the same breath. For others it might sound odd, but Eddie pulls it off with laughs.

I've seen Eddie in a number of films over the years and always enjoy his roles. He even made sitting through the horrendous My Super Ex-Girlfriend enjoyable. A while ago I reviewed both The Wild and Madagascar. I hated Madagascar, but The Wild had one memorable saving grace, Eddie as a smart alek koala. I was also inspired by his recent charity work. In July of last year Eddie started running and running and running. He ran 43 marathons in 51 days. All of this with only a couple weeks of training. All done for charity. I keep telling myself that I couldn't run one and he goes out and runs over 40 in less than two months. That shut me up quick. Then I flipped on more of his comedy and started laughing again.

Sadly Eddie's reputation often seems to overshadow his comedy. As one of the only transvestite comedians working out there, it is often his clothing people are talking about. Eddie never really uses his different dressing style in his act and as he puts it, just wears what he likes. But for many it is distracting. Perhaps that's why his recent material has him ditching the heels and eyeliner more often than not. Which is kind of sad for me. I don't find it distracting and actually think he looks rather good en femme. He can certainly walk better in heels than I can. That kind of individualism is pretty darn attractive. But the really attractive part of him is that intelligence. I'm drawn to his comedy because it makes me think. It challenges me. And it makes me laugh.

This picture, which appeared on ROFL Razzi, is what inspired this post today. Not his typical stuff but still very funny.

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