So, uh... yeah. So! Eddie Izzard! He's a British actor who does stand-up comedy. His stand-up style is rambling, free-associating monologues with pantomimic sketches, with Conversational Troping by the fistful should he veer onto the subjects of TV and cinema, which he will. He is known for being an Action! Transvestite (or if you prefer, Executive Transvestite). He uses That Other Wiki to do his research.
On 27 July 2009, Izzard began a seven week mega-marathon run around the UK to raise money for Sport Relief. He ran six days a week for 51 days, covering at least 27 miles per day, carrying a flag for each county in which he ran, from London to Cardiff to Belfast to Edinburgh and back to London. He completed his 1,110 mile run on 15 September 2009 at Potters Bay and rescued a kitten along the way. Izzard was 47 years old at the time, and had completed his first marathon just three months before.
This man is so highly thought of as a comedian and performer that Thy Lord the Comedy God Himself, John Cleese, described him as the "Lost Python".
His sketches provide examples and/or discussions of:
- A Good Name for a Rock Band - "Guns 'n' Banjos"
- Anachronism Stew
- Animal Stereotypes: Played with for Pavlov's Cat, which is more...creatively uncooperative than actually malevolent.
- Approval of God - He likes the LEGO versions of his routines that fans have put up on YouTube.
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign - Martin Luther:
- Bilingual Bonus: He once did a skit in French. "For those of you who can't speak French: all that was fucking funny." (It was.)
- (He actually performed a whole show in French as well)
- Not EXACTLY a Bilingual Bonus, but in his most recent tour incarnation, there's a sketch that involves two roman soldiers speaking in Latin to each other; the "Latin" quickly devolves into a weird mosh of Latin, German, French and English. In order to prove the superiority of English as a way of avoiding Poor Communication Kills. "Mit Elephanten." "Quod. The. Fuck."
- His French is funnier for how he says it, than for what he's saying.
- Blue Eyes: So very, very blue.
- Brick Joke: Oh so much. He constantly references back to earlier jokes and characters in his routines. In fact, his routines are often just one brick joke after another.
"And this is our leader, Mister Dog."
- Literally and figuratively:
"F***ing handbag! ...With a brick in it! It's the Queen!"
- Sometimes wraps up his routine with every character earlier referenced, bringing together Caesar, Pavlov, Mrs. Badcrumple, Robbie Burns and Noah on a shpeedboat.
- COVERED IN BEES!!
- Sometimes wraps up his routine with every character earlier referenced, bringing together Caesar, Pavlov, Mrs. Badcrumple, Robbie Burns and Noah on a shpeedboat.
- Buffy-Speak - A lot.
- Chekhov's Gun: Literally! In Dress To Kill early on he talks about how a kid grabbed a bunch of his grandfather's weapons and went and shot up his school. Later on he's talking about how much he hates Scooby Doo characters other than Scooby and Shaggy.
Scrappy Doo, a magnum *pretends to shoot a gun* , thank you Granddad.
- Continuity Nod - His shows always feature little scenes with imaginary characters, who later start to appear in each other's scenes, eventually coming all together in the finale.
- Also, his latest show Stripped contains references to his earlier shows.
Half of you are now laughing, and the other half is going "What the hell is he talking about?"
- (Specifically, as of a gig in April 2010: "covered in bees", Mrs. Badcrumble, Pavlov's dog, and the Death Star Canteen.)
[after half the audience's insane reaction to "covered with bees"] "If you don't get why they are laughing, I'm not going to explain it to you. Some people are just bee enthusiasts... I'm a bee enthuasiast!"
- Convenience Store Gift Shopping: The Three Wise Men are forced to do this when Baby J demands birhtday presents on top of his Christmas presents.
- "Ahh, Baby J, we bring you 20 cigarettes.... A Diet Coke.... and a SACK OF CHARCOAL!
- Dead Baby Comedy: "Hi, I'm Crazy Eddie! I put babies on spikes! You want a rack o' babies? We got babies on racks!"
- Determinator - This. It's both his moment of awesome and heartwarming in one.
- Also, his documentary, "Believe" falls into this. It is unbelievable how hungry he was to make it big, even at times when he was competing against the likes of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.
- Did Not Do the Research:
- In one monologue about language, he seemed to be under the impression that T-H-R-U is the correct spelling in America. Cue millions of American school teachers facepalming, and their former students muttering, "I wish."
- The "Ich bin ein Berliner" joke -- you know the one -- also falls under this; see this page on The Other Wiki for more information.
- Another example is when he criticizes Bram Stokers Dracula for allegedly making up a cop-out to get around the "sunlight kills vampires" rule, even though the movies introduced that aspect of the mythos in 1922 and the original source novel Dracula depicts things exactly the same way as the film in that regard.
- A number of jokes involve setting forth an assumed idea or cliché and telling a joke based around that. He may or may not correct the assumption if the audience laughs in certain places. It's often a test if Viewers are Morons or Viewers Are Geniuses. The "Englebert Humperdink" sketch is an enormous prank to see how far he can turn the Mind Screw while getting people to believe something that may or may not be true.
- Eddie will also chide the audience for not having done their research:
"...because of the debt of honor to General Lafayette. [[[Beat]]] You know your own history, yeah? [Beat, gives audience a knowing smirk] You don't know who he is, do you?! 'What was it? The Spanish-American War? The French-Banana War? What?' Revolutionary War! Hung out with Washington. Lafayette. Street named after him in New York? Forget it."
- In one routine he got a very surprising amount of hearty laughter and applause from an American audience when he made a current affairs/geographical reference that seemed to go over their heads, asked them if they got it, and finally broke down and said, "Do you know there are other countries??"
- Dissimile - From the documentary following his multi-marathon run around the UK:
Week 2: base camp. It's like Everest but if Everest was really flat...if you took Everest and put it down. So there's none of that up... and there's the snow... no snow... but you're running... Oh forget it.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady - Averted. He wears women's clothing, but doesn't really attempt to "pass". He's just a bloke who happens to be wearing a dress.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys - "Le singe est sur la branche!" Originally this was "le singe est dans l'arbre", until someone pointed out that it meant the monkey is inside the tree.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs:
"'Raargh! Wuurgh! Larrgh!' Said Jesus, trying to blend in."
- Everything's Better With Jeff: Or Steve. Or Kenneth. This includes Corinthians.
- Everyone Looks Sexier If French: Mentioned in one of his sketches in Dress To Kill. According to him, French actors play more "esoteric" characters in American movies: "Hello, my name is Pierre. I come from Paris. I have come to have sex with your family." "Help yourself!"
- Genre Blindness:
- Wonderfully parodied in the bit he did about horror movies - "I've got an idea, lets go camping in the Forest Of Death And Blood!" "Hey look, there's something moving in the forest about eight miles off! I'll just go and check."
- Later he does a strange version of Breaking the Fourth Wall; he says that the people in those movies should listen to the music. Normally, he says, people would hear the music and turn back. He mimes going in various directions while humming ominous music. He chooses another direction and starts humming happy music. He chooses that path. Whereas, he says, the people in the movies are just idiots! They're just going along, saying "Fuck off, you cellists!"
- Genre Savvy - In the video linked above, he points out that no vampire would be a threat in real life as we're all too genre savvy, and we'd all do sign of the cross, stake through the heart, and then garlic bread.
- Harpo Does Something Funny: His material is pretty fixed for each tour, but he will approach it differently from night to night. This has some hazards - the DVD for the Circle tour was shot at a (comparatively) weak performance.
- How Many All of Them
- Hurricane of Excuses - "I was dead at the time! I was on the moon! With Steve!"
- Idiot Ball: Not by Eddie himself, but from the Watchdog report, courtesy of Anne Robinson and her cronies, that helped basically cripple his career as a stand-up comedian for a few years. The basis for their report that he was supposedly recycling jokes from one tour to the next, when Eddie had actually just used similar jokes from his Dressed to Kill tour in his Circle tour, and the former of which hadn't been a UK tour but had seen a DVD release. Nevermind the fact that some comedians recycle one joke to make up their entire career, or that musicians have a catalogue of greatest hits, but Circle had tons of cool stuff that wasn't in DTK, including the debut of Jeff Vader - runs the Death Star?.
- I Like My X Like I Like My Y - Eddie likes his women like he likes his coffee: Hot and strong, and with a spoon in them.
- Or in a plastic cup...
- ...or covered in BEES!
- Or in a plastic cup...
- Incredibly Lame Pun - He once jokes, "I was a very driven boy scout. Driven everywhere, I was." Ironically, the audience laughs, and he then groans at the fact that they actually laughed.
- And then there was King Menelaos, who was a sponge cake.
- And there's the Ottoman Empire, full of furniture for some reason...
- From a show in Dallas:
And so God created all these animals, but there's no food, so eventually they're all following Him around, saying 'We're hungry!' so God says 'Err ... badgers eat Pok Choi!' 'No we don't. And it's Pak Choi.' 'No, it's Pok Choi! Mandarin!' 'Cantonese.' 'Fine, you eat ... sprouting broccoli.' 'Eww.' 'I see badgers can be chosers.'" Cue massive audience groan. "What? You've heard too many Pak Choi, Pok Choi, sprouting broccoli, badger creationist jokes this week? Oh yeah, up to here. We're wading through them this Christmas. That old chestnut. Fuck off."
- From his Dress to Kill show:
Swindon here. We're monitoring you on our instruments. We've got you on a tuba. More quiet laughter "That should be a bigger laugh for that joke, I think".
- One of his earliest jokes, and the origin of his 'jam' catchphrase:
"I went out last night had a few jars, then I went to another pub and had a few jars, then I went home and had another few jars. God I've got to stop eating so much jam.”
"My grandmother is on fire."
"My cat's exploded."
"I was with Steve! On the Moon!"
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain - He jokes about how Mussolini said Italians were Fascist, but they really aren't
Mussolini said, "Right, we're all fascists," but most Italian people are always on scooters going, "Ciao!" ...And they're into football!, and life!, and they're not fascists. He said, "We're all fascists!" "Uh... All right, ciao!" No helmet on. All those 50's films like Roman Holiday. Everyone's just cool and hangs out.
- Then there's his Darth Vader. "I am not Mr Stevens! I could kill you with a thought!"
- Dracula and other "low-powered" Vampires. Particularly post chainsaw.
- The Spanish Inquisition as done by the Church of England, which segued into his eventual "Cake of Death?" routine:
Eddie: The Spanish Inquisition would've never worked with the Church of England! "Talk, will you! Talk!" "But it really hurts!" "Right, well loosen it up a bit for him..."
- Inherently Funny Words - a staple technique. He's particularly fond of the name Jeff.
- And "jam"
- Jeff, the Roman God of Biscuits!
- And Kenneth.
- Insane Troll Logic - His show occasionally descends into this. At one point, he "proved" the story of Noah's Ark was false by having giant squid complain about the lack of hand towels. He also claimed that anything which could swim or fly would have gotten away scot-free, and that the world should have been overrun by evil ducks and
anglerpilot fish as a result (the pilot fish with the huge teeth and the little light on their forehead. Yes).
- Its Pronounced Tropay - Americans, for some incomprehensible reason, like to put an accent on the second syllable of Izzard.
- It Will Never Catch On - "Jeff Fire, you are never gonna be famous!"
Dr. Heimlich: No! My name is going to be famous in restaurants!
- Lampshade Hanging - He does this a lot when the jokes don't get as much laughter as he had expected. This usually gets a much better round of laughter.
- "Oh ho, you fucked up there, mate! No one laughed at that!"
- "Why are Sean Connery and James Mason playing cows? And why does Izzard have to announce his impressions before he does them?"
- "Oh, I've got your scythe! Very sorry...it was a mime problem, I think."
- "Sporadic laugh, that was! It's like I've gone in and removed some of your entrails!"
- Left It In: This trope is practically a catchphrase of his, saying "We'll cut that out" usually once per show.
- Look Behind You! - "Oh, look over there, a badger with a gun!"
- Metaphorgotten - "I like my women how I like my coffee... COVERED IN BEES!"
- "...hot, and strong. ...With a spoon in 'em."
- "...in a plastic cup."
- "They say that Britain and American are two countries separated by the... Atlantic Ocean. And they're right."
- "...Separated by a Common Language, and a lot of fish. Which is true, we do have a lot of fish between us."
- "Guns don't kill people, people kill people. But monkeys do too (if they've got a gun)"
- "Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Beat But I can't help thinking guns help."
- "No, bullets kill people, actually."
- "It's not guns that kill people - it's maneouvers."
- "It's just that certain sound they make."
- Metaphor Is My Middle Name: From the introduction bit to his Glorious concert DVD "Danger could be my middle name... But it's John."
- A Million Is a Statistic - He talks about this in regards to all the people killed by mass murderers, and how the public tends to be less affected by higher death tolls (this eventually segues into his "Cake or Death?" monologue)
Eddie: Someone's killed 100,000 people. We're almost going..."Well done! You killed 100,000 people? You must get up very early in the morning!"
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Spartan ninja sheep.
- Overly Long Gag - Humperdink's dead. Or is he?
- The Password Is Always Swordfish - "The guy who made the software was called Jeff Jeffty Jeff. Born on the first of Jeff, nineteen-jeffty-jeff."
- Percussive Maintenance - "And you SMASH IT WITH A HAMMER!"
- "MAKE the NOISE! I LIVE for the NOISE!"
- The Queen's Latin
- Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic - Intentionally averted.
- Rearrange the Song - The intro music to his Dress to Kill special is a remixed version of that of Glorious. In addition, Glorious' theme appears on the Dress to Kill CD.
- Red Shirt - When Steve from the accounts department beams down with Captain Kirk, he's probably not coming back.
- Refuge in Vulgarity: Notably averted. He does curse in his act fairly liberally, but he seldom - if ever - does any truly vulgar material.
- To clarify: he says "fuck" a lot, but never in reference to sex (which he calls "shagging"), and "shit" is never a reference to excrement (which he calls "poo"). The end result is that he swears a lot, but the act as a whole comes off childlike and charming.
- As a result, his DVDs are easily rendered family-friendly by applying the bleeped audio option which is always included.
- Running Gag - Izzard's Scottish clarinet teacher Mrs. Badcrumble, James Mason and Sean Connery playing various historical figures because they're the only voices he can do (Mason is almost always God), and jam is always mentioned in some shape or form.
- Rule 34 - "In the Fifties, the Queen was kinda sexy, in a... not-very-sexy kinda way... but she was. "Fancy the Queen! Yeah, got her picture on my locker-room door! Shag the Queen!""
- Sex Sells - "Oh look! Those two people like it. And they're shagging..."
- Slower Than a Speeding Bullet - Provides the page quote.
- Sophisticated As Hell: Does this a lot.
- On his early attempts to chat up girls:
"I didn't have the power to say, "Susan, I saw you in class today, as the sun shone with a brilliant light that caught your hair. It was haloed. You turned, your eyes flashed fire into my soul. I immediately read the words of Dostoevsky and Karl Marx, and in the words of Albert Schweitzer: "I FANCY YOU!""
- Also described Adolf Hitler as "a Nazi shithead... as many eminent historians have pointed out".
- Spot of Tea - Tea and Cake, or Death!
- Certainly. Tea for this man's breasts! Anything else, sir?
- Stealth Pun: "If we ever saw Dracula, we'd all do sign of the cross, and then we'd do stake to the heart, and then we'd do garlic bread...perhaps garlic bread as a starter, and then the stake."
- The Cavalry: Referenced by name when Izzard says America showed up two years late for WWII "because you'd been watching US Cavalry movies."
- The Tape Knew You Would Say That: In Definite Article Izzard does a bit wherein a tape teaching French corrects the listener.
Tape: Ou est la plume de ma tante? Monsieur, ou est la plume de ma tante? [Where is my aunt's pen? Mister, where is my aunt's pen?]
Izzard: La plume de ma tante tout pres de la chaise de ma tante. [My aunt's pen is near my aunt's chair.] As well you know.
Tape: Oui, la plume de ma tante est pres de la chaise de ma tante. [Yes, my aunt's pen is near my aunt's chair.]
Izzard: How does this tape know what I'm talking about?
Tape: Ou est la plume de mon oncle? [Where is my uncle's pen?]
Izzard: La plume de mon oncle est bingy bongy boogy bongy.
Tape: Non! Pas de tout! Je ne me connais pas bingy bongy boogy bongy! Que c'est vous dites?! Vous est un putain! [No! Not at all! I don't know boogy bongy boogy bongy! What are you saying?! You are a whore!]
Izzard: Je suis pas un putain. Je n'avais pas le sexe pour l'argent. Que c'est vous dites, vous cassette? [I am not a whore. I don't take sex for money. What are you saying, you cassette?]
Tape: Oh, oh pardon. Je suis désolé. Vous avez raison. [singing] Je suis seulement pauvre cassette. Et je, je n'avais pas le pantalon. [Oh, oh pardon me. I'm sorry. You're right. I am only a poor cassette. And I, I have no pants.]
- Throw It In: Not only is at least 50% of his material improvised, sometimes he turn an on-the-spot slipup into a joke of is own.
- In Definite Article, his Russian accent when mimicking Pavlov somehow came out Welsh-sounding, so he made up a few lines about Pavlov being a Welsh immigrant.
Day two. Being well accepted here in Russia. Changed my name from Evans to Pavlov. I am now called Gareth Pavlov, and fitting in well. Day three, right. Rang bell, dog ate food.
- Also from Definite Article: [suddenly in Australian accent] "Well, I don't know, Mrs. Badcrumble, I mean, y'know, I'm just, uh... why am I Australian, by the way? ... My country hasn't even been invented yet... except by the indigenous race that lives there!"
- "We should do an archaijeowfajsical dig!" "We should do a what?" "An archaeological dig. My tongue got stuck in my back tooth. Checking for stuff.
- From Stripped: "There's still wishful thinkment -- wishful thinkment? Wishful thinkment. Wish fulfillment, wishful... thinking! Wishful thinking and wish fulfillment is wishful thinkment. They've combined."
- Timmy in a Well - With Sharky the friendly shark (but not that friendly).
- He just happens to rescue a lot of one-legged kids: what of it? They were one-legged when he found them. Really.
- Trans Equals Gay - He's had to deal with the fact that many people assume he's gay because of his crossdressing, when in fact he identifies as heterosexual. One routine had him pointing out that even though people like to equate gay men and drag queens, there is "a crowbar separation" between the two.
- Turbine Blender: When a bird gets sucked into an engine they call it "bird strike". It's not bird strike, it's "engine suck"!
- Verbal Backspace: "You! Cake or death?" "Um, death, please--no! Cake! CAKE! Sorry..."
- Verbal Tic - "So... yeah." Acknowledged and occasionally lampshaded ("So... affirmative.")
- The back original video box of 'Glorious' was completely plain except for a simple 'So... Yeah' written in tiny script.
- Villains Out Shopping - "I will have the penne a la arrabiata!"
- Wholesome Crossdresser - Izzard himself, though he prefers the term "Executive Transvestite" or "Action Transvestive". He's also straight, which is not that unusual in Real Life.
- During his Stripped Tour, he claimed to be a Retired Transvestite now. He's stated it's ironic now that, because of the Stripped tour, he has to go on TV insisting that he's still a transvestite, when he spent much of his life trying to hide it.
- Women's Mysteries: Hopscotch. What happened here?
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Lampshaded and then some in the aforementioned Engelbert Humperdinck routine.
"What shall we call our son so he does not get the shit kicked out of him at school?"
"We shall call him Engelbert!"
"Yes, that'll work!"
- Worst Aid : How the Heimlich Maneuver came to be, according to him.
- Okay, then maybe with a frying pan...
- A fist! A hand! Hoocha hoocha hoocha LOBSTER.
- You Meddling Kids: Referenced to and lampshaded as Izzard often does.
God (as James Mason): *listens to Jesus go on a rant about various Christian groups* And what does the Holy Ghost think of all this?
Jesus: Oh, he's useless, dad, got a sheet over his head these days.
Holy Ghost: ...whooooh, Holy Ghost, Holy Ghost!
God: Holy Ghost, this isn't an episode of Scooby Doo!
Holy Ghost: ...and I would have succeeded, were it not for those pesky God and Jesus fellows!