Eddie Izzard news and features
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Couchtripper Forum Index -> Comedy News
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message

Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 10:04 pm    Post subject: Eddie Izzard news and features Reply with quote

I just saw this in today's NOTW magazine...

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eddie Izzard - Driving straight ahead
After 20 years on the comedy circuit, and famous for his flamboyant transvestite leanings, comedian Eddie Izzard has come out as a serious actor.
Craig Mclean
Jun 16, 2007

Here's a story. It's an Eddie Izzard story, about Eddie Izzard, so it veers around the houses and back and forth. He's packed a lot into his 45 years; yes, even into the two-thirds of his life that happened before he became famous. Stick with it. Like many an Izzard story recounted from the stages of comedy clubs, theatres and arenas around the world, it's worth it. If you imagine it recounted in his slurred style, it's even better.

It is the early 1980s. Eddie Izzard has hitchhiked from the northern English industrial steel town Sheffield to the city of Birmingham in the Midlands. He's been living in the student area of the Steel City, sleeping on mates' floors, having abandoned his degree (accounting, financial management, maths) after only one year. He'd never really wanted to take a place at Sheffield University anyway, or study bean-counting. His big plan had been to go to Cambridge University, "do the Footlights [Cambridge's famous theatre club that has launched countless British stars' careers] then go to Edinburgh [Festival] and then boom, you get a career - they give it to you on a plate."

But at boarding school Izzard had decided to give up on studying. "I thought I wasn't cool enough. So I thought: I'll stop studying. That'll make me cool. It's like cigarettes. Why are you smoking? Because they're cool. And then maybe I will get to talk to girls." The result of his poor results? Cambridge was out, but Sheffield Uni would have him. Izzard took a proper degree course to please his father, a financial officer with BP.

But, after one year, he messed that up as well. And then Izzard is that sad figure: the drop-out who hangs about the university union. He's putting on student productions with his own group, the Official Touring Company of Alpha Centauri. He's trying to persuade his contemporaries in Sheffield University Fringe theatre company - among them Stephen Daldry, future director of Billy Elliot - to take shows up to Edinburgh. But Sheffield's undergraduate thesps don't share his enthusiasm. They lost money the last time they took a show to the festival. Sorry, Eddie. So Izzard resolves to make his own luck. Hence him thumbing a lift to Birmingham.

Izzard's big plan, based on a scam that Peter Sellers once pulled, was calling the local television studios where they made OTT, a late-night comedy show. His idea was to ask for the host, the agent for star presenter Chris Tarrant, so he could hear what his voice sounded like. Then he'd hang up, call back, ask for Tarrant and, impersonating Tarrant's own agent, recommend a hot talent named Eddie Izzard for OTT. In fact, Izzard was in reception right now ... maybe Tarrant could pop down and see him ... Did this plan work? "Nnnnoooo, says Izzard, rolling the word round his mouth. "No. Because the agent was in London all day."

After a long day's nothing, Izzard hitchhikes back to Sheffield. "Those are the things I used to do", he sighs. "My dad said this thing recently: 'You always had stupid ideas - but now some of them have worked.' That's the difference. And I did - when I was 14 I decided to cycle from Sussex, where I was living, to Wales, where we used to live, with no money, in order to lose weight, because I kept eating chocolate. I had big crazy plans. AND!" Izzards bendy and expressive voice, as it is wont to do, suddenly stands straight up to attention, in capital letters, before sliding into italics. "I've still got some of them."

For someone ubiquitous in the British comedy ether for much of the 90's and the beginning of this decade, he hasn't been seen around much recently. The reason is he's been holed up in LA working on the next phase in his plan for world domination: a lead role in an American TV drama series called The Riches. He thinks his performance in Peter Bogdanovich's film The Cats Meow, and getting the Tony nomination and all those other awards for his 2003 Broadway appearance in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, put him "in a decent place" with the TV executives. In early 2006, they shot the pilot. Late last year The Riches got the green light. It's a big deal. Enough to make Izzard forgo what sounds like a plum TV gig in the new series of 24 - he would have played an unscrupulous arms dealer, one of whose nuclear weapons goes off 'in the wrong place".

Izzard is telling me how he's been based on the West Coast on and off for three years because "tactically and practically" it gives him a better vantage point from which to "flood out" into the US entertainment business. He remembers, years ago, making an American TV show in Britain - an episode of Tales From the Crypt with Irish actor Ciaran Hinds - and how the actors were paid scale. That is, minimum fees. The Americans were members of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), while the Brits belonged to Equity. SAG's scale was much better than Equity's. That's another reason to be working in the US, and to be a member of SAG. So long thwarted - first by being a slack-arse at school, later by the miserly crowds who didn't take to his surrealist act during his years as a street-performer - Izzard will not now be denied.

"My first year [performing] in Edinburgh I saw Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Emma Thompson win the Perrier Award [for Best Comedy act]. That was '81. My last year in Edinburgh was '93. That", Izzard says with a slight shrug, was my 12 years of climbing the mountain." Today, he's looking slim, trim and manicured. The blow-dried, blond hair. The beard. The power suit. It all speaks of a successful professional, and of someone who's doing very well for himself, thanks very much, in Hollywood.

Finally. He will say that, "I always wanted to do drama and films", and that he moved into comedy only because, as a spotty teenager with greasy hair, he felt he couldn't play a romantic lead. He certainly wasn't pulling any girls. But he could make people laugh. He pursued that instead. So comedy was a 20-year detour on the way to an acting career? "It kinda was", he says with a frown and a grin.

He happily admits that, having started late, he's been playing catch-up ever since. With Robbie Coltrane, Jim Carrey, Robin Williams - with anyone who has managed to defy their comedy roots and be taken seriously as an actor. With Hugh Laurie, who this year won his second Golden Globe award for his role in hit US medical drama House. "And I'm pleased that Hugh is doing ..." He tails off, as he often does, but I presume he was going to say "well". "Because I'm trying to do exactly what Hugh is doing."

Izzard is acting alongside fellow British expat Minnie Driver in The Riches. They play husband and wife Wayne and Dahlia Malloy, members of a gypsy travellers community. On the day I visit the set, Driver is dressed in a mini-skirt and knee-high boots. Izzard, famously the only transvestite in the mass-media village, admits to enviously eyeing up Driver's four-inch heels. He is also an executive producer and is helping with the writing on The Riches.

He looks younger than his 45 years. With the help of a personal trainer and what sounds like a scary kind of dieting, he appears far healthier than he did in his lumpy 30s, after success at last came knocking. "When you start earning money you can eat, snort or drink your wages. I started buying food and I got a bit too heavy. I didn't know how to control it. Then I started pulling back and back ... and now I don't need hardly anything. I thought, they've given me this lead role and I should try and be as lean as I can."

Izzard has been working hard on his acting - his coach is on the set of the show and on hand at all times, helping him improve his craft. "They said to me, 'Can you put a little bit more light into the darkness?'" Izzard says of his contributions to the script. "So more of my comedy has been allowed to come into it."

I ask Izzard if we must give his new show, like Desperate Housewives, the voguish classification of dramedy? He almost winces at the term. "I prefer to call it drama with a funny underbelly. I've been trying to get out of comedy for so long, I don't want to get stuck halfway."

As we sit in his trailer parked out the back of the studios to talk properly, I wonder: how did Eddie Izzard rambling comic raconteur with a thing about conversations between pets get here, from the British comedy circuit to Hollywood? By applying the same single-minded focus that took him from Sheffield to Birmingham, and him and his bike from Sussex to Wales. By shaping his career like he's shaping his body. By being utterly, dedicated to getting on and getting ahead.

Over the past decade he's conquered stand-up comedy with a series of acclaimed one-man shows, international tours, including gigs delivered in French. He talks about taking New York and getting Paris and about how, once he gets back to stand-up, Germany, Russia and Spain and jokes in their native languages are next on his hit list.

"I was just smashing and grinding these shows out", is the way he describes his early days gigging. It's odd language for someone who, on stage, comes over as a big softy who says cool and groovy a lot. But this funny stuff was a serious business, and in business you need to be aggressive. "I played all over, kept going everywhere, until I could pay for the cameras to film one of my shows."

He became a member of the Association of Independent Producers when he was unemployed in his 20s, and learned the lucrative importance of retaining his copyright on his filmed performances. All his top-selling videos and DVDs, made by his production company Ella (named after his mother, who died of cancer when he was 6), repaid his investment many times over. "I think I earned my accountancy degree." His last stand-up show, 2003's Sexie, played to sell-out crowds across the world for five months.

But he'd also had an acting agent since 1993, the year of his breakthrough comedy show in London. Parts in movies - not lead roles, but nor were they bit parts - have come his way: The Cat's Meow, The Avengers, Velvet Goldmine, Ocean's Twelve and now, Ocean's Thirteen. His last role on the big screen was in My Super Ex-Girlfriend. He played an evil criminal mastermind out to get Uma Thurman, the vengeful - and super-powered - ex-girlfriend of Luke Wilson.

Were he a pop star or a straight actor, we'd call Izzard a careerist, or a name-dropper, or an egomaniac. Here he is, for example, talking about his reappearance as technician's technician Roman Nagel in Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's Thirteen: "It's interesting filming with George and Brad because the camera stays on them - I mean, they're good-looking guys. But the cameras waving around following them and you've got to try and get your face in.

So why do we forgive Izzard his craven ambition? Because he's honest and direct: about his goals, his weaknesses, his drive. He wants only to entertain and to get better. "I think my ambition was always there, and it was held back for a long time because nothing ever happened.

And if you think you can do something and it doesn't happen, and everyone tells you it won't happen, you have to hold on to what I call the Madness. I will just hang on and keep going and keep going until ... the thing gives in."

We forgive him because he's still openly bereft at losing his mother at such a young age, and ascribes his lust to entertain to that loss. "I've analysed it", he admitted in an interview with his friend Bono last year (they both supplied voices for the upcoming animated film Across the Universe). "I think the desire to perform has something to do with my mum dying, because I don't remember wanting to perform before that. She died when I was 6, and at 7 I saw a kid on stage in a play and I thought, 'I want to do that', and that feeling stayed."

We forgive him because he's clever and ethically engaged: he doesn't just want to tell jokes in French, Russian and German to show off although that is part of it. He's a passionate believer in the European Union, in the notion of the ethnic melting pot as a force for good. He even accompanied Tony Blair to Brussels last year to report on a European Council meeting.

Because he's intriguing, a purist who, for all his ubiquity, remains a bit of a mystery. I suspect he may have a girlfriend right now but he has always, managed to keep his relationships private. I ask him if he's in a relationship, and he replies: "I always keep that kind of closed. Certain people in my family and certain people I have relationships with don't wish to be judged through my whatever ... So I tend not to talk about it." Even after the acres of newsprint discussing his transvestism, it's still strangely unfathomable; and I mean that in a good way.

And because, frankly, he's a genius; buy the Eddie Izzard MMVI box-set DVD - 573 minutes of six live performances that'll have you laughing until Christmas.

And we forgive and indulge Eddie Izzard because, unlike plenty of other fat-cat celeb entertainers, he refuses to rest on his laurels. With his acting, he's still getting there, as I'm sure he'd be the first to admit.

He remembers the missed chances, the unappreciated routines in London, the bad days in Birmingham, as if they were yesterday.

"If you get too established in comedy, people get addicted to the druggy nature of comedy, he thinks. You're releasing endorphins ... No, you're releasing ser-o-to-nin", he says, savouring every syllable, "in the brain. And people become serotonin junkies because it's great. You just get these hits [he clicks his fingers three times] and it is like coke: bam, bam, bam.

"And I feel that drama is like carbohydrates with minerals, vitamins. It's a main meal of a thing. With lots of different tastes and variances. And it works in a different way on the palate.

"After my big scenes in Ocean's Twelve and Thirteen, it feels like I've got to the Himalayas. I'm at base camp. It's slightly frustrating at the same time. I'm here, I've had a couple of scenes - now can someone just give me a big frigging slice of a film role and I'll tear through it! But I've got to keep hacking my way up the mountain."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eddie Izzard - The Paul O'Grady Show - 2006-07-21
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:34 am    Post subject: Eddie Izzard Reply with quote

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'I'm just a bloke talking crap'
Actor and standup Eddie Izzard talks about his debut as a raven, beating stage fright and why lipstick gags don't make good comedy
Interview by Chris Wiegand
February 15, 2008

You've been doing stand-up for years now. How much do you need to prepare for a gig?

I use a Bruce Lee technique: "The way of no way". He had the idea that he would learn everything, so that whoever he had to fight, he could improvise anything. The best way of starting a gig is just to not think of anything - to clear your mind, not in an empty Zen state, but more just to go on and see where you go.

To what extent are you playing yourself on stage?

When I started out, I found it very difficult to write the stuff. I was a sketch actor. I used to write sketches, then I did street performing and specifically tried to play myself, to find my own voice as opposed to strange characters with weird voices. I realised that I needed to play at "me". The stand-up developed into me narrating my own persona. I'd be standing on stage saying "I think this about this ..." and then I'd go into little characters to illustrate what I was talking about.

In stand-up it really helps to play yourself and talk about your own feelings. You cannot fail to be original if you're just talking about what you think about X, Y and Z. Unless you've got a twin brother who's also a stand-up.

How much of your material is actually scripted?

Sometimes I write down notes about what I want to talk about and start trying to flesh them out with the toing and froing of the chitchat, but it's still tricky. It's so much easier to find that on stage. Most of it is adlibbed at some point. Ross Noble does a hell of a lot of adlibbing, but the most I do in each show is about 30 minutes. Actually I've never taken figures. Maybe it's 45 minutes. But any show has adlibs that I might have done a week ago or a month ago.

You do stand-up around the world. Do you tailor your material for different countries?

I try specifically not to. Bands don't change a note when they go on world tour - why should we have to change? I try to just talk about human stories and what I think about religion or teapots or whatever... I do universal humour like "Moses was talking to a burning bush. Is that the best thing to talk to when you're trying to get out of Egypt?" I'd say that line in Reykjavik, in Auckland, in Sydney or Los Angeles.

How do American audiences differ to the UK?

They're exactly the same. New York and London are very similar. Los Angeles will let me get away with slightly more. As you go out into smaller cities, you could do something that's not so good and they might say, "Well, we haven't seen many stand-ups here for a while, so we're going to laugh at that anyway." London and New York just sit there going: "Make me laugh, motherfucker 'cos we've seen everything." They are the toughest.

What got you into performing as a child? You've linked it to your mother's death.

Yeah. I played a raven. She made a raven outfit for me - it was the last thing before she died ... So I played this raven and I got a laugh because I said a word wrong or something. And I remember thinking it was kind of tiresome ... And that was when I was six and then my mum died. Then when I was seven I saw another play and a kid was getting cheering applause. I think it must have been funny and I thought, I've got to do this. I assume it's the desperation for the affection of an audience. It became a substitute for my mum disappearing. That's what I've analysed ... It's quite a healthy relationship, because the audience won't give it to you for free, like a parent would.

Have you always felt comfortable on stage?

With the sketch comedy, I was absolutely relaxed. Never a problem. Loved it. Maybe it's because I was hiding behind the costumes and the glasses and whatever. When I started doing street performing, it was the first time I was earning money so I thought this had better work. I thought I've gambled everything - I chucked in accounting for this! Accounting gets you a company car! I got real stage fright and really didn't like that. I kind of lost all my confidence on the street, and I gradually rebuilt myself by continually doing gigs.

And you don't get stage fright now?

What if you go out there and you're not funny after five minutes and you're supposed to be on for an hour and a half, two hours? You just can't think about it. My analogy for not thinking about it is car driving: when you get in a car, you never think - what if I kill a kid after two minutes? You just don't even think about it. You just make that pact with yourself.

You've sported flamboyant outfits in the past. How important is what you're wearing on stage?

There's nothing really flamboyant about it, to be honest. Straight transvestites are very challenged design-wise, which is why you see so many frumpy transvestites. You get blokey-looking people who have a girly thing going on, and it's a difficult mix. But, you know, I am a transvestite, so I said fuck it, I'm going to wear a dress. But then I got locked into constantly wearing dresses or skirts or makeup or whatever, and the Americans thought, "Oh that's what it is, is it? That's what you do. You do your comedy and you wear that." But no, I actually just talk comedy and happen to be a transvestite.

Really I'm just a bloke talking crap. A guy in Wales said to me, "I thought your stuff would be really ..." - then he couldn't really find a word for it - "but you just talk crap." I sad yes, that's exactly what it is. He thought it would be all girly stuff like "There was this lipstick that went into a bar" or "Isn't it great wearing makeup?" Instead I'm just like ... "Pigs should not be given tractors." I'm a child of Python: I'm just talking nonsense.

· Eddie Izzard's hit US TV show, The Riches, is available to buy on DVD in the UK from February 18 2008. See an exclusive, full-length episode HERE.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Izzard plans new stand-up show

Eddie Izzard, whose stock in America is on the up with his role in The Riches TV drama, is currently performing a number of work-in-progess gigs in New York. He has been in the off-Broadway Union Square Theatre since February 12. The run was due to end on Friday, but it has now been extended to March 8. It follows a similar series of workshop gigs in London’s intimate Arts Theatre.

Izzard’s last major tour, Sexie, was in 2003, but was generally not considered his best show. However, he had a successful run at Montreal’s Just For Laughs comedy festival last summer.

Izzard also has one date scheduled in the 2,700-seater Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland Oregon on July 15, which may be part of an imminent tour..


I hope it's a LOT better than Sexie - he really let a lot of fans down with that, myself included.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Joined: 12 Jul 2007

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

faceless wrote:

I hope it's a LOT better than Sexie - he really let a lot of fans down with that, myself included.

ditto to that
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Izzard brings laughs, advice
Daniel Head
8th of April 2008

Though best known for being the funniest man in drag, British comedian and actor Eddie Izzard showed up at Louis Hall Monday afternoon in a track hoodie and jeans for an invitation-only talk with about 40 people. Izzard covered topics including being a street performer, his transition to America, working on the show "The Riches" and his famous stand-up routines as a transvestite. "I'm not a real transvestite," he said early on. "I'm an action transvestite. I'm like a Carrie-Anne Moss-in-The Matrix transvestite."

Audience members were all personally invited by screenwriting Prof. David Kukoff, who also asked Izzard questions throughout the talk and led an audience Q-and-A session. Those in attendance included script-writing students, theater majors and various faculty members. The event, organized by the Radio-TV-Film department, followed a format similar to an episode of "Inside the Actors Studio."

"I told Eddie to let me know if I start sounding too much like James Lipton," Kukoff joked. Familiar with Izzard's stand-up for several years, Kukoff said he got hooked on Izzard's comedy through his DVD "Eddie Izzard: Dress to Kill."

Izzard drew laughs from the audience right away by offering Kukoff money for this brief introduction. Izzard emphasized the importance of having an ego and working with it in comedic performance. "Stand-up is the distillation of personal nepotism," he said. "So you may as well have a world view."

He also warned students about certain difficulties he has faced in Hollywood. Pitching stories requires practice just like acting, he said. Izzard recommended that students should practice the act of pitching stories to one another constantly. Kukoff raised many questions about Izzard's transition to America as an actor and the work he now does on "The Riches," a show about an Irish gypsy family of crooks settling down in the deep South.

Izzard explained how being a foreigner influences his work on the show, with the idea of "stealing the American Dream" as a constant influence on his character. "The story became outsiders trying to become insiders," he said. "Right now with the war in Iraq and the economy, it's a very interesting time to do this story."

Students asked about Izzard's lesser-known transition to drama. Izzard often referred to the year 1993, a period when he began to suppress his comedic ego at times and deal with more serious themes, he said. "I admire that he has had such a multi-faceted career and he hasn't let people put him into a box," said Carrie Barrett, a first-year Master of Fine Arts graduate student of in Writing for the Screen and Stage. "That's something I hope to do too one day."

In the near future, Izzard said he will be funding his own "funny-voiced" cartoon show to be released only on the Internet. Putting out media solely on the Internet could lead to a positive, globalized outlook for the entertainment industry, he said. "I think (the Internet) could blow things out of L.A.," he said. "There's good talent in New York, good talent in Chicago, good talent in Paris. I think it's time for an explosion."


Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Every Gig Is a Rehearsal'
Eddie Izzard discusses his forthcoming tour and film roles. Also sharks and Nazis. And Wikipedia. God, too.
By Brian Braiker
Apr 18, 2008

Talking to Eddie Izzard feels a lot like watching him careen through one of his routines: he is free-associative, tangential and often brilliant. Americans who only know Izzard as Wayne Mollow, the con-artist family man who could suave the spots off a leopard, on FX's "The Riches" are about to see a lot more of him. This month he takes his new stand-up act on the road in his nationwide tour, "Stripped." He has also just finished shooting "Valkyrie," a biopic starring Tom Cruise as Claus von Stauffenberg, the Nazi officer who led a failed plot to kill HItler, and he is lending his voice to "Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian."

NEWSWEEK: Why is your new tour called "Stripped?"
Eddie Izzard: The heels got too high on the last two tours. Now I've just gone back to blokey mode, so I've got all this movement back which I couldn't do before. The set is leaner, what I'm wearing is leaner and just focusing on what I'm talking about. I keep talking about God and I come to all these different conclusions. I'm talking about the whole civilization, trying strip that back, as well. The last 5,000 years we did everything. I put out my idea what we're doing here. I think it's all random. If there is a God, his plan is very similar to someone not having a plan.

So no do drag at all this time?
I might be wearing a bit of eyeliner, but less than Keith Richards wears. I don't call it drag anyway; I'm not wearing a dress.

Do you see yourself more as an actor or a comedian these days?
What I first wanted to do was to be an actor. I've had more time being a stand-up. It's a trial-and-error method with me. Some people are natural. I just bulldoze in and sometimes I nail things and sometimes I suck it up. My stand-up is quite good now, people say. It's just like a big conversation each time. Every gig is a rehearsal.

Is your style different at all on "Stripped?"
It's walking through my brain. I'm quite good at taking in information so I voraciously inhale Wikipedia—which may have some things wrong in it, but I think is generally more information than we had before. Last tour we didn't have Wikipedia. And then Discovery Channel and History Channel. I can take it in and retain what I think are the most important facts.

Sounds like you're grappling with big themes.
I find them interesting. There was no religion in my life growing up. Did God invent us or did we invent God? I've also noticed that if one religion is right then all the others have got to be wrong. Right now, all the way back in civilization, most people have been worshipping the wrong thing. Surely if there is a God, he should be a bit pissed off about that. He'd be boiling us in oil, sending us plagues of frogs.

You're very political, but what you don't really grapple with on stage is current events, topical stuff.
I keep walking around it because I talk about historical politics or social politics. It's a practical thing. If you talk about party politics right now, you record a show and in six months the material is dead. In five years people look back and go "what's he talking about?" Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were in a big tussle back then?" I'm watching the election. I want a Democrat to get in.

You studied finance, accounting and mathematics. Is any of that still relevant to you?
I liked it. Whatever you find you can do easily, you go, "Hey, I love this subject, the teacher gives me good marks and I'm not even working." I'm [still] interested in economics because I'm very into European politics now. I want to go into that later on.

Do you want to run for office?
Yeah. Don't you think I should?

Sure. Why not?
If you think I should and I think I should, then I should. I do like people and trying to make things work. We've got to make it work in Europe. People are very worried about sovereignty and the loss of sovereignty. I think the stakes are if we don't make the European Union work, then the world is screwed. End of story.

Do you have any big ideas for Europe?
Logical governance is the thing. It already exists. It's called subsidiarity, which is based on Catholic theology and is basically the idea that governance happens at its logical level.

If you were to launch any sort of serious bid for office, do you know when that would be?
No, not quite. It's a decade away.

You mentioned Wikipedia. Has technology made you a better or a different comic than you otherwise would have been?
I think a different comic. I never used to research anything. I used to let research come to me. I used to sit there watching telly, and a program about sharks came on and then I'd know about sharks. Now you can say, "Sharks, how do they work?" Then you go online and find out that they haven't evolved in 2 million years—which means they're very happy where they are just killing and killing. Also I can do gigs and just advertise on the Internet. In fact most of this tour was just put out on the Internet first.

How was it like working on "Valkyrie"?
It was great. They've delayed it again coming out. Two people I know have seen it and really like what they saw.

Did you see any of the back and forth between Tom Cruise and the German government over Scientology ?
Yeah, I was there for that. You could see why the Germans were saying what they said, and you could see why Tom was saying what he said. It got to a place where everyone sort of calmed down and we could go and film. And they did film the execution of Stauffenberg and three other officers in the place where he was shot. It's a good story for Germany to get out. I'm very positive about the Germans. They went bats--t crazy for 12 years, but all these kids are running the gig now. All the other countries—America, Britain—we've gone batshit crazy, but we've spread our batshit crazy out over 200 years. They did it all in one lump.


I reckon he would make a pretty good politician. I saw a show he did once about the development of the English language, in which he showed a lot of knowledge about Europe's history. He probably knows more about it than half the MEPs who are on the gravy-train in Brussels...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eddie Izzard prefers acting
Maureen Ryan
April 22, 2008

In a December benefit appearance in Los Angeles, comedian/actor Eddie Izzard was able to connect giraffes to Wikipedia and the Writers Guild of America strike. I don't know how he did it. I just recall being helpless with laughter at the sight of Izzard playing a giraffe who is trying to communicate to his herd—via a frantic game of charades—that a tiger is approaching.

Izzard's gift as a comedian is finding links between things that don't appear to be connected. His work is impressive, not just because his take on the world is so wonderfully unexpected but because he manages to subtly illuminate the themes that linked the apparently random bits in his act. There's a thoughtful structure behind it all.

Izzard's equally discursive in conversation. Over a recent meal at a Chicago restaurant, he talked about a recent trip to Yemen, the nature of humor around the world and his TV show, "The Riches" (9 p.m. Tuesday, FX). It's clear that Izzard has a well-thought out plan to switch his focus from stand-up to acting.

That world's not easy to crack—even in grade school, as he notes in the biography he wrote for his Web site, his biggest role was "featured shepherd"—but he's not a man who lacks persistence. It took him years to become the most celebrated comic in the U.K., but he did it.

Doing stand-up night after night, "you have to nail it with 100 percent concentration," he said. And if audiences in a particular city resisted his charms, as those in Dublin did, he'd just hunker down and keep performing for weeks or months, until he broke through. "It hits a point, and then it starts building. I know how to do that," he said.

He's still doing stand-up—he plays the Chicago Theatre May 15-17—but he said he's doing it "less visibly" now. The stand-up part of his life is "trundling along quite nicely," he noted. "I need to spend the equivalent amount of time focusing on drama, pushing and expanding and screwing up and learning."

Being an actor had always been his first choice, he explained. He saw a play when he was 7 and decided that he would act. His mother had recently died, and the audience became his "affection machine." He didn't get many good roles when he was young, but discovering the work of the Monty Python troupe helped him realize that writing his own material could help him get onstage. "I call it personal nepotism," he said.

Izzard, who's had roles in "Ocean's Thirteen" and "Valkyrie," doesn't rule out doing comedies, but he noted that "the most comedy I want to do is [something like] 'Little Miss Sunshine'—that was a drama with a quirk in it." "The Riches" was shortened to seven episodes by the writers strike, and the Season 2 finale will air next week. Lately the dark drama has focused on a land deal that Izzard's character, con artist Wayne Malloy, is pushing through, and the season will end on a cliffhanger, he said.

"I think Wayne does want to do something that does add up," he says of his character, who was disheartened to discover that his big payday involves a suburban development that will deprive Katrina refugees of housing. "But then I think his plan is, 'I'll sort this out'—God knows how."

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Izzard exposes funny side of history in 'Stripped'
By Katie Johnston Chase
Boston Globe Staff
April 30, 2008

Eddie Izzard loves to play fast and loose with history. Very loose. Look, he's a dinosaur playing an organ in church with tiny dinosaur hands (Hymn #428: "God, What the [Expletive] Is Going On?"); now he's a hunter-gatherer who kills a bison with a stone and thinks: "This could be the beginning of an age."

He's book smart and blissfully silly, and this combination has earned the cross-dressing British comedian an almost rock-star-like appeal. When he appeared onstage in front of the sold-out crowd at the Orpheum Monday night (the first of three shows there, including tonight's final performance), looking very butch in jeans and black eyeliner and a ringmaster jacket, the place erupted.

"I thought tonight I'd talk about everything," he said, and he certainly tried. His mouth and his brain were working so fast at times that it was hard to keep up. If you looked away or let your mind wander even for a second, you'd miss something - a look, a gesture, a mumbled quip - that had everybody else in stitches.

This is the first leg of his "Stripped" tour, and as of yet it's nowhere near as shaped and polished as his brilliant "Dress to Kill" show. But that will change. Izzard made amusing imaginary notes on his hand throughout the night - "Where am I going with that?" he scribbled on his palm after a baffling aside about wolves and sheep. He sang and bounced in place when words failed him, and you could see a million thoughts percolating in his head as he tried to pick up the ambitious thread: "OK - civilization!"

He's not afraid to get deep. "Did God invent us or did we invent God?" he asked. But before long he has launched into one of his surreal skits, pretending to be God wielding a crème brûlée torch from above.

Izzard is a skilled actor - he's been in a number of movies and stars in TV's "The Riches" on FX - and he boils down his dramatic talents into simple, purposely clumsy pantomimes: Moses trying to keep the sea back, stoned assassins bargaining for Kit Kat bars. Often, he didn't even need words to get his point across. He was able to act out the Ten Commandments by grunting and pointing. His two-way Latin conversation about an impending invasion was all gibberish, with German and Spanish and mime mixed in. And in his pre-language game of Scrabble, everyone's a winner.

Still, his words are priceless - his title for Charles Darwin's book about evolution, for instance: "Monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey, you!" (give or take a monkey). He went off on countless tangents, but always returned to his convoluted timeline. It was truly momentous when hunter-gatherers became farmers, he said, but it came at a price: "You move up in civilization, but you move down in sexiness."

As uneven as the show was in spots, Izzard's crazy history lessons are definitely moving up stand-up comedy in civilization, even when he's just grunting and pointing.


Hardly the most indepth review I've ever seen...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Joined: 29 Apr 2006
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am excited to say that he is going to be here in two weeks time and I just found out today! I got tickets and will be going to see him and just can't wait! I might be able to provide a more in-depth review! Laughing
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eddie Izzard's moment
May 11, 2008
BY MARY HOULIHAN mhoulihan@suntimes.com

A conversation with Eddie Izzard is akin to being caught in the midst of one of his stand-up routines. The British actor-comedian's answer to a question can evolve into a spasm of free-association that eventually lands in a sensible place: stand-up at its best.

Those who only know Izzard as Wayne Malloy, the con-artist dad on FX's "The Riches," may be wondering: stand-up? Longtime fans know before Izzard began landing roles in film and television, he got his big break with comedy. He's a charming, goofy British bloke, who with the 1998 Emmy-winning HBO special "Dress to Kill" and 2003's "Sexie" built a cult following.

And, oh yeah, he likes to dress up. But we're not talking 007 tuxedos here. In past performances, the transvestite comedian also displayed his own unique style of female dressing. Now he is back on tour with a new show, "Stripped" (Thursday through Saturday at the Chicago Theatre), in which he tones down the cross-dressing to more of a "rock 'n' roll look." But he'll still be wearing a bit of eye makeup, though "less than Keith Richards."

Izzard's humor is zany Monty Python mixed with the manic energy of Robin Williams. He's book-smart and has a gift for drawing out the idiosyncrasies of life and twisting them into humorous routines that loop back on each other. Izzard may be back on the road with "Stripped," but he's the first to admit that he's trying to find a balance between the two poles of his career -- stand-up and drama. He claims acting was always his first dream; comedy just sort of got in the way. But he's finding that one does inform the other.

"When you go into something new like drama, you start off in a fog not quite knowing how you should be developing," says Izzard, 46. "There are comedy muscles that won't be dramatic muscles but it's a great thing to learn and compare. Both, however, demand that you be in the moment."

In 2001, Izzard won notice for his fine performance as Charlie Chaplin in Peter Bogdanovich's "The Cat's Meow." His list of film roles has grown to include Julie Taymor's "Across the Universe," John Tuturro's "Romance and Cigarettes," and the "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian," opening Friday.

As a boy, Izzard acted in some school plays and, at 12, wowed in a school revue when he did a mime sketch about a cricket player. "People laughed," he recalls. "And I thought, 'Well, that sounds pretty good.' It felt great. Then I discovered Monty Python and realized they write their own material. I could do that."

Izzard studied finance and math at Sheffield University, but spent most of his time performing sketch comedy on the streets of London and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Eventually, he dropped out of school, but it took him a good 10 years before he began to gain notice.

"I'm a bit of a slow learner," Izzard says. "I couldn't do stand-up to save my life when I started out, but now apparently I'm good at it. I'm kind of a relentless idiot."

He was greatly influenced by Monty Python (John Cleese has called him the "lost Python") as well as Richard Pryor, Steve Martin and Billy Connolly. His comedy is a hybrid of sketch and stand-up; he's adept at doing both sides of a conversation. An avid interest in history continues to shape his monologue in the new show.

"I plan on talking about the entire world history of civilization," he says, "the whole kit and kaboodle." At a young age, Izzard says he knew he was interested in women's clothes; he knew his sexuality was different but he also was good at all "the boy's sports things." He came out as a transvestite to his friends when he was 23 and to his family and the press when he was 29, just as his career began to take off. He has described himself as "all boy, mentally, plus girl stuff."

"I didn't want to have any secrets from the press but they didn't believe me," Izzard recalls. "So I wore a dress and makeup and they said I looked a mess. So I worked on it and by the time I got to America I had a vague sort of look put together that sort of worked on the blokey body I have."

As his reputation grew, people saw him only as a cross-dressing comedian, so in an attempt to correct that he took on the role in "The Riches," a drama about a family of itinerant Irish Travellers (an ethnic group with a reputation as con artists) pretending to be the upscale Rich family. The show, which may or may not be back next seson, is all part of Izzard's balancing act.

But there is a bit of the old in the new: On "The Riches," Wayne Malloy has a cross-dressing son. Naturally, everyone thinks it was Izzard's idea. But it wasn't; that family plot twist was already in place when he came on board. "I've been the creative consultant on his style," Izzard says, laughing. "After about five episodes, he was still wearing flat shoes, and I suggested they get him into heels. I wouldn't wear all that makeup and stuff and not wear heels."


I've always hated the expression 'book-smart' - it sounds like a compliment, but it's not really. Is it? Anyway, that small outburst aside, when are you seeing him sky? And can you smuggle a recorder in?!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Joined: 29 Apr 2006
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll be seeing him next Wednesday. Do my best to get something, but no promises Laughing
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 12 Jul 2007

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i saw him in Philadelphia last Tuesday. As much as I enjoyed the show, i just feel like he has lost the humour that I used to find so funny about him...the show grabbed my bfs attention so much that he fell asleep :s
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Couchtripper Forum Index -> Comedy News All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Page 1 of 5

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You can attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum

Couchtripper - 2005-2015