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08 December, 2006
While looking for something Christmasy on YouTube, I found this video clip of Eddie Izzard that I just had to post. It's an excerpt from his Sexie standup tour which D. and I saw with some friends in L.A. three years ago.
Eddie is my favorite standup comedian. While others rely on profanity, he relies on deft observations of history, literature and politics. He's cerebral yet irreverent and funny, a thinking man's comic. Never mind that he's a heterosexual transvestite; after a while, you hardly notice. Really.
When I first saw Eddie perform his 1999 standup "Dressed to Kill" on DVD, he had me in hysterics. I just had to see him live when he launched his Sexie tour after a three-year hiatus. His six-night run at the 2,200-capacity Wiltern Theater was sold out, but we managed to get tickets for opening night on September 15th, 2003.
That evening, amidst kaleidoscope lights, projected abstract graphics and concert-volume electronica, he came out in vampy makeup, black leather pants, stiletto boots and fake breasts ("They are implants not implanted, or 'ims'."). The audience went wild on its feet, welcoming him like the cult icon he's become. "I haven't said anything yet", he quipped. Everybody went wild, anyway.
His thoughts ricocheted where it pleased. He threw balls of zingers in the air,and brought them back to play long after the audience forgot about them. He bounced on his legs, gesticulated with his arms, spewed off sound effects, all while covering the stage in spiky heels.
He talked of Neanderthal man and Homo Sapiens, of Pavlov and Doppler. He talked of Odysseus and the Sirens, of Perseus and Medusa, she with snakes for hair ("Put on the video with mice, they like that."). He talked of Christopher Walken delivering Shakespeare, and what superheroes and "action" transvestites have in common. He even talked about 9-11, the Koran and President Bush ("The back of his brain is working well, but it all comes out cheeseburger"). He was as hilarious as I expected and more.
He's put touring on hold to concentrate on acting. I hope he goes on tour again soon.
The rest of the show (all ten parts of it) are here.
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