Sunday, January 17, 2010

Eddie Izzard @ Madison Square Garden

Last night Eddie Izzard kicked off his Big Intimacy tour here in NYC, and I had the pleasure of seeing it last night at the Garden.

If you're not familiar with Mr. Izzard or his work, I'll give you a brief sketch: he's a British comedian/actor/occasional-transvestite who has done numerous award-winning comedy shows over last several years (most famous: Dressed to Kill and Glorious, a clip of which appears below). He's also appeared in a bunch of movies and had a series a few years ago on FX called The Riches.

Being British, Eddie Izzard's comedy is quite different from that of most American comedians: whereas our comedy is mostly "observational" or "satiric", Izzarad's comedy is "fantastical." It's full of whimsical thoughts and free-association (last night he did a whole bit about imagining a chicken with a trumpet stuck in its mouth) and goes off in numerous tangents; think less "Saturday Night Live" and more "Month Python" or "Kids in the Hall." He's not big on one-liners, mostly making interesting conclusions.

The show last night started off really strong. Eddie came out and said "Tonight I'm going to talk about everything that's ever happened." He called Bush bonkers and how the "European Dream" is a lot like the "American Dream" but of course with more espresso. He cast doubt on religion: of course not every kind of animal in existence made it onto Noah's arc. How do we know? Just try! He also said how a thousand years ago, when weavers were putting pictures of war on fabrics, that they were the photojournalists of their day.

And how about Latin? (Yes, that's right, he did a bit about Latin.) "It's a silly, silly language."

The audience loved him. I enjoyed him too, although occasionally I found his tangents less than interesting and sometimes his jokes became a little too obscure. However, in this era of anger, Eddie Izzard's comedy is great because he shows you just how ridiculous some much of humanity is.

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