Mind the Dress, Love Izzard for his Mind
U-San Bernandino Co. Sun| 09.17.03
EDDIE IZZARD addressed the audience Monday night at the Wiltern Theatre as part of his new show, "Sexie,' and said, "I know what you're thinking. God, he's got big eyes.'
Of course, what he really was referring to was the fake breasts under the bra he was wearing under his blouse, which went along with his heels, earrings and black leather pants. Though the British comedian loves to dress in drag, it was only the starting point for his hilarious 1 hour, 45 minute show, the first of six sold-out nights.
Before long, he was onto jellyfish and wondering why Los Angeles is called the City of Angels. Was it founded by angels? Which led to him wondering why, if Melbourne was founded by a man named Batman (first name John, actually), it wasn't called "Batmania' or something like that. That led him to an extended riff on superheroes going back to the Greeks. It's hard to imagine anyone else but Izzard finding comic fodder in Perseus slaying Medusa or Odysseus encountering the Sirens. Yet he manages to bring the audience along with him as he makes mythology funny. Izzard's song of the sirens eventually morphing into the sound of a car alarm.
And as he often cleverly does, Izzard will reference one part of his show in a different way. When he's doing a bit about firemen racing off to a blaze, they flip on the siren only to get, "Sorry, that was the Greek siren.'
If all of this sounds esoteric, it's not really. He makes the Greeks, archaeology and dozens of other topics as silly as are J.Lo and Ben. The difference being that every hack comedian is making fun of our latest vapid celebrity pairing. That takes little talent.
But Izzard has loads of smarts, though like other comics he doesn't mind taking a few potshots. He doesn't understand, for instance, America's awful fascination with the British royal family. "If Prince William came here, people's tongues would drop out that you could nail them to the floor.'
Even before he went into an amusing take on religions -- Jesus and Mohammed were sensible guys. It's the guys who came afterward -- he notes how Europe was confused by 9/11, where they read dates the other way. "What? Something else happened on Nov. 9?'
At this point, we've only scratched the surface of the breadth of Izzard's humor and interest. And unless you've were lucky enough to score a ticket to the show, which sold out close to instantly, you're going to have to check out the DVD for his Emmy-winning HBO special, "Dress to Kill,' or on Tuesday, when the DVD of his 2000 show "Circle' is being released. Here's hoping the DVD for "Sexie' will be out sooner.