DVD Review: Eddie Izzard – Live From Wembly


Like all great comedians, Eddie Izzard doesn’t tell jokes; he weaves funny stories. The well-honed skill that sets him apart is the art of presenting two people conversing with each other, even though he’s the only one on stage. Either that or he’ll suddenly stop and debate with himself about how a particular line should’ve gotten a better laugh but didn’t, or worse—one that shouldn’t have gotten one but did.

If I had to describe this hilarious stand-up concert, it’d have to be done in one very long sentence, because that’s how Eddie Izzard presents it. It used to be that Johnny Carson was the only man I knew who could get lost in the middle of a monologue and then make you laugh your head off listening to him try to dig his way back to where he started. Eddie has that very same talent.

I found myself unable to stop laughing; especially when he reveals and illustrates his conclusion that the legendary Greek and Roman Gods had to have been invented by a man with an extremely large bag of weed and an awful lot of time on his hands.

Other topics that are delivered in rapid-fire fashion include the similarities between transvestites and super heroes because they have to change clothes before they help people. He’ll get hopelessly distracted trying to explain what dark matter is while giving an astronomy lesson on the planet Mars complete with movie sound effects. That leads to a story of how archeologists in Rome dug a huge rectangular hole searching for ancient artifacts, but then didn’t find anything, so they announced they’d found a famous ancient swimming pool.

His admiration for firemen wanders off course when he speculates that they throw cats out the window of fire engines in place of a broken siren, leading to an explanation of the Doppler effect. That leads to his embarrassing problem of not proofreading text mistakes until after he’s hit send and by then it’s too late.

A great story of how to deal with attacking sharks somehow wanders into an even funnier tale of how to deal with houseflies—especially the ones with Klingon cloaking devices that show up in places you don’t expect. That leads to an observation of how racists are never as polite as smokers, which veers back somehow to how English hunters should stop hunting foxes and instead go after flies using flamethrowers.

Another great talent he has is for acting out all of the parts of a movie, which he uses with ease describing his idea of what Sigourney Weaver and the monster would do in the newest fictitious sequel to Aliens, which of course logically becomes a debate about what was more important: the invention of the wheel or the invention of the axle. James Bond makes an appearance in one of the worst impressions you’ve ever heard, which stops in its tracks when he relays that the French dub his voice anyway, so no one in France knows what Eddie sounds like.

He pauses to tell of how he’d recently gotten curious about exploring the Koran and how bad an idea it was to read it on a transcontinental flight to the U.S. He then explores his puzzlement over the sudden appearance of balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing; the evolution of the Neanderthal; Noah’s problems with the menu on the arc, especially when he has to hide from God that he’s eaten one of the cows; and then he ends it all up with his puzzlement over the question of why horses are measured in “hands” instead of “feet.”

This 90-minute concert is well worth the price and includes as a DVD extra the 40-minute Live at the Norwich which is an earlier version of this concert and gives you the opportunity to see how he writes and then hones his craft.

Written by Momo in: News |

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