FEATURE FRIDAY: Assorted Eddie Izzard


Here at Assorted Buffery, we're big stand-up comedy fans and in fact, it was one of the reasons that the two of us got talking in the first place oh so many years ago. Both of us have a big soft spot for Mr Eddie Izzard, Action Transvestite, and his particular brand of whimsical thinking and he is a comedian that the pair of us grew up with (Jen's mum even met him once). Having been lucky enough to attend his Force Majeure tour, we now bring you our favourite Assorted Eddie Izzard moments from his stand-up shows.

Pavlov's Cats


From his show Definite Article (Assorted Buffery favourite), Pavlov's Cats tells the story of what would have happened if Pavlov, first name Gareth in this instance, had carried out his famous experiment using cats instead of dogs. As ever, hilarity ensues told entirely in the form of Pavlov's laboratory diary.


British Movies vs. American Movies


This skit appears in Dress to Kill and has never been more relevant in the wake of Downton Abbey's popularity. Delightfully reverential but also poking fun at both nationalities, Eddie starts off by explaining the British type of film - Room with a View with a Pond - before going to explain just how different American films are. They're called things like Pond of Death for one thing.


The Trojan War


Greek gods and heroes appear a lot throughout Eddie's work, but the skits we're referring to are found in Glorious and Sexie (we want Eddie's coat from this one. It's AMAZING). The first deals with speed archaeology before moving on to Achilles and his unfortunate heel; "I'll be a laughing stock!". Our personal favourite though is discussing the Trojan War as the biggest rumpus ever before going on to tell the story of the Odyssey in his own inimitable style. Warning: the Sirens may not end up being what you think they are.


The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men


Another favourite from Definite Article, this one makes the cut for its winning combination of geeky literary reference, sheer absurdity, and, of course, jam. What ARE the best laid plans of mice and men? Eddie asks. Specifically, what exactly do mice plan? Fortunately, he happens across some "mice over here trying to make a plan...". That plan, dear reader, transpires to be a rocket made of jam. Of course it does.


The Cow and the Raptor


The Cow, moo, and the Raptor are possibly the best double act Eddie has ever come up with; the hat-wearing Raptor, disguised as a human, and his partner in crime and getaway driver, the Cow. Moo. They appear throughout Stripped alongside other survivors Earth history and Noah's Ark including the war veteran Squirrel ("you weren't there man"), the jazz chicken and the giant squid, keeping the audience informed with his diary and slowly running out of ink. Moo. (We can only find a clip of him talking about raptors, but rest assured, the one with the raptor and the cow in the car is on there!)



The Looking Cool Circle



The coolness factor is a tricky thing to balance. Eddie tends to manage it with his incredibly wardrobe range (seriously, that coat in Sexie). However, he uses this moment in Definite Article to note just how tricky it is to stay in the cool bit of th circle which runs through "Looking like a Dickhead, Average Looking, Cool Cool Cool, Hip and Groovyyyyy, Looking like a Dickhead". Much like Eddie, we too tend to hover around the back of the circle, edging closer to Looking like a Dickhead, but we have yet to fully become one with that side.





The British Empire


In another of Eddie's invaluable history lessons, this time from Dress to Kill, he benevolently teaches his San Francisco audience all about the British Empire. It seems there isn't a lot to that conquering malarky, all you need is a cunning use of flags. "I claim India for Britain!" "You can't claim us... we live here!" "Do you have a flag?"




The Ten Commandments


Religion is another theme that crops up a lot, particularly in Force Majeure, but we turn our attention once again to Stripped as Eddie tackles Moses and the Ten Commandments. Commenting on the ability to smelt, Eddie then focuses in on the commandments themselves, particularly "thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's ox" which descends into an analysis of ox-related trading, what constitutes a neighbour and duvet thievery. Naturally.





Sexy Tunes


It's another one from Definite Article (we did say it was our favourite) as Eddie explains the politics behind learning a musical instrument and the dangers of becoming the third clarinet. Sorry, clarin-art. It is here that the infamous Mrs Badcrumble makes her appearance with her questionable sexual reactions to Ode to Joy.



Steve



Never has one man had such a love affair with just one name. To pin Steve down is a difficult task, he gets everywhere and seems to have worked in a wide variety of occupations  - His ox gets coveted as we've seen and he dies: "Here lies Steve the chicken". He also plays a very special part in the current tour, Force Majeure, but we won't spoil that for you here.





These are just a few of our personal favourites, but to be honest, Eddie Izzard is a comedian of such range and insanity, we couldn't possibly capture it all here. You will note that we have not mentioned either Star Wars Canteen or Cake or Death? Why? Well, because we simply don't have to. We also haven't mentioned Sean Connery, James Mason or Jeff, but there is an easy way to correct this. Just type 'Eddie Izzard' into Youtube and have yourself the good time.

- Jen and Becky

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