So we raided Youtube last night and watched a bunch of clips of Eddie Izzard’s various shows. I think the man is highly amusing because he has a great talent for mime, mimicry and making faces, and everyone knows that I can’t resist someone who makes good faces. He has a face as mobile as Tim Curry’s, only his mouth isn’t so big.
Another reason I like him is his combination of confidence and silliness. If you ever see him in anything from the late 1990s and on [not the early stuff with the horrible, horrible shirts], he stands with great ease in front of an audience, very casual and loose. He’s even funny when he loses his train of thought and says, “Uhhhhhhh…yeah…anyway…where was I? Oh yes, breasts and airplanes…” He weaves his digressions and mistakes into his routines with admirable panache. I really enjoy his playfulness.
I also really like the fact that his humor is mainly observational absurdity. Rather than insulting people or making negative, sarcastic comments about the weather, pollution, etc., he’s much more likely to talk about pears [“Either they’re hard enough to use for a hammer, or they’re ripe for about a half an hour”] or Jesus telling God to stop doing his James Mason impression. The older I get, the more I appreciate good-spirited humor in this vein.
Eddie Izzard reminds me a lot of Hugh Laurie. Both are British actors with well-developed skills in slapstick and face-making. They also have great senses of comic timing. [Of course, Hugh Laurie’s current manifestation in House makes him like an evil Eddie Izzard…] I wonder if the two would have chemistry as a performing couple? They could just stand on stage, making faces, and I would fall over laughing.
I’m gonna have to rent Dressed to Kill.