EDitorial ± 3-Dec-2001

Who Needs A Punchline?

Channel 4 have always had an enviable track record of showcasing new comedy, from the early days of Friday Night Live through Adam & Joe to Trigger Happy TV. On one of their festival highlights programmes, around ten years ago, this very laid-back guy appeared briefly, doing a routine about the uselessness of foreign language phrase books. Le singe est dans l'arbre, if I recall.

His unusual name popped up in a couple of magazines, mentioning the rave reviews and pointing out that he was reluctant to "do telly". So when the chance came to see him in the flesh, around 1994, I took it, and went to see Eddie Izzard at the Ipswich Corn Exchange.

Very, very funny - New York Times

Believe me, he was hilarious. Funny thing was that, unlike most other comedians, there were no real punchlines, but he didn't seem to need them. After the show he patiently signed videos, etc, one of which, "Live At The Ambassadors", we watched at the weekend (thanks to Richard for the loan). What would a goldfish with a 10 second memory think if swimming in a tank that took 11 seconds to go round?

Back then, on the tape, he's Mr Conventional, fashion-wise. Compare this with how he looks on the cover of his most recent video - flame-red hair, lipstick and crocodile skin boots. Seeing him (unfortunately on the box, again) at the Amnesty gig earlier this year, he was still on top form, acting as compere for the likes of Harry Hill and Phil Jupitus.

Such a shame that his stand-up appearances are so rare these days, preferring to do film work or theatre instead. He's currently in A Day In The Death Of Joe Egg on the London stage, incidentally. But if you do get the chance to see him, drop everything and go. Oh, and let me know so I can get a ticket too.

Be seeing you!