"Richard Briers has a scene in Kenneth Brannagh's Frankenstein with Robert De Niro. It's The Good Life meets Taxi Driver. 'You talking to my dahlias? I don't see any other dahlias around...'"
Edward John Izzard. Bloke In A Dress. Executive Stroke Action Transvestite. Transgendered. International Comedian. Film Star. Sex-god. He's been called many things, but generally prefers to be known as just 'Eddie'.
Born in Yemen on 7th February 1962, his childhood years were spent living in a variety of places due to his father's work on oil refineries before settling in Bexhill-on-Sea. After studying accounting and financial management at Sheffield University, he started his comedy career with a disastrous one-man show at the Edinburgh Festival in 1991. Not to be swayed, he honed his act on the streets of Covent Garden with a few friends and returned to Edinburgh in 1993 to win the Perrier Award.
His early days playing the comedy clubs in London forced him to face show after show of people throwing things and booing at him for talking bollocks (or the complete opposite which was sitting in confused silence). With persistent trying and an almost-workaholic schedule, people eventually changed their opinion to "He's talking bollocks and he's quite good, actually".
Notoriously reluctant to do his act on television, Eddie's popularity grew largely by word of mouth while collecting a string of awards along the way. His first major show at The Ambassadors Theatre in London's West End was originally pencilled in for four weeks but had to be extended to thirteen weeks due to popular demand. He continued to relentlessly tour around the UK and Ireland defending his title of 'Funniest Man In Britain' bestowed upon him by John Cleese and soon expanded his horizons to France (performing his show Glorious in French, just because he could), Iceland (on the advice of pop pixie Bjork), America and pretty much any other country that speaks English. Quoth Ardal O'Hanlon, "Eddie is the nicest megalomaniac I have ever met."
It's easy to say that Eddie has a unique style of comedy but it's born from a childhood love of Monty Python, The Goons and Billy Connolly, resulting in surrealist non-sequitur (basically bollocks, to the layman) that freely walks the line between scripted bits and ad-libs, deftly switching between the two with seemingly remarkable ease. He's also quite keen on anthropomorphism, coming quite close to Gary Larson on that one, history and will make any excuse to use his chemistry A-level as part of his act. In his own words: "You will notice in my show there is a certain amount of bollocks. I've mixed bollocks with ... bollocks, and it kinda levels out at complete rubbish."
Shows (up to 2001; otherwise incomplete)
Eddie also appeared as Lenny Bruce alongside Elizabeth Berkeley in the stage production of Lenny in which he started and ended the show completely naked. In 2002 he took over from Clive Owen in A Day In The Death Of Joe Egg at The New Ambassadors Theatre in London. His new show, Sexie is set to tour most of the world with stops in the UK happening during December 2003.
Films (up to 2001; otherwise incomplete)
otherwhere: there's a ton of archived interviews with eddie from various media sources at: http://auntiemomo.com/cakeordeath/