Eddie Izzard, in the moment

Got the chance Saturday night to catch Eddie Izzard’s final workshop performance in New York City before he launches a spring tour, his first in five years. So glad I got to see Izzard again. Thanks, Max!

Izzard emerges without an opener or even an intro. Talk about your cold opens. Then for the following 90 minutes, he manages to be the most in the moment comedian I’ve seen. Stand-up comedians try to find moments of true spontaneity and magic. These moments seem to find Izzard. Falling dust inspires a riff. Wondering whether there really is a Greek god named Trivia prompts him to take out his iPhone and check…during the show. A word on Wikipedia launches him into a tangent on torches. I wonder if the bounce of the foamy stage (for the theater’s main attraction, a martial-arts show called Jump) adds to his ease in bouncing from one topic to the next.

The structure or theme of Izzard’s set runs through world history with a focus on language, religion and worshipping false gods. It’s worldview made funnier by talking giraffes and a look back at Latin.

Izzard even managed to joke at one point that he’d work on one bit tomorrow, "when I’m not gigging." In fact, at the after-afterparty, Izzard was talking out one of his lines. Is there a funnier animal than a squid, perhaps? Look forward to seeing Izzard at a theater near you this spring and summer. Tickets go on sale March 16: Buy tickets here!

Related: Eddie Izzard online. The second season of his FX show, The Riches, begins March 18.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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