Sunday, August 4, 2013

Day Two Hundred and Sixteen - Eddie Izzard: Dress to Kill, "In heels, no less!"

I'm going to come right out and say it now (in case you get bored with my gushing)... this has to be the greatest comedy set that I have ever seen.

Now, to be fair, I've seen it before, as Eddie Izzard is my favorite standup comedian and Dress to Kill is my favorite set of his... I own it on DVD and force my friends and occasional girlfriends to watch it at least once a year. In the case of the occasional girlfriends, it's my first pick for the inevitable "Movies on the Couch" date which crops up around two or three dates in. I have no idea if this fact moves up the timing of their decisions to eventually stop dating me.

We may never know.

Even so, it is very much available on the Stream and is just as grand a performance here as it is on DVD. I only wish I had been there when it was recorded.

If you don't know him (or, perhaps only recognize him from his film and television roles where he's not in a dress and "tarted up a bit"), Eddie Izzard is a transvestite who brokers really intelligent humor that spans the gamut of human existence. Fashion, Sex, History, Language, it's all there.

I particularly love him because he owns his alternative lifestyle without necessarily banking on it. While, yes, his transvestism is a major part of the act, it's not played gratuitously, nor does he fawn over himself. Instead, he has a very humble but confident demeanor that is both self-effacing and unapologetic.

This particular set was filmed in San Francisco and it's hilarious to hear all the hissing at the beginning of it, a bit of heckling that he smartly defuses without losing the audience. I find the feat very impressive due to the fact that he makes quite a few claims about the alternative lifestyles in a town that's very touchy about said lifestyles.

Now, fair warning, it's a long set... clocking in at six minutes shy of a full two hours! But, every single bit of it is engaging and entertaining. From puberty to the druids to the British Empire... Clinton's impeachment to Speed to The Great Escape, it's all hilarious, if a bit dated.

I mean, c'mon, the set is almost fifteen years old at this point, it's going to be a little dated.

I've watched tons of standup specials on Netflix (though, I've only reviewed a few)... and this is still the only set where I'm so deliriously happy that he comes out for an encore... mostly in French, I might add... and done in such a way that even a big dumb American, like me, who hasn't had a lick of French since elementary school, can still follow along (for the most part, as I still don't get the Monty Python in French bit).

My final recommendation is for you to WATCH THIS... IMMEDIATELY... with a quick shout out to my dear friends Todd and Tina for introducing me to Eddie's comedy a decade ago.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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