Maybe you’ve seen British comedian Eddie Izzard in television and movies. Or you’ve heard he can perform in French and German. Or that he’s a cross-dresser (an “executive transvestite,” he would say) who sometimes takes the stage in makeup and heels.
But the most important thing to know about Izzard is that his surreal standup is some of the funniest comedy around. Picture Darth Vader ordering penne all’Arrabbiata at the Death Star Canteen. Imagine being forced to choose between death and cake. (Most people choose cake.) Or just go to YouTube and watch these bits. Millions of people have.
On Thursday, Izzard, 52, stops at Belk Theater on his “Force Majeure” world tour, an ambitious 25-country expedition billed as the most extensive comedy tour ever. It’s his first Charlotte performance, and it’s sold out. In a recent phone interview, Izzard discussed humor, history and wearing makeup.
I do actually wear makeup and I don’t wear makeup, and I don’t tell anyone what I’m going to wear when I wear it, just like a woman wouldn’t have to check in. They wouldn’t say, “Hillary Clinton, are you going to wear a pantsuit today, or are you going to wear a skirt?”
If women can wear whatever they want to, then men can wear whatever they want to. It should be built into the United Nations charter. It doesn’t matter.
I started wearing whatever I wanted to just be open. And then people thought, “Well, that’s what the comedy’s about.” And this word “drag” came in. And I said, “Well, no, it’s not that. It’s actually about the comedy.”
I will wear more makeup. I will wear less makeup. Gradually, people will get used to it and get bored by it.