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Eddie Izzard: Stripped – Theatre Review

Eddie Izzard: Stripped

National Tour
Seen in Atlanta, Georgia, June 25, 2008

Eddie Izzard was in town this week with his latest one-man show and destroyed a packed house of people. It’s obvious Atlanta was happy to see him because the house blew up when he walked out. And he played two dates here and I’m sure the house the previous night was packed as well. He started off by musing on the name of our fair sprawling urban center. Named for the ocean that he had to cross to get here, he said, then wondered why we’re so far away from it if that’s the case. And it continued for close to two hours—if you’ve seen Izzard’s stand-up shows previously on DVD, then you know what it’s like. But I’m glad it didn’t go any longer, because trying to keep up is fairly exhausting.

The man’s mad. Like Billy Connolly, he, as Jane Wagner might say, has the brain of a hummingbird. They can both wind up anywhere, but Izzard seems to, more often than not, be talking about God and Jesus chatting in Heaven or the diary of one of the giant squid that must have been on Noah’s Ark. You see, Noah had told his wife Margaret to put one in the bathroom downstairs and lash the other one to the roof. Or you could find Moses descending the mountain with rules he had gleaned from squirrels. And then when a question came up about the wives of Henry VIII, Izzard whipped out his phone to look it up on Wikipedia.

The whole thing is “tightly scripted,” he says, but I get the impression that he has an outline about what he wants to cover for the show and leaves himself the option of ignoring it at will. This is confirmed from reading other reviews of the show, where they all reference bits that I saw as well. And yes, him discussing why he’s an atheist has been covered before, like with Jesus preaching to dinosaurs, but while he’s covering familiar ground here, it’s not the exact same material—and most importantly, it’s still funny as hell. How many other people can talk about shooting someone in the head with a tiger? Answer: not many.