What Went Wrong With… Eddie Izzard?

Caricature of Eddie Izzard wearing a suit and looking miserable - whatwentwrongwith.comIt’s really depressing when someone you thought was cool becomes a dull version of their former self. Back in the nineties, Eddie Izzard was an almost genius stand-up, his surreal and disjointed narrative weaved in and out of history and religion, and his juxtaposed topics and odd situations made for a refreshing take on stand-up. Watching one of his shows back then pretty much guaranteed a few hours of hilarity.

Today Eddie resembles someone doing a weird impersonation of himself. Watch one of his stand-up gigs now, and it’s like watching a strange pastiche of the younger, hipper, and funnier Izzard by some kind of amnesiac, medicated, future self. Similar to comedians such as Noel Fielding and Emo Philips, Eddie Izzard seems to be almost incapable of creating fresh new surreal comedy, and his whole abstract routine seems to have lost momentum and steam over the last decade.

Born in a British Colony and attending various boarding schools when growing up, I suppose it was inevitable that he’d one day become a suit. I guess we were all hoodwinked into thinking he was an irreverent and stylish representative of genuine sub-culture. Unfortunately, too much long distance running for charities, too much bad acting in films, and too many appearances on television trying to push politics on the “disaffected youth” has left him looking like a husk of his former self. These days you’re more likely to see him wearing a plain suit and a t-shirt like the boring old man stereotype he’s fast becoming. Check out Mr. Izzard on Sky News for proof…

At 0:58 in this video we see him talking about wanting to “inspire” young people to vote; and how does he choose to do this? By showing up on a centre-right News corporation with a morose face and side-parted hair… great way of enticing the young apathetic voters. Clips like this make you wonder what happened to that jovial and exuberant transvestite from the nineties.

Just to see if I wasn’t mis-remembering the past, I went back and re-watched his early stand-up and I have to say his early work was just the way I remembered it; fun and funny in equal measures. His shows “Unrepeatable”, “Definite Article”, “Glorious”, and “Dress To Kill” were great; they were just the right mixture of history and hilarity. This clip from “Glorious” shows that Eddie Izzard was much more jolly and upbeat back then…

Then in the noughties when I went to watch one of his stadium shows, I remember thinking that his jokes were becoming less enjoyable. Aside from the fact that stadiums have removed the intimate nature of stand-up, it’s the lack of structure and lacklustre content that has slowly ruined Izzard’s later shows. Somewhere between “Sexie” and “Stripped” he’s been looking and sounding increasingly straight-laced, and with “Force Majeure” his monotonous routine is teetering on aimless rambling. His shows are now jam-packed with strange sycophants who laugh before the punchline is delivered, and these sheep-like, arse-kissers keep this now unfunny funny-man in business.

More annoying than his watered-down, recycled act and his penchant for dreary politics is Izzard’s new use of prejudice contrivances. At approximately 16:32 in the following video, you can witness his use of foreign mumbo-jumbo; a mixture of gibberish and a prejudice-sounding, generic overseas accent. This kind of mild casual racism feels completely at odds with the kind of comedy he performed in the mid-nineties…

Eddie Izzard has lost his edge, he is no longer funny, and he now looks like an utter sell-out too. He’s somehow become a very plain, suited, businessman-type who thinks wearing a hint of eye-liner and a touch of nail varnish is still the source of great transvestism, even though these embellishments now cover one of the most miserable faces this side of a voting booth. His increasingly long-winded and tedious routines now feel so dispiriting in comparison to his early work, that you miss Izzard’s once youthful personality. Unfortunately, like so many celebrities of his generation (Jonathan ahem… Ross) he is now a sad disappointment compared to his nineties self. Forget “Action Transvestite”, these days he’s more like a “T.V. Drama”.

Eddie Izz No More.

17 replies »

  1. Omg what went wrong with… this author? Get a grip, people change their clothes every day, and I’m sure he doesn’t dress to impress YOU. I used to wear a lot of skirts and heels when I was younger too, now I prefer pantsuits also, who gives a flying fat rat. I saw Eddie Izzard on February 12 in Melbourne, laughed my arse off! Can’t believe I stumbled upon this stupid website to be honest.

    • The fact that you “laughed your arse off” at his Force Majeure gig makes you either easily pleased or an outright moron. Any real fan of Eddie Izzard can plainly see that he’s not as funny as he used to be in the 90’s (which for your information is what this article was actually about) but you on the other hand read it and thought I was just critiquing his dress-sense? You really missed the point, I guess Izzard only attracts confused, out-of-style twats who say “OMG” and wear lame pant-suits these days… you do realise that makes you the “strange sycophant” and the “sheep-like, arse-kisser” I refer to in the article?

      And lastly, who gives a sailing skinny cat whether you used to wear skirts and heels; that’s about as irrelevant as Izzard’s topics in Force Majeure.

      Now stumble the fuck off my site you huge daft knob.

    • Well you’ve definitely convinced me there with your well thought out and constructed debate. Insulting somebody who has a different point of view than yourself always gives you the higher ground.

  2. his latest dvds have been a huge let down and i was a big fan once. force majeure was a real disappointment, i think around 2005 his comedy went downhill, and sexie was just awful, his standup is lazy and poor, and i agree that he looks like hes doing an impression of himself!

    • Completely agree. I think he’s become confused about what made him famous. People started listening to him because he was funny and interesting. Since then he’s become so egotistical and wrapped up in his own self worth that he thinks everything he says has value – that any audience will hang on his every word because he’s so ‘right on’. The inevitable consequence being his political ramblings have displaced any entertainment value from his shows.

      Good article

  3. Excellent. Just watched this twat on big fat quiz. Then felt compelled to type into google “what happened to eddie izzard – not funny”and ended up here. Lol
    Turning more of a cnut each year. The brexit saga made him ahine even brighter. Shame. Spot on analysis. A shell of former self…

    • I can’t stand this sanctimonious old queen?
      OK, he’s a fudge pusher, but does he really have to foist his opinions and lifestyle on everybody else ?
      Oh, and yes, he’s about as funny as a really bad hangover.

  4. Unless you’re gay, please don’t use this term? So its only offensive to gays if you aren’t gay yourself? Sorry but get a grip, its either offensive or not. Its a bit like a white man calling a black man a nigga – when its OK for his homies to do so…double standards by those who want acceptance by others but only by their rules or on their terms.

    • What fucking double standards? If you can’t tell the difference between a derogatory term like “fudge pusher” or “nigger” spoken by the demographic that isn’t the target (i.e. to cause offence) or by a person it was targeted to, then you’re an idiot.

      Since a white person created the word “nigger” to undermine and belittle black people, they can’t now turn around and say “why can’t I say ‘nigga’?” – they lost that right when they created the word, same goes for all racist, sexist, and homophobic terms. The demographic that has been subject to this abuse on the other hand has the right to claim the word for their own use, but yes, it’s still offensive if you say it.

      I can’t believe that people like you – the “P.C. gone mad” crowd – can’t differentiate. It’s more likely that you enjoy using those prejudice epithets and “double standards” keeps your moronic bigotry (at least in your own mind) acceptable.

  5. The only thing dated about this article is Eddie Izzard’s gender. As of late 2020, Izz fully identifies as a woman. 🤓

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