From the Archives: Unmasked with Eddie Izzard

Interviews for Unmasked

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“When you’re doing it right, it’s like floating on air.  Like being in a room and time has stopped and you’re watching yourself.”

“The joy or the energy is controlled by the deliverer.”

Eddie Izzard is brilliant. He was performing in gigantic stadiums before it was something that all top-level comedians do. He was touring arenas in different countries before that became commonplace, too.  He’s even conquered performing in other countries in their native languages- something almost no one does. Izzard is constantly conquering new ground, which is amazing because he started as a street performer, who abandoned a practical degree in accounting to pursue performance despite being told it couldn’t be done.

Back in 2010, soon after a documentary about Izzard was released and nominated for an Emmy (“Believe: The Eddie Izzard Story“), Eddie sat down with to talk comedy, and we found one more thing he was brilliant at- and that’s articulating how he does, what he does.  Of course we already knew he’s ridiculously talented and smart, but we learned that he also owes his successes to an abundance of stamina, confidence, and unrelenting drive.

If you are a comedian, or fascinated with the “how” of being one of the most popular stand up comedians on the planet you will love this hour and listen to it over and over again. Izzard talks extensively about failure, living hand-to-mouth in the early years while working as a street performer, and overcoming his fears. He shares his philosophies of “personal nepotism”, why you should “flamethrow your bridges”,  and what you can learn about comedy from watching politicians. Izzard goes deep and specific, detailing how to manage the energy of your audience,  and quite possibly the best part of the hour is hearing Eddie talk about, and demonstrate how to get out of a fuck up, or at least how he does it.

One of the most acclaimed comedians of his generation, Izzard’s unique, tangential, absurd, and surreal comic narratives are lauded for their creativity and wit, earning him a New York Drama Desk Award and two Emmys for Dress to Kill, two British Comedy Awards for Top Stand-Up Comedian, and an Olivier Award nomination for Outstanding Achievement.

In the U.S., Izzard is the first solo stand-up comedian to perform at the Hollywood Bowl; has sold-out three consecutive nights at Radio City Music Hall and toured arenas throughout the U.S. and across the globe including a sold-out show at Madison Square Garden. On TV. Izzard played a villain on NBC’s Hannibal to perfection, starred in Sony PlayStation’s original series Powers, and has a long list of film and stage credits that range from the Oceans Series to Mamet.

Beyond performance, Izzard runs marathons, is politically active and is known for his sense of style whether he’s wearing a suit or high heels and a dress. Of course at the heart of it all, is his stand-up and touring– most recently with his Force Majure tour. If you love comedy, you will love Eddie Izzard and whether you’re already a fan or new to Izzard’s world, this is a phenomenal hour to add to your listen list.


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