‘I will just say bonkers things’ - Eddie Izzard shares comedy observations with Chris Evans

Virgin Radio

15 May 2024, 12:57

Eddie Izzard shares comedy observations with Chris Evans.

Credit: Virgin Radio

Eddie Izzard visited Virgin Radio and explained the process of coming up with ideas for new comedy routines.

The legendary comedian joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with webuyanycar to talk about playing 23 characters in a unique re-telling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, when the conversation turned to her stand-up career.

Regarding having other creative outlets than comedy, such as the new production of Hamlet, Eddie said: “Comedy is still under my fingernails. You know when you were a teenager, you had a few things… I want to be a fireman and I'm going to be an astronaut, and I've just decided to push on all five, rather than just one.” 



Olly Alexander speaks out following Eurovision disappointment

The Night Manager series 2 - everything we know so far

Who won The Traitors series one and where are all the contestants now?


She continued: “I dropped out of uni at 19, and I took off at 30. I wanted to act at the age of seven. I couldn't get roles at school so I've decided to go wide, rather than very much in this sort of arrow front attack on one thing. I've just widened my front and I'm doing them all at once. So yes, comedy is still there. I tend to do it in restaurants, I tend to do it when talking to someone over the counter, I will just say bonkers things.”

On how she comes up with ideas for potential comedy routines, Eddie told Chris: “I don't look for them, but I do go, ‘Oh that's a good idea.’ I put it in my notes section.”

Scrolling through some such notes, the comedian gave an example, saying: “Every moment in time is the most advanced time ever. ‘Steve, this is a scraping tool. You've never seen the like. The Twig Age is over, it's now the Stone Age. Wake up and smell the coffee, man.’ Just the idea that when the Stone Age came, which we think is so backward, it was obviously the Twig Age before that, or the Clay Age.

“At every point of history, we have been at the most modern. You see horses and carts, you think, ‘What an old horse and cart.’ There was a point where that was the first horse and cart and horses was very advanced, so I like that. That's it gives me a talking point.”

She also talked about how taking “all the nerves out of our teeth” would make visiting the dentist “fun”, and commented how “the Pre-Raphaelites are considered a great era of painters, but the Raphaelites are never mentioned!”

Other observations included how, in the Bible, “Saul became Paul. He was a Pharisee then he became a Christian and he went, ‘I’m Paul now.’ Could he have been Daul? Could he have been Gaul?  

“So it's those things I write down, but I have found that when I turn them into shows that quite often it comes from somewhere else, just on the stage I will be moving around things. Like I did the remix tour recently, where I was taking the best of stuff over 35 years and going into like, Death Star canteen, but I couldn't do old Death Star canteen, which is Darth Vader visiting basically Leicester Forest East service station.”

Explaining the premise about how, in action movies, “no-one ever eats food, no-one ever locks cars or locks spaceships,” Eddie said: “I just thought after they blew up Alderaan [in Star Wars], they’d go, ‘Come on, let's go and have some food, let's go and have a KitKat’ they would eat something. But no, I just had the idea that he went down to the to the canteen, which was basically me channelling Leicester Forest East service station when I used to hitch up to Sheffield University from London.

“It was Penne Arrabbiata and the woman behind the counter would go ‘You need a tray’, ‘I don't need a tray. Do you know who I am?’ And it was this status play that went on and on and on, but I couldn't do that same sketch, because I knew where all the moves were. So I had to come up with new moves. So the audience were going, ‘This is the old sketch. Oh, it's not the old sketch!’ So I did a remix of all these classic old pieces.”

She added: “But when you're doing Hamlet you cannot do that, you cannot go to that place. It’s a corridor of emotion.

“But I don't need to go there, because I do know I can go to my comedy at any place. But this is here to take people emotionally down this the story of the drama.”

Read what Eddie said about her one-woman version of Hamlet here.

Hamlet plays at London’s Riverside Studio from 23rd May to 30th June. For tickets and information visit eddieizzardhamlet.com.

For more great interviews listen to The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with webuyanycar weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or catch up on-demand here.