“I was laughing. It was funny,” a deadpan Izzard fan protested at 2 a.m. this morning. Obviously a newcomer. Maybe an asshole. Clearly it was too late for enthusiasm for some folks on a Thursday because I'm pretty sure Eddie never misses his mark…and last night at the Largo at the Coronet was absolutely no exception. Eddie killed.
Much like his stint here in 2009, for the past three nights it was just Eddie in a room filled with mostly die-hard fans (his Twitter followers, likely). It was Eddie solo. Eddie intimate. Eddie without a dress. These things happen all the time in Los Angeles, right? Our favorite entertainers come to us, the jaded, star-wiped Angelenos, and get real, or at least get closer. Otherwise we might mob them at the Bean & Leaf.
“A midnight show in Los Angeles? Most other cities it's cool and it happens all the time…but it's just weird in L.A.,” Izzard quipped to his sold out show. “There's a bit of it out there. I know that it happens…but there's three people who do it.”
Looking like our collective hip bachelor uncle in his blazer and jeans, the self-purported “executive transvestite” channeled more executive than transvestite (a balance he's more or less maintained over the past few years). He delightfully rambled and mumbled his way through recent material in a set that was reminiscent of his recent summer solo at the Hollywood Bowl.
He hammered out some newer bits — all of them combining his trademark historical meandering with Pythonesque absurdity (“Beware the Spartan Sheep!”).
With Izzard, you're always going to get a few Nazi jabs: “If there are any Nazis here, you're in the wrong room.” He then pantomimed a hapless middling Nazi at Nuremberg needing to use the loo mid-goose step.
Keeping it fairly fresh and relevant at times (no, absolutely no Gadhafi jokes), he spent a good 70% of the show effectively skewering the Tea Party and theists in general: “If there's a god, I want my god to have a plan. Because if you go through the thorough history, of well, everything…there's no fucking plan whatsoever!”
He even showed us how to use the new iPhone…mainly because his act, by his own admission, has become somewhat dependent on Wikipedia. He's even taken to reading articles at length, adding his own skewed version of reality to the mix.
One die-hard fan who'd seen him in tiny clubs in London, Boston, New York and here likens repeat viewings of the same material to your favorite band. “Oh, it's great, it's like your favorite band doing the same songs….but just slightly differently….and improvising a bit,” he told us.
All that said, Eddie solo, even with fairly recent but not brand-spanking-new material is still fucking hilarious. In a small room, the full animation of his facial expressions and absurd pantomime is actually in focus. He's one of few people left that can say nothing audible or intelligible for ten minutes (with a killer velociraptor impersonation) and still be a side-splitting time. Even at 2 a.m. On a weeknight. In the city that apparently can't keep it together past midnight.
No worries, Mr. Izzard: We were laughing. It was funny.