Hi reddit, Eddie Izzard here. I'm bringing my Force Majeure world tour to America. I've played Russia, South Africa, France, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Turkey, Austria, Germany, Serbia, Croatia, and others so far. I'm claiming it's THE most extensive world comedy tour ever. No one's ever done one this big, I believe! We'll just have to see. Anyways. I'm doing this AMA from Germany along with Victoria on the phone. I won't be doing this AMA in the German language, though. AMA.


I'm afraid that's all we can do today. Thank you very much for everyone asking your questions. I hope to see you in America in Force Majeure part 1, part 2 coming very soon. I hope you're having a good day and good-bye from Berlin in Germany! Auf wiedersehen!

Comments: 2049 • Responses: 33  • Date: 

socket0970 karma

Hi Eddie! Long-time fan, first-time caller. John Cleese has called you the "Lost Python" -- if asked, would you participate in the upcoming Python reunion tour? Nobody can replace Graham Chapman, but someone has to say his lines, and it might as well be someone who wears a dress better than he did. So would you do it?

EddieIzzardHere1176 karma

I would do anything for Monty Python. Their gigs in London are for them. I just want them to have a fun time and for the audience to enjoy themselves. I'm not thinking any more than that. But they will always be my greatest comedy heroes.

boredified762 karma

You sir, are amazing!

I just wanted to say, as a transgender person who grew up in a very conservative area, your Dress To Kill comedy was one of the first experiences in my life that told me it was ok to be who the person that I wanted to.

I just wanted to say, thanks for being you. You helped me make my life worth living.

EddieIzzardHere647 karma

Thank you very much for saying so. Glad I could help, in any way.

calumbaho541 karma

Hi Eddie, major fan!! What changes would you look to make as mayor of London?

EddieIzzardHere938 karma

Happy reddit Cake day to you!

And then in answer to your question, I haven't decided yet what policies I will have regarding London. It is still six years away. But what I would say is that I will bring all my energy and drive and inventiveness to the job of being Mayor of London, if I was fortunate enough to be elected.

AgentRG447 karma

Hello Mr. Izzard! First of all I would like to say that I LOVE your shows! My dad and me adore your performances! Dress To Kill is my favorite of them all! Now to the questions, you don't have to answer all of them.

  1. Throughout your years of performance in the comedy industry, how did it change compared to 20 years ago?

  2. Of all the shows you had done over the years around the world, which one was the most memorable to you? What made it stand out compared to the others?

  3. To you, what is the most challenging aspect of performing in front of an audience?

  4. Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

  5. Cake or Death?

EddieIzzardHere766 karma

1) The comedy industry is more international now. Which is a good thing. Now more American comics are playing in Britain, and more British and Irish comics are playing in America, which is a good thing. But also, at this year's Edinburgh festival in Scotland, there will a German comedian playing in English, a French comedian playing in English, a Russian comedian playing in English, and an Italian comedian playing in English. And that has never happened before. And I'm doing standup in French and German. So everything is changing.

2) In March of this year, I played the Olympia in Paris. That is a very famous 2000 seater venue in Paris - Edith Piaf played there, Jacques Brel played there, Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie - and I played it all in French. It was a wonderful night.

3) Combatting fear is the most challenging aspect. If you get scared when you're performing, you will not perform. It's the same as driving a car. If you're scared while driving, you may as well pull over and get out of the car. So I try to take risks and improvise to build my self-confidence and push out the fear. And doing gigs in French and German helps my confidence as well.

4) I'm going into politics in six years. I'm trying to follow the lead taken by Senator Al Franken. And in twenty years, I will probably have finished doing politics and will hopefully be doing film drama and comedy again.

5) It has to be cake, I suppose.

ajb1990311 karma

Hank Azaria recently said that the set of Mystery Men was a bit of a disaster for everyone involved. Do you share those feelings regarding that shoot?

Either way, you are awesome in it. Tony P was a cool villain.

EddieIzzardHere583 karma

Mystery Men was my first big Hollywood film. So I didn't really know how things ought to be on the set. What I do remember is sitting in a black limo with Geoffrey Rush under a flyover in downtown L.A. at two in the morning with Ben Stiller bouncing up and down on the roof of the limo.

That was what Ben was supposed to do in the scene.

And I remember saying to Geoffrey "I think I'd like to have Ben Stiller's career right now."

MrThingyman263 karma

Why, hello there, Mr. Izzard!

  1. What's a movie or tv show that you were involved with that maybe didn't get enough attention which you would recommend that more people watch?
  2. If you had the ability to literally transform into other actors, what's the first actor (or actress) you'd choose?
  3. Which dead person do you think would've been the most fun to follow on Twitter?

Thanks for paying us a visit :)

EddieIzzardHere457 karma

1) I would like people to see a film called Lost Christmas, it's a British film for the BBC, a little difficult to get hold of, but I think it's a really good film. And Treasure Island as well. It was on SyFy in America.

2) I would like to have been Philip Seymour Hoffman. He was a great actor. And one could only try and be as good.

3) Lincoln. President Lincoln. I wouldn't say necessarily fun, but I would have liked to have known what he was saying.

zipzapzippityzoop247 karma

Cake or death?

EddieIzzardHere276 karma

See above answer.

jackflash45118 karma

Well we're OUT of cake!

EddieIzzardHere228 karma

Thank you for remembering it. It is somewhere in my memory.

I_Am_The_Slime231 karma

Eddie!!!! I just want to say, I love you. Seriously. Your comedy brings me such joy (I could quote your skit on British vs. American movies all day), and as a writer your work is a huge inspiration whenever I try and write comedy. So, thank you for that.

With the gushing over, a couple of quick questions-

1) Are you still planning on running for London Mayor in 2020? Because I'll vote for you, even though I am a lowly peasant who lives in the North West.

2) Have you ever been asked for/considered a role in Doctor Who? I only ask this because, as a huge Whovian, whenever someone asks me who my ideal Doctor is, I immediately say you.

Thank you for taking the time to do this.

EddieIzzardHere304 karma

1) Yes, I am planning to run for either Mayor of London or Member of Parliament in 2020. And thank you for your future vote.

2) No I have never been asked to play Doctor Who, but thank you for considering me. I think it would be an intriguing idea.

MyWeekendShoes211 karma

Hi! A few things, I suppose - First and foremost, you've been kind of an inspiration for helping me accept my crossdressing as a fact of who I am, and now I'm able to be 100% open about it, which is awesome :D This is probably mostly due to me falling asleep while listening to all your comedy gigs back in the early 2000s - good times :D Not to mention all your running for Sport Relief, which by itself is kind of amazing and insane!


  1. I get the sense that you've been crossdressing less and less in your public life. Is that deliberate? Or am I going partly insane?
  2. In what ways do you feel like your comedy has changed over the years?
  3. Are you covered in Bees?
  4. When are you coming to San Francisco again?!

EddieIzzardHere350 karma

1) I don't call it crossdressing anymore. I believe it is my right, under the United Nations Charter, to wear whatever I want, whenever I want to. But I also want to act in better and better roles, in dramas, in film and television. So I can be in boy mode or girl mode or somewhere in-between. And I'm somewhat tactical about whether I am in boy mode or girl mode. But I am still a card-carrying British European transvestite.

2) My comedy is still very Monty Python influenced, surreal and bonkers comedy. My subjects have got a little more heavy-duty. Before I would talk about red and blue underpants getting in the whites wash like a secret agent. And now I talk about the barons of England taking Bad King John because he has lost France down the back of the sofa. So I still do bonkers, surreal comedy but now it's got a little bit of a point to it as well.

3) No and I think it's best not to be.

4) San Francisco will be later in 2014 or early 2015, I believe.

SilicoJack155 karma

I waited up till 3am to ask a question on behalf of my mother.

She is a huge fan, went to numerous shows in New Zealand last time you toured and will next time you do so.

She would like to know what routine is your favourite from all of your work and why is it Death Star canteen?

She would also like to know if you would marry her.

EddieIzzardHere209 karma

Can't do the marriage I'm afraid.

Favourite routine could be Death Star Canteen - or the sequel to Death Star Canteen, which is featured in Force Majeure at the moment. Right at this point, I am just translating it into German to do in the show here in Berlin. I like Death Star Canteen. It is not necessarily my favourite piece, but it is one of the favourites. I do like it because the exchange between Darth Vader and the woman working in the canteen is beautifully insane.

azisen140 karma

What's your favorite kind of dinosaur?

EddieIzzardHere269 karma

I think the raptors, the velociraptors, are very intriguing. And very horrible also. But they seemed very cunning in all the dinosaur films I've seen. Hunting as pack animals. I don't know if they're my favorite, but they are my most intriguing dinosaur.

annauser1995128 karma

Hi Eddie! I am such a massive fan of your comedy! I came to see your tour in London and it was amaizng! Who are your comedic inspirations or favourite comedians? Also, what are your favourite films? Thank you!!!!

EddieIzzardHere271 karma

Comedic inspirations are the Monty Python team, Billy Connolly (a Scottish Comedian) and Richard Pryor. And Steve Martin's standup. That's what influenced me. Favourite films? I have many favorite films, but I do love The Great Escape with Steve McQueen which I am now watching in the German language, as I am now doing standup in German in Berlin. In German it is called Gesprengte Ketten.

It is very curious to watch the film with everyone speaking German.

Wazowski126 karma

Um... do you like bread?

I love you.

EddieIzzardHere154 karma

Yes - I think everyone likes bread.

likemelikemelikeme122 karma

Hey Eddie!! Was a massive surprise seeing you in Hannibal, but you really pulled off the calculating killer. How did it feel to play the bad guy for a change and does it feel good to get back to comedy?

EddieIzzardHere130 karma

I have always had a theory that playing a psychotic character is an interesting fit for someone who was known to do comedy. I think that doing comedy is seen as somewhat psychotic as well. So it was great to be offered the chance to play in Hannibal, and work with Mr. Bryan Fuller for a second time.

Cauchyres116 karma

Hi Eddie. Your marathons in 2009 are a huge inspiration to me! What advice do you have (if any) for those that want to get into running, but are struggling for motivation?

EddieIzzardHere231 karma

You have to give yourself a mission. Human beings don't operate well without a goal. So sign yourself up for a race - whether it's a 5K, a 10K, or a half-marathon, or a marathon - and then you'll have a goal. You have to have a mission.

Minifig81110 karma

Mr. Izzard: You can't tell how excited I am to have you here with us on reddit. I asked for an AMA with you a year ago.

You are my favorite comedian of all time, so I have one simple question to ask you:

Cake or Death?

Ok, not really, but if you had to give one piece of advice to a guy who is just trying to get a start in comedy, what would it be?

EddieIzzardHere212 karma

A friend once told me "you have to do a hundred gigs." It is good advice. Until you've done a hundred gigs, you won't have developed your voice. At the beginning, you just need to do as many gigs as you can. It's that simple, and that hard. Everyone starts being influenced by other comedians they have seen, but gradually they should develop their own voice. Otherwise, they will never get anywhere. And talk about stuff that is funny to you, or what things you have seen in life - people want to see a comedian's own point of view. That's what they respond to the strongest.

MONKSFTW100 karma

Hey Eddie Izzard! I just like to start off by thanking you for giving us this opportunity. I have two questions so here they go

  • Can you tell us about the upcoming film Castles in the Sky that you'll be staring in?

  • Do you have any favourite moments whilst filming Shadow of the Vampire ?

  • Nicolas Cage, yay or nay ?

Thank you again for giving us this opportunity, I wish you luck on your current and future projects.

EddieIzzardHere201 karma

1) Yes, Castles in the Sky will be coming out on BBC2 in Britain later in 2014. I play Sir Robert Watson-Watt, who was one of the main inventors of radar. Radar was one of the key inventions that stopped Britain being invaded by the Nazis in 1940. His story and the story of the people who fought to invent radar has never properly been told. This film will hopefully do it justice.

2) I think my favorite moment was in a castle in Luxembourg. We were doing a night shoot. It was about 2 in the morning, and I was sitting in a tent with John Malkovich, Willem Dafoe, and Ronan Vibert. And I asked them "what did their parents say when you wanted to be an actor?"

I remember it being a magical moment, when four actors were suddenly like kids again, talking about what their parents thought of what they were about to do in life - but I can't remember a single word of what they said. I just remember it being magical.

3) Yay.

DanjerBob98 karma

Would you rather fight 100 cake sized deaths or 1 death sized cake?

EddieIzzardHere103 karma

Death-sized cake.

Johnreadsmore95 karma

Mr Izzard, what would you say is a book I have to read before I die-not that I'm planning on doing that anytime soon- loved Force Majeure.

EddieIzzardHere165 karma

Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns I think is very good. It's a book about Abraham Lincoln.

lynsea84 karma

It's an honor to have you here. Absolutely LOVE your stand-up.

What is your favorite part of translating your show? There must be certain cultural references and set ups to jokes that you change. How difficult is that?

EddieIzzardHere116 karma

I have tried to keep all the cultural references. At the moment, in Germany, I am talking about Richard the Lionheart. He is considered a great English King by the English people. He was played by Sean Connery in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. But he's not German, or French, or Russian, or American. But I still talk about him, and other medieval kings. So I have tried to do universal comedy the last fifteen years. And whatever I talk about in London, I will also talk about in New York, in Paris, in Berlin, and in Moscow. I try to keep all the references universal.

Walter-Vega79 karma

Hello, Mr. Izzard!

  1. If you had to keep the same outfit for the rest of your life, which one would you pick? (you would have this outfit in multiple copies, a-la-Donald Duck)

  2. Could you tell us your favorite/funniest anecdote so far on the Force Majeure tour?

Thanks in advance!

Cheers from Tunisia!

EddieIzzardHere124 karma

1) Probably black jacket and jeans is my kind of uniform.

2) Well a curious one: at the moment I am doing Force Majeure in German in Berlin. At the end of each show I do a Q&A. I explain at the beginning of the show that I am trying to do comedy without borders, that's why I'm doing shows now in German, French, and English. But some woman got up and asked me why the hell I was doing the show in German - at the end of the full show. So I got very angry with her - I assumed she thought the show would be in English. But my whole thing was that I would do the show in German. And that concludes it.

Rogahar72 karma

Hi Eddie!

As a known and proud straight transvestite, what do you find to be the most annoying misconception people have when they see you dressed up?

EddieIzzardHere114 karma

Having been out since I was 23, I now don't really think about what people might think about me. I just tend to get on with what I'm doing, or where I'm going. When I first came out, I was very worried about what people thought. Now I am not worried, I'm just relaxed.

jaysapathy72 karma

Hey Eddie, big fan. Can you tell us a little bit about what prompted you to track down your DNA to the beginning? Absolutely fascinating bit of telly.

Thank you for flying Church Of England, and have a great day. Thank you!

EddieIzzardHere142 karma

I was asked if I wanted to do a show where they would track my DNA. I thought it would be fun for my dad as well. I think anyone who cares about the world and our place in humanity would like to know where we came from. From DNA, it seems certain that we all come from out of one place - which is the continent of Africa. And all the fighting, and the hating that we have done throughout humanity's history has been pointless. We are all the same people. And it was good to trace my ancestors back 200,000 years until they became all of our ancestors.

load_more_comets69 karma

You in 6" pumps VS. Lady GaGa in 3" pumps fight to the death. Who will win?

How many languages are you fluent in? Conversant?

Which annoys you more, a popcorn kernel stuck in between your teeth or me asking you all these stupid questions?

EddieIzzardHere136 karma

I can't wear 6" pumps, so we'd have to swap shoes first. And then I'd win.

I'm fluent only in English. I can speak in good conversational French, and I can now speak a basic conversational German.

Probably the popcorn.

AngusWolfe69 karma

Hello Mr. Izzard, what do you think of the current laws regarding alternative sexualities in Russia, bearing in mind the upcoming Winter Olympic Games. What needs to be done to change the situation there, and other places, in your opinion?

Many thanks in advance, I love all your work :)

EddieIzzardHere148 karma

Well, I am not happy with the laws that have recently about LGBT people in Russia. I was not happy also when Margaret Thatcher passed Clause 28 against LGBT people in the United Kingdom in the 1980s. Those rules in the United Kingdom existed for a while, and then they were repealed. I hope that that will be the situation in Russia also.

BakerKristen08564 karma

Hello Mr. Izzard! Thank you for the AMA with us here on Reddit.

1 - In regards to acting, what types of characters are you interested in portraying? What types of stories are you looking to tell?

2 - My roommate and I are big fans of The Riches, - it's just a shame the series ended on such a cliffhanger! In your mind, how would things have worked out for the Malloy family?

3 - What country have you always wanted to visit, that you haven't had a chance to yet?

Thank you!

EddieIzzardHere80 karma

1) I'm just trying to play intriguing characters that have an arc in the story. I want to play characters that pull me in different directions and stretch me. I want to work with great actors and great directors. That's all I ask.

2) I saw Wayne Malloy maybe tending to become a false preacher. I thought that would be an intriguing play for him to go, as there are a number of people who pretend to be with their gods but seem to just be in it for the money. So I thought that would be an intriguing place to investigate in our show. But overall, I felt the family would go through a lot of hell and then eventually I saw Wayne going to prison, and Dahlia going off with the kids - in an inverse way, what happened at the beginning of the series.

3) I wanted to visit Russia, and I have, and I played there in Moscow and St. Petersburg. And it was great to be there. And I want to learn the Russian language too.

ihasaKAROT54 karma

Mr Izzard, do you have a flag?

EddieIzzardHere116 karma

Yes I do. I have two flags. I have on my left hand ring finger painted a European flag and on the right hand nail I have painted a British flag. Because I am a British European.

Lise8042 karma

Hi Eddie!

Wow what an opportunity... I'm sat doing coursework and procrastinating. This certainly beats youtube! ;)

From an educational frame of mind, I would ask you:

  1. What do you think of formal education in the UK, and how would you like to see UK schools run?
  2. Have you learned more outside the school system than inside?
  3. What do you use for learning languages? I'm audio-ing my way through French at the moment and am finding it much easier than learning by rote. I wish I'd started long ago!

Best wishes for everything you do, you fabulous personnage. Much love!

EddieIzzardHere74 karma

1) How the schools are run in the UK or any country is obviously a very tricky question. At this moment in time, six years before I go into politics, I don't have the specific answers as to what we should do or what one can do to make things any better for schools. This is something I just have to work out over the next six years.

2) I have learnt more of what I wanted to learn outside the school system than in it. Inside the school system, understandably, you are given set things to learn. An amount of it I was probably not going to use in life, but through doing standup, I have been able to bring a lot of my education back in. But when you're outside the school system, you can use your own motivation to go and learn about things, and when you are self-motivated, you will work harder.

3) I have used the Rosetta Stone system, and Michel Thomas tapes as well. I do find learning by rote does not work very well. I do believe deep immersion is the best way to learn a language. You have to just go to the country and talk nothing but the language 24/7, that is the best way.

Jowobo40 karma

First off, a belated welcome to Berlin! How are you enjoying our city? Any part of it you especially like/dislike/don't get?

What is the single best thing that's ever happened during a gig? Is there anything the crowd can do in general to make a show extra-good?

I'll be at your gig this Friday with a couple of buddies, we'd appreciate any pointers. ;)

EddieIzzardHere58 karma

I like Berlin very much. I particularly like getting on S41 or the S42 and going round Berlin in a circle on the train. Especially in good weather with a bit of sunshine.

If the crowd is just positive and reactive, then that's just great. But the best thing that happened to me at a gig was being onstage with Monty Python when they last appeared together in 1998, I think it was, in Aspen, Colorado.

I hope you enjoy the show on Friday night!

skysplitter40 karma

Enquiring minds want to know- what's for dinner?

EddieIzzardHere66 karma

Probably sushi. They have good sushi in Berlin.

birdentap39 karma

What did Ben Stiller smell like in Mystery Men era?

EddieIzzardHere103 karma

I assume Ben Stiller smelt very Ben Stillerish. I must admit, we didn't go around smelling each other. We were told it was best not to do that when we first got on-set.