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What would you ask Eddie Izzard?

September 14th, 2009
06:57 PM ET

There are funny men. And then there is Eddie Izzard.

Since coming to attention during the early 1990s, the British comedian and actor has drawn a devoted following worldwide with his unique brand of surreal rambling humor and cross-dressing.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/14/art.izzard.gi.jpg caption="Cross-dressing comedy legend Eddie Izzard is CNN’s Connector of the Day Tuesday."] Now based in Los Angeles, he is revered in comedy circles for his use of language and delivery. He has toured extensively around mainland Europe and elsewhere, often tailoring his material for local audiences in a manner unmatched by his peers: in Paris, for example, he has delivered his entire set in French.

In the U.S. he has come to TV viewers' attention for his series "The Riches," which he also co-wrote; on the big screen he has mustered an impressive list of credits, including "Valkyrie," "Ocean’s Twelve" and "Ocean's Thirteen."

Away from the stage, Izzard, a two-time Emmy Award winner, has spoken out in favor of pro-European politics and devoted himself to charity work.

On Tuesday, Izzard completed another amazing performance: completing 43 marathons (more than 1,100 miles) in 52 days in aid of charity Sports Relief.

Izzard will join CNN to talk about comedy, cross-dressing, politics, running - pretty much anything you choose to float his way.

Send your questions for Izzard below - and don't forget to tell us what makes you laugh.

soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Nancy Field

    How do you handle hecklers and is it getting worse or better for you or other comedians who are not the "traditional" brand of comedian.

    I enjoy political and intellectual humor, not the easy foul language brand of low class humor.

    September 14, 2009 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  2. Kyle H. Davis

    Mr. Izzard… or should I say Eddy?

    Personally, I find you to be one of the most talented comedians I have ever seen, as well as a brilliant actor.

    My question is this: In receiving your honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of East Anglia, they cited your work in “contribution to promoting modern languages and tolerance of other cultures and lifestyles”. Do you attempt this with your American audiences, and how difficult have you found it?

    I am currently instructing English and Western Culture in China.

    September 14, 2009 at 11:51 pm | Reply
  3. Colleen

    We've watched all of you DVD's and love them. Have you written everything in advance, or do thoughts come to you as you're performing. What makes me laugh is current events and historical humor, that Eddie does better than anyone. Also, when will your next DVD be released?

    September 15, 2009 at 12:12 am | Reply
  4. Linda Kotran

    You always make me think, but you don't always make me laugh, and I like that. Do you set out to make people laugh, or are you just speaking about things in life that are interesting to you to maybe begin a dialogue, if only in thought? You point out the little, mundane questions about our daily lives, which are hilarious. However, I really appreciate the bigger questions about the meaning of life and looking at our beliefs. Is this intentional? Would you really like people to evaluate their lives and what their beliefs are?

    September 15, 2009 at 12:15 am | Reply
  5. Stefanie Petersen

    You have said in interviews, that you never rehearse your jokes and you never write them down. You basically go on stage without a safety net. Were you born with this fearlessness in your DNA? or was it a developed skill? Also, how did you pick yourself up on nights where you you bombed terribly? And on a sidenote, GARGANTUAN congrats on your Comic Relief feat.

    September 15, 2009 at 12:35 am | Reply
  6. Amy Owen

    Hi Eddie! I am a longtime fan, and saw you perform at the Coronet Theater in LA a couple of times. Now I'm volunteering in Thailand, any plans to perform here?

    ha HA. not my real question.

    I'd love to hear your take on politics in general, and inept politicians especially. Why didn't you take shots at former US Prez GWBush? Too easy?

    Thanks! and love from Thailand (but not in a dirty way...) 🙂 Amy

    September 15, 2009 at 1:06 am | Reply
  7. syed naqvi

    You are fantastic, and I am a huge fan of your comedy.

    You have a hilarious way of humanizing inanimate objects and wildlife. Do you think that the concept of comedy and humor exist in other species in the animal kingdom?

    Thanks and look forward to seeing you play later this year in London!

    SN

    September 15, 2009 at 1:54 am | Reply
  8. Paulo Kundig

    Dear Mr. Izzard:

    My two sons and I are great fans of yours and have thoroughly enjoyed your hilarious skits, mostly viewed on You Tube (Darth Vader in the Death Star Cafeteria is our favourite). My older son recently also spotted you in Valkyrie. Thank you for giving us some very enjoyable laughs.
    More importantly, I think your mixture of humour with cross-dressing is a very good way of evidencing to young and impressionable minds (such as my 15 and 18 year olds) that it is important to keep an open and tolerant mind and to give everyone a chance in life, without pre-judgement, no matter what their sartorial, religious, political or sexual bent. Well done and keep up the good work.

    Paulo Kundig, Christchurch, New Zealand

    September 15, 2009 at 2:26 am | Reply
  9. Dani Bartov

    You've just completed an amazing 43-ultra-marathon run around the UK. You've tweeted some of your triumphs on the journey, as well as some of the challenges (I'm sure some could have done without the visuals ... but thanks for sharing it all). What was your biggest motivation? What was the one thing that was most instrumental in keeping you going?

    September 15, 2009 at 4:08 am | Reply
  10. Patricia A.

    Were there instances during the last seven grueling weeks where your sense of humor pulled you through an especially tough bit?

    Eddie's live stand up shows makes me laugh till I cry and wee a bit 😉

    September 15, 2009 at 6:29 am | Reply
  11. mamad0808

    dear Eddie
    i always admire comedians since i think you have what the others do not , you can make the people laugh while you may not be a very funny man in your personal life , so that is art but my question is that have ever tried to convey the painful issues in your performance on stage by using your art? let me give you an example. Iran disputed election caused so many of my people to be died since we have a tragic regime, so Eddie do you like to talk about the dictators like Iran's in your talks ? what i think helps to empower Iranians .thanks indeed.

    September 15, 2009 at 6:51 am | Reply
  12. Vaughan Clark

    Tank you Thanks you.. We are in France Aleu Ariege Pyrenees
    I LOVED your Fronglaise patter – Right – I speeek non Frinch.

    BUT

    LOVED LOVED LOVED your Mr Kite in Accross the Universe..

    The out takes LOVE LOVE LOVE the fun fun fun of Mr Kite

    Thanks Eddie Thanks
    (Im just adjusting my French stockings..)
    x

    September 15, 2009 at 7:24 am | Reply
  13. jeremy klein

    Dear Eddie.

    where would the world be without humour?

    September 15, 2009 at 8:04 am | Reply
  14. Darius

    There is a group formed on Facebook, in a petition-styled action (very European, eh?), directed to you. Their goal is to raise enough members for the group to convince you or approach your manager to hold a gig in Budapest, Hungary.

    How many people need to confirm their presence to a probable show, in order to convince you to do it? There are currently 904 members expressing interest in the perspective.

    Maybe your opinion on this would fasten the process a bit.

    September 15, 2009 at 8:40 am | Reply
  15. Daniel Wood

    Eddie, if you could do a Vulcan mind meld with anybody, who would you do it with, and what do you reckon the outcome would be?

    September 15, 2009 at 11:14 am | Reply
  16. Gary H

    Eddie,

    It would be great if my favorite comedian (that would be you, by the way) had a gig in Amsterdam. Any plans for this in the near future?

    September 15, 2009 at 11:21 am | Reply
  17. Clay

    I've been to a few live improv shows that Eddie and a few friends have done in Los Angeles; they were fast and hilarious!

    Have you, Becky, ever done improv as a communication skill building tool... or just for fun?

    To both of you: do you prefer improv or stand-up and why?

    September 15, 2009 at 11:22 am | Reply
  18. Rosemary

    I devoutly followed The Riches and thought it was one of the most brilliant shows of recent years. There was obviously a lot of yourself in the character of Sam on The Riches. What message do you want the world to take away from the gender-bending on the show?

    Thanks for all your stand up. Love you.

    September 15, 2009 at 11:29 am | Reply
  19. Barbara Peacock

    How much will you be drawing on the experience of this ultra-marathon in the upcoming Stripped tour? Where did your mind go during those 1,100 miles of running? Did you think of new material or just focus on getting one foot in front of the other?

    September 15, 2009 at 12:00 pm | Reply
  20. Paul and Karin Holloway

    Will there be a Riches movie? I really enjoyed the series.
    We live in Stratford (Olympic site) and would love to see you running thru today! Hope the rain won't bother your blisters (heard you on LBC).
    Hugs to you!

    September 15, 2009 at 12:23 pm | Reply
  21. Carol, in Japan

    Dear Eddie,

    as an actor, what would be your dream role? (on stage or on film...or both).

    What makes me laugh: the "Evil Giraffe".

    September 15, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  22. sue

    Eddie, please come and do a show in Switzerland. I'm an Aussie but I've lived here a long time and believe me, the Swiss DO have a sense of humour (especially those who understand English :)) but they could do with a good dose of Eddie! Plus, they're too polite to heckle! A bunch of us wanted to get over to Dublin to see you there but it didn't work out. Please!

    September 15, 2009 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  23. Troy Barrett

    A question for Eddie:

    Who (or what) makes you laugh?

    September 15, 2009 at 2:06 pm | Reply
  24. Faye Love

    I would ask him if he would like a cup of tea and a lie down. He must be very tired.

    September 15, 2009 at 2:14 pm | Reply
  25. Pete from San Fran

    How do you manage to perform in so many languages?? Does the comedy lose something when you switch from english to fanother language?

    September 15, 2009 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  26. Heejung

    Mr. Eddie Izzard you are not a comedian he is an icon and an establishment.
    There are several of us who proclaim that we've accumulated most of our knowledge of world history through your stand up and those of us who only talk in Izzardisms – quoting you on a daily basis.
    My question would be do you plan and memorize your scripts for live stand up shows? or do you usually go ad hoc and just let your energy flow?
    everything you did pulls me out of even the most depressive days.

    September 15, 2009 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  27. Mia

    Will you marry me?! 🙂

    September 15, 2009 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  28. Moxie in Vermont

    what do you think your Mum would say about all this were she here to greet you today?
    what did your Father say when you told him what you were going to be doing?
    how much money has been raised so far?

    September 15, 2009 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  29. Alex

    Cake or death?

    On a more serious note I would like to let you that I admire you for what doing those marathon in the name of children!

    Thank you and hats off!

    September 15, 2009 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  30. Chris

    Eddi,

    I love all your work!
    When is your "Fragrance" coming out?

    September 15, 2009 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  31. Andy Barrett

    Is the buzz the same performing in small theatres as in large arena's ?

    Congratulations on the run, it was a pleasure getting to run with you last week.

    September 15, 2009 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  32. Hope Simpson

    We saw him in Seattle this year and it was fantastic! We're moving back to NY this fall, and look forward to seeing him in MSG this winter!

    Anyhoo, I enjoy it so much when you talk about history on stage! It really cracks me up every time. Do you think you'll ever write a history book series with a comedic twist? I think it would be great for kids and adults.

    I know "badgers can't be choosers" but I have one more Q: Because we're moving back to NY, I was also wondering if you have any plans to get back on stage on Broadway in the next few years?

    Thank you!!

    September 15, 2009 at 4:36 pm | Reply
  33. Valkyrie_NYC

    Eddie,

    You are wonderful with your fans, and we, in turn, just adore you! However, you always seem a bit baffled by that adoration. Why?

    Looking forward to seeing you in UK and NYC!!!

    September 15, 2009 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  34. Kelsey Morrison

    Greetings Mr Izzard,

    First off, congratulations on the tremendous feat of completing all those marathons! I hope you get some much deserved rest! I love watching all of your DVDs and was pleasantly surprised at your marvelous Mr. Kite in Across the Universe (a highly under rated movie, I might add!)...

    My question is: It's quite obvious that you are a history buff, and you enjoy relaying this into your comedy. What time period or event in history do you most enjoy learning about and why?

    Thank you, and I hope to see you soon in Southern California!

    September 15, 2009 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  35. Gina in Connecticut

    Well done, Eddie! My question for you: Why the hell are you talking to CNN?? Go home and go to bed! 😉

    You are an inspiration.

    September 15, 2009 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  36. Gunnar Hrafn Jonsson

    Hi there Mr. Izzard. My question is simple: cake or death?

    September 15, 2009 at 6:34 pm | Reply
  37. Patricia Byron

    I was devastated by finding that "The Riches" would, alas, be no more!

    Did you know of the cancellation before hand? And if so, why didn't you do a wrapup of the dangling story lines... or possibly I'm wrong and it will resurface sometime, someplace?

    I feel that part of the draw of the show was the easy way they were able to slip into the lives of the Rich family. Deep within us, in these hard times, I believe we would love to "slip into someone else's life" – a rich man with a beautiful home, a professional job and a life full of new possibilities ahead – ah the dreams that we dream can become the nightmares of our lives...

    And whats with the crossdressing? Kind of like your daughter/son in The Riches – that was never addressed within the series – just skirted around – something I could never understand...

    September 15, 2009 at 7:12 pm | Reply
  38. Dani in LA

    You've called Monty Python your "Comedy Gods". Considering your expressed ambition to get into politics in the next decade, I was wondering if you have similar role models in the political arena?

    September 15, 2009 at 7:13 pm | Reply
  39. Alfa

    Eddy,

    I am interested in the structure that goes into your live stand-ups. Do you work off a format or do you rely on your memory and analytical skills, especially when it comes to the close of the evening? I mean, the end of Dress to Kill is the most incredible display of memory, organization and association of thoughts I have ever seen! Your shows have inspired me to become more clear in my thinking of the world. THANK YOU!

    a.

    September 15, 2009 at 7:14 pm | Reply
  40. Caroline

    Salut Mr Eddie you're such an inspiration...I watch your stand up every now and then (got the box of dvd) ..And it's still super hilarious!

    Q:Do you write any material for others......like networks etc;...?

    Thank you so much for all the laughters!

    September 15, 2009 at 8:16 pm | Reply
  41. zingera

    Congratulations on completing your marathon quest...I'm sure that all those who will benefit from the Sports Relief program are very grateful and proud of what you have done! You're an inspiration!

    My question is:

    Who has been the most influential person in your life?

    September 15, 2009 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  42. Anshuman Gholap

    Hello Mr. Izzard,

    I read in details about this marathon-marathon run you took for this charity. Congrats on this achievement and I am sure you will inspire Lots of other 'ordinary folks' to get out and take a Run if not a marathon.

    Now lots of people might think "Hey a not_that_good_shape comedian did dozens of dozens of marathons , I am going to do it too , whats the worse that can happen... i might rest?" and take up to running long distance.
    What will be your advice to such folks who wont seek professional guidance or advice before going for marathon. Whats the best way to carry a marathon run and whats are the biggest pit-fall one might face ? How to prepare for that?

    Always enjoy your work in comedy and movies, This marathon run has Inspired me to get running and loose some kilos. Hope you visit Mumbai .

    Thanks a bunch,
    Anshuman Gholap.

    September 15, 2009 at 8:57 pm | Reply
  43. Stephanie

    My dear dear Eddie,
    You are simply smashing and I look forward to seeing you in Dallas!!

    So, what happened to The Riches? Is the story ever going to be finished?

    XOXOXOX
    Stephanie, Albuquerque NM

    September 15, 2009 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  44. Anna Fries

    Dear Eddie,

    you truly are the best comedian of this generation. Your humour and intelligence only to compare with the great Sir Peter Ustinov. I have fallen in love with your style, your voice and choice of material from the first moment.

    Even though I love watching you in movies and TV, it is on stage that I feel your personality fully unfolds. I have seen your performance live on stage and cannot wait for a new show. Not living in London any longer I would love to know when you might release a new DVD?

    Your humour became a part of mine and my friends daily language. And I cannot wait to get inspired by you again.

    September 16, 2009 at 12:11 am | Reply
  45. Lauren

    Hello Eddie,

    I was one of many adoring fans that met you once at a Tower Records that isn't in Atlanta, Georgia anymore. It was awesome. Like a hot dog. I've also shown "Dress to Kill" to so many of my friends that I have it memorized. Down to the mumbles. And it never gets old.

    My question is this: What is your favorite thing to do in London? I'm about to study abroad there, and you're my authority on absolutely everything, especially British History. Which I love.

    You are my favorite person that I don't know.

    September 16, 2009 at 2:57 am | Reply
  46. Sandra from Argentina

    Dear Eddie,

    I enjoy listening to your points of view regarding all topics.

    My question is:
    What makes you happy?

    You make me smile,
    Sandra

    September 16, 2009 at 3:16 am | Reply
  47. Sherman

    Thanks for the very fresh, open minded and clever humour. Like the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, some of your humour is simply shinning a light on the double standards and senseless childish politics that holds us back – fantastic. Does it surprise you that the "creeping kid" has made it into movies afterall?

    September 16, 2009 at 4:25 am | Reply
  48. Beverly in Idaho

    Cheers to you and the amazing feat you have completed for Sport Relief. You are an inspiration to us all!! I have followed you on Twitter and the various websites updating your progress. I have been able to introduced you and your comedy to many Idahoans as I told them about what you were up to with Sport Relief. FYI-Many Martians live here?!?! lol!!!

    I watched an interview where you talked about not being that knowledgeable on the subjects of your humor, but that you watch a lot of television. But when I hear your comments on life, politics, and religion...you are so insightful...it is much more then TV isn't it? To pull off your comedy, you have to be brilliant!

    Thank you for all you do...the laughter and the huge heart!! Laughing together is a great way to share love.

    September 16, 2009 at 5:05 am | Reply
  49. matt mcewan

    My daughter proudly has a pet lizard named after you, she calls it Eddie Lizzard 🙂

    Btw, you were bloody great in Valkyrie! It was a nice suprise to see you in it.

    September 16, 2009 at 5:45 am | Reply
  50. Lukas Gelezauskas

    Eddie, I love you.

    My question is do you love me too? Please mind the fact that I'm covered in bees.

    September 16, 2009 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  51. Steffi Rodemann

    Is that your real name?

    September 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm | Reply

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