Eddie Izzard

British comedian and actor (born 1962)

Suzy Eddie Izzard (born Edward John Izzard, 7 February 1962 in Yemen) is an English stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and political activist.

Religion and philosophy, philosophy and religion – they're two words which are both … different. In spelling.


  • In my first year I was taught about the slide rule. They said, "The slide rule is important. Without it you can do nothing. The slide rule is the modern weapon of efficiency. With the slide rule you can get from here to the stars. Buy it, use it – your slide rule!" Within one year it was, "Burn the slide rule. The calculator can add up with none of this fucking sliding the shit around and working out where that bit in the middle goes. Smash it over your head."



Live at the Ambassadors (1993)

  • Religion and philosophy, philosophy and religion – they're two words which are both … different. In spelling.
  • Agatha Christie? We go back years, me and Ag. She's a … she's just a … she's dead, isn't she?
  • She said, "Spell 'ant' ", and I wrote out the entire alphabet. She said, "That doesn't spell 'ant' ", and I said, "It's in there somewhere! There's the A, there's the N, there's the T – the rest are silent!"
  • And we're going, "Oh, Captain Clever! Whoa-ho-ho! Rattle it, and if it doesn't go off, it can't be a bomb!"
  • And in the back, behind there, not giving a damn … and all the bright colours and stuff just drops off when you get to this section. White wrap-up, big red letters; LARD! Eat this shit and die! LARD! Kills you stone dead! Does blood move through your arteries? Block it up with LARD! Nutritional advice? No! Proteins? What the hell are they? Carbohydrates? Never heard of them, Guv! Fat? You bet your bum! We've got some some of that, yes sirree Bob! Oh, we're full of that, mate … [later on] Remember that campaign for butter, "Welcome back to butter"? "Welcome back to LARD!" We never went nowhere! Just been sitting at the back, quietly waiting … like Jack Nicholson

Unrepeatable (1994)

  • I am a lesbian trapped in a man's body.
  • We throw sticks at dogs, that's the level we have dogs at. You'd never dream of throwing one for a cat. We throw sticks for dogs, and dogs go, "Oh, he's dropped his stick! I better go and get that. [mimes chasing after the stick] Saw you dropped your stick there, thought I'd bring it back. And you – hang on! [mimes giving the stick back and follows it with eyes as it's thrown again] Did you see me just bring that back? And then you … you dropped it again? This is very weird. I don't know what's going on here. [mimes bringing the stick back again] Now, hang on to it this time, I don't want to piss about all the time. You think I enjoy this? There you … don't fucking throw it!" That's why the third time, when they come back, they won't give it to you. They go, [through clenched teeth] "No … I won't let you take it!"
  • Cats have a scam going – you buy the food, they eat the food, they fuck off; that's the deal.
  • You have no control over your cat! You can't say to your cat, "Cat, heel! Stay! Wait! Lie down! Roll over!" 'Cause the cat's just gonna be sitting there going, "Interesting words … have you finished?" While you're shouting all this to your cat, your dog's next to you, going … [mimes obeying all commands] "What the hell are you doing? I'm talking to the cat!" "Oh, I'm sorry!"
  • And cats leap up walls! Six foot walls, they just go … *fwang* [mimes cat jumping] Lands perfectly, and turn … turn … and back flip and forward flip, and dismount! They always land perfectly, they never do that sort of wobbly-gymnast … [mimes wobbling] You never see cats on a wall having a problem, do you? You never see a cat going, [mimes tentative walk] "Fucking 'ell! I'm not sure about this …" and a cat on the ground, going, "Easy, Ginger! I'll walk you down!"
  • [About homophobes] As long as they're homophobic behind closed doors, and don't hurt anyone, I'm fine with it.

Definite Article (1996)

  • "My name is Mrs. Smith, I've made apples out of bread and dripping, a bit of green paint, and corrugated iron." "No, these are horrible apples, Mrs. Smith. Go away, Mrs. Smith! Go away until your daughter has a baby." "Shag, daughter, shag! It's a marketing idea, shag for babies! [mimes running back] My daughter's had a baby, I'm Granny Smith now!" "Come in, Granny Smith! You wonderful idea, you! Come in with your shiny apples."
  • Pears can just fuck off too. 'Cause they're gorgeous little beasts, but they're ripe for half an hour, and you're never there. They're like a rock or they're mush. In the supermarket, people banging in nails. "I'll just put these shelves up, mate, then you can have the pear." … So you think, "I'll take them home and they'll ripen up." But you put them in the bowl at home, and they sit there, going, "No! No! Don't ripen yet, don't ripen yet. Wait til he goes out the room! Ripen! Now now now!"
  • What? … The Carthaginians are attacking? God, I knew they'd do that. What? … They are attacking over the Alps? Damn, I knew they'd do that. What? … They're coming on elephants? … Where'd they get the elephants? There aren't any elephants in Europe. This I got to see … are you sure? … It's not just a typo mistake? Perhaps the Carthaginians are attacking over the Alps and they are in their element? Kind of upbeat, you know. They're coming on fucking elephants, huh.
  • If you've never seen an elephant ski, then you've never been on acid.
  • Day One: Rang bell, cat fucked off. (Oh dear.)
    Day Two: Rang bell, cat went and answered door.
    Day Three: Rang bell, cat said he had eaten earlier. (Cheeky bugger.)
    Day Four: Went to ring bell, but cat had stolen batteries.
    Final Day – Day Five: Went and rang bell with new batteries, but cat put his paw on bell so it only made a thunk noise. Then cat rang his own bell.
    I ate food.
    • On Pavlov's cats.
  • Off to Azerbaijan!

Glorious (1997)

  • Beekeepers, yes … they've gotta want to be – "I want to be a beekeeper! I wanna keep bees! Don't wanna let them get away; I wanna keep them! They have too much freedom … I want bees on elastic, so when they get pollen, they come back here! My father was a beekeeper before me, his father was a beekeeper before him; I wanna walk in their footsteps." And their footsteps were like this: [running wildly from imaginary bees] "I'm covered in bees!"
  • I like my coffee like I like my women... in a plastic cup.
  • I like my women like I like my coffee... covered in beeees!
  • [God, who was James Mason, to Noah] "Noah, stop what you're doing and build me an ark!" [Noah, who was Sean Connery] "I'm working on a speed boat at the moment. Much more exciting. It'll really kick ass, give great photographs for the people in Bible."
  • So then God created the world, and on the first day he created light and air and fish and jam and soup and potatoes and haircuts and arguments and small things and rabbits and people with noses and jam – more jam, perhaps – and soot and flies and tobogganing and showers and toasters and grandmothers and, uh … Belgium. And the second day he created fire and water and eggnog and radiators and lights and Burma and things that go "urh" and … and Colonel Gaddafi and Arthur Negus. On the third day he probably got lists and said, "I can't remember what I've invented now. I've just been ad-libbing so far."
  • "Give us cash! I steal from the rich and give to the poor! I'm trying to be a myth; give us cash!" "No, I'm not gonna give you cash." "Go on, I steal from the rich. Are you rich?" "No, I'm … comfortable." "That's no good, I can't steal from the fairly well off and give to the moderately impoverished! That's not gonna swing, is it?"
    • On Robin Hood.
  • I don't have techno-fear, I have techno-joy! I love technology! I love to get a new machine. Every time I get a new machine, I think, "This is the one! I won't have to work again; I've got this thing!" And if you have techno-joy, you get the instructions, you unwrap it, and you throw the instructions out the window! [mimes doing so] Forget them! Fuck 'em! [mimes turning on a computer] On. [mimes typing] I must know how this works, I've used machines before!

Dress to Kill (1998)

  • We stole countries with the cunning use of flags. Just sail around the world and stick a flag in. "I claim India for Britain!" They're going, "You can't claim us, we live here! Five hundred million of us!" "Do you have a flag…? "What? We don't need a bloody flag. This is our country, you bastards!" "No flag, no country, you can't have one! Those are the rules ... that I just made up! And I'm backing it up with this gun that was lent from the National Rifle Association."
  • Someone's killed 100,000 people. We're almost going, "Well done! You killed 100,000 people? You must get up very early in the morning! I can't even get down the gym. Your diary must look odd: 'Get up in the morning, death, death, death, death, death, death, death – lunch – death, death, death – afternoon tea – death, death, death – quick shower …' "
  • They went to the Moon and they brought back rock. Trouble is, we've got rock. That was the one thing we didn't need, wasn't it? "Rock, Neil? I don't know whether you looked at the planet before you took off, but it's made of fucking rock!" "But it's Moon rock …" "Oh, fucking hell, this is Earth rock, Neil, come on! Have you heard, on the stock market, rock's gone up three points? No, it hasn't, has it? 'Cause it's fucking rock! We wanted diamonds, sherbet or a squirrel with a gun!"
  • His name changed from Gerry Dorsey to Engelbert Humperdinck. I mean, I just wanted to be in the room when they were working that one through: "Zingelbert Bembledack! Yingybert Dambleban! Zangelbert Bingledack! Wingelbert Humptyback! … Slut Bunwalla!" "What?!" "All right, Kringelbert Fishtybuns! Steviebuns Bottrittrundle –" "No, Gerry Dorsey! I like Gerry Dorsey!" "No, we can't, who we got? Zingelbert Bembledack, Tringelbert Wangledack, Slut Bunwalla, Klingybun Fistelvase, Dindlebert Zindledack, Gerry Dorsey, Engelbert Humptyback, Zengelbert Bingledack, Engelbert Humperdinck, Vingelbert Wingledanck –" "No, no, go back one!"
  • I had to chat up girls, and I'd only tagged them before. I didn't have the verbal power to be able to say, "Susan, I saw you in the classroom today. As the sun came from behind the clouds, a burst of brilliant light caught your hair, it was haloed in front of me. You turned, your eyes flashed fire into my soul, I immediately read the words of Dostoevsky and Karl Marx, and in the words of Albert Schweitzer, 'I fancy you.' " But no! At 13, you're just going, " 'Ello, Sue. I saw you in the room... I've got legs, have you? Oh yeah... Do you like bread? I've got a French loaf. [mimes smacking her with the loaf and dashing off] Bye! (I love you!)"
  • (Talking about American and British Language) You say 'erbs and we say herbs, because there's a fucking 'H' in it.


  • I can have fantastic conversations with women about clothing and make-up, the external areas of girliedom, because I completely share their interest in it. So I have the fun, sexy, let's-go-dress-up part of being a woman in me but not the rest.
  • I don't do drag [...] Drag is about glamour, pearls, wigs, sequins and that's not where I am. What I am doing is much edgier.
  • [On the aim of his exercise routine] Lean and lithe are the two places I am trying to get to. Seeing as I am fairly blokey-looking, with a broad chest, if I am going to get into what people consider girls' clothing, I need to go for lean in the torso department.
  • What I want people to understand is this isn't an act. This is an intrinsic part of who I am. I wear girlie stuff on the street, not just on stage.
  • That's how I see my audience, a surrogate affection machine. It doesn't necessarily have to be comedy, either. It could be drama or music, anything where you want that love back.
  • If you can walk down the street in women's clothes, you can do anything.
  • [On coming out on stage] My first joke at that gig was, 'If you're a stand-up, it's good to be a minority because then you've got something to rail against. If you're black, you can rail against white supremacists; if you're poor, you can rail against the rich. But if you're a white, male, middle-class stand-up, it's shit. So thank God I'm a transvestite.' It went down a storm.
  • I was walking past a building site in Liverpool and a brickie shouted at me from the scaffolding, 'Hey Eddie, where's your lippie?' I said I'd left it at home, and he replied: 'Wanna borrow mine?' Moments like that make everything worthwhile.
  • If you're going up for a Hollywood film, you'd better stay in boy mode because producers don't have wild imaginations.

Circle (2000)

  • The Crusades were, "We kill you in the name of Jesus!" "Wait, we have Jesus, too! He's a prophet in our religion! We kill you in the name of Jesus!" "Do you? … Well, we kill you for your dark skin, for Jesus was a white man from Oxford!" "No, he wasn't! He was from Judea! Dark-skinned man, such as we!" "… Really? Look, we've come all this way. Would you mind awfully if we hacked you to bits? Just for the press back home."
  • Pope Pius XII was meant to go and castigate Hitler for being a [air quotes] "Genocidal Fuckhead … [air quotes again] with bunny rabbit ears". But he didn't, he wimped out, and for that history has renamed that Pope as "Pope Gutless Bastard I."
  • There's 200,000 gods in Hinduism … and they've got gods like Shiva, the God of Creation and Destruction. Which is a good god to be, 'cause you can go *whoom* [creates thing] "What do you think? Do you like that? You don't like that?" *whoom* [destroys thing] If you're just the God of Creation, you're going *whoom* "Do you like that? You don't? All right, I'll put it in the garage … shit, I haven't got a garage!" *whoom* [creates garage]
  • Makeup's just crazy, anyways. Native Americans used to wear it, and it did all right for them until, uh … well, until you killed them all, I suppose.
  • But there must've been a Death Star canteen, yeah? There must've been a cafeteria downstairs, in between battles, where Darth Vader could just chill and go down: "I will have the penne all'arrabbiata." "You'll need a tray." "Do you know who I am?" "Do you know who I am?" "This is not a game of who the fuck are you. For I am Vader, Darth Vader, Lord Vader. I can kill you with a single thought." "Well, you'll still need a tray." "No, I will not need a tray. I do not need a tray to kill you. I can kill you without a tray, with the power of the Force, which is strong within me. Even though I could kill you with a tray if I so wished, for I would hack at your neck with the thin bit until the blood flowed across the canteen floor." "No, the food is hot. You'll need a tray to put the food on." "Oh, I see, the food is hot. I'm sorry, I did not realize...Ha..ha..ha.h.. I thought you were challenging me for the fight to death." "A fight to the death? This is a canteen, I work here." "Yes, but I am Vader. I am Lord Vader? Every one challenges me to a fight to the death."

Sexie (2003)

  • So … uh … I'd better explain the tits. Um … didn't have those at school. Wanted to, but not in the school curriculum … even though I asked.
  • No matter how much makeup I wore, people just kept saying "Yes, sir! Would you like tea with that, sir?" "Yes, I would like tea. Why don't you put it on my breasts?" "Certainly. Tea for this man's breasts! Anything else, sir?"
  • So, I thought, it's not working. So I threw my breasts out of the window of my Lamborghini, in my mind … no, I threw the breasts out of the window of my Ford Fiesta, in my mind. Actually, I threw them out over the handlebars of my bicycle [mouthing the words] in my mind. And they hit a small child, who ran, "Mum, mum, mum … I've been attacked by … jellyfish!"
  • Racist people, interestingly, are never as polite as smokers. Have you noticed that? Smokers always go, "Do you mind if I smoke? Oh, you do? Okay, I'll go outside and have a cigarette." Racist people never go, "Do you mind if I'm racist? Oh, I'll go outside … fucking blue people, eh? Coming here, steal our hamsters …"
  • Homo Sapiens wouldn't have made it, and everything would be different! Television would be … you know, Book of the Month club on television would be:
    Neanderthal presenter: "And now we have the professor … uh … whaddayou think of this book?"
    Neanderthal professor: "Wha' …?"
    Presenter: "What do you think of this book, in a critical way?"
    Professor: "It's all right …"
    Presenter: "There you have it. It's all right!"
    • On the consequences if Neanderthals had not become extinct

Stripped (2009)

  • So I've learnt that the world is 4,500 million years old. If you're very religious, then it's not 4,500 million years old, it's 6,000 years old. One of these is not correct.
  • And I think that if God did exist, he had many children. I think Jesus proves this. Jesus must be the seventh son of God. A-sus, B-sus, C-sus, D-sus, E-sus, F-sus, G-sus. That's just logic. That's just mathematical. And T-sus would always be fucking about. And P-sus does deliveries. C-sus started the Roman Empire. Cae-sus. F-sus, City in Turkey. B-sus was covered in something. Some people applauding there; other people going, "What?" … B-sus was covered in bees.
  • Scrabble was invented by Nazis to piss off kids with dyslexia. This is true, they proved this one. The word dyslexia was invented by Nazis to piss off kids with dyslexia.
  • The main point is, did God tell him to make a boat, or did Noah just use his captain common sense? Cause there are a number of us, if we were somewhere where it was raining and raining and raining and raining and raining and raining and raining and raining, and we had a big pile of wood, some of us might put two and two together and go, "I'm gonna make a bloody boat!" Others might go, "I'm gonna make a hairdresser's", "I'm gonna build a monkey emporium.", "I'm gonna build a big pair of wooden shoes, that would fit a giant." … But he made a boat. Oh, he was quite sensible! And what did he put on the boat? His family. What else? Animals. Which animals? Any he could find. Did he put two of every animal in the world on the boat? No! How can I be so sure? Try it!
  • Charles Darwin wrote a famous book in 18[gibberish]. And that book was an interesting book, cuz it was called "Monkey-Monkey-Monkey-Monkey-Monkey-Monkey-You".
  • [Talking about the royal family] 'Cause they got in at '52, and then immediately the Queen introduced the new … then in the '60s, the Queen decided to change the way that … and she encouraged people to … and in the '70s she completely redistributed … and realised she had too much wealth, so she decided to … then in the '80s, they set up a charity to do … and then they encouraged other people to … and in the '90s, they just totally relaxed, and they said, "Everyone, why don't you …" And then in the 2000s, they've set a great example by … stop me at any point. I think she's got 20 years left. She's in there, but she essentially does what she does on the stamps.


  • [On making (male) bathrooms, restrooms or toilets gender-neutral] If you just take out urinals, then everyone can use them. You can solve it right now. Just rip them all out. Lets share so everyone is equal. It gets rid of so many things in one fell swoop.
  • I have played one transgender character. I will play hopefully more transgender roles in the future, but there are a lot of boy genetics in me so I am happy to play boy roles. It would be great if more transgender actors can play more transgender characters.
  • I have girl genetics and boy genetics, I feel they are fun and sexy [...] I came out 32 years ago [as trans]. And women have total clothing rights and I have total clothing rights. I'm not wearing women's clothes - I'm wearing clothes.
  • I'm a wannabe lesbian. I've fancied women always, I fancied girls, but I also sort of wanted to be one. I also got boy genetics. I have both. I wanted to be special forces as a kid. I've performed in four languages, run marathons and come out.
  • I felt it was better to come out even though people suggested that I didn't. I knew I would get to a better place. I think that is part of my strength. I have done these shows in different languages and done charity by running over 70 marathons. My strength comes from me coming out in 1985.
    I knew I had to come out and gradually get back into society. I knew I had to get trans-whatever, the language has changed over the years, into society as part of the world because we are citizens. I am running to be a member of Parliament now and that is not even an issue. It's not even talked about or brought up in the campaign, mostly in girl mode. I have boy mode and girl mode. I am kind of gender fluid. I want to express both sides of myself, which has always been there. I am a tomboy and tomgirl kind of person.
  • WCT: What do you prefer your pronouns to be?
    EI: I am going with either "he" or "she." Either way is fine. If I am in boy mode then "he" or girl mode "she." People get confused, but thank you for asking.


  • [On a preference for she/her pronouns] If it's not affecting someone, then why do you need to lean in and stop other people just trying to create a little space for themselves to be positive.
    This is not an attacking thing, this is just existing.
  • I've been promoted to she, and it's a great honour.
  • Relationships with me are tricky. You've got to be a woman who's very self-confident about your own sexuality to go out with me.
  • [On aging and being transgender] It's true older men and older women look quite a lot similar. There's a middle area where it’s much trickier. Visually, there's not so much difference between older men and older women, so it does get easier.
  • [Asked if they wish to possess breasts] Yeah! I've had boob envy since my teens. Just when teenage girls of my age were going "I want boobs", I was thinking yeah me too. But I couldn't say it. They talk about penis envy, and I believe some women suffer penis envy. I cannot for the life of me get my head around this. But yes, I've always had breasts envy
  • I consider being trans a superhero thing - I wanted to put it in a very positive light with superheroes because some people are so negative about LGBT stuff.
    I've been out and open about it since 1985, it's a long time… And if we go back to the 1930s, if I've been in Nazi Germany, I would have been murdered for saying that I was trans.
  • I always wonder if I'd grown up in Germany in the 1930s, would I have joined the Hitler Youth? Would I have signed up for this thing? Would I have tried on one of those uniforms?
    I hope that I would have said: 'No, this is rubbish. This person is lying.' And some Germans did, but you don't hear much about those stories.
  • [After the Portrait Artist of the Year programme on Sky Arts] [I]n two days in America and Britain, where I'm best known, all my pronouns were changed.
  • I prefer she/her, don’t mind he/him, and I’m going to be relaxed about it. It’s not the time for fighting each other on this.
  • [On the Labour MP Rosie Duffield refusing to consider Izzard a woman] She has got to join the 21st century. She’s got to catch up with the rest of us. The vast majority of the world is now moving forwards … The millennium has happened and we’re 22 years into it. So come and join us in the 21st century.
  • [Confirming their use of a women's toilet] You've got to question people's sensibility, if they're going around taking photographs of people going into toilets. I go to the loo to go to the loo. I don't know where other people's imaginations are going.
  • I've had such disgusting things said to me over 37 years and now, to stand to be an MP in the seat of democracy in the United Kingdom, I've had to have such a torrent of transphobic abuse at that point when we're talking about democracy, we're talking about making people's lives better. It’s rather sad that these people feel that they want to do this attacking and this abuse online
  • [On proposed gender self-id reforms and women-only spaces] I don't have all the answers [...] I happen to be trans. All I can do is say how it is for me. I can't come in and wave a magic wand and solve all the problems, because some people are very entrenched.


  • It's hyper-complex how humans work [...] Yet we're obsessed about boy-girl, whereas if a tiger is attacking you...[...]
    A tiger is attacking me?
    Is it a boy tiger, is it a girl tiger?
    I'm not sure — it's a f***ing tiger!
    You can surely check?
    No, I can't check. It's a tiger.

About Izzard

  • [From a review of Sexie] Mr. Izzard, whose theme is nothing less than civilization and its multifarious contents, traffics in delirious, dizzying circles of ideas and images. On the surface they have nothing to do with one another. And yet they flow effortlessly into a single, opalescent stream of consciousness.
  • Once he throws a conversational ball into the air, he keeps it in play for the rest of the night, even when you assume he's forgotten all about it. And every one of them is inspected with a magnifying eye that inflates everything to the point of absurdity.
  • Yet Mr. Izzard never reads as hostile or even aggressive. Unlike most American stand-ups, he attacks neither his audience nor himself, instead creating the illusion that he is courteously letting you eavesdrop on an infinite internal dialogue.
  • The sad thing is women, particularly feminists, once adored Izzard. Not only the greatest 1990s stand-up, he was truly brave. On stage and off, in lipstick, leather skirts and sparkly eye-shadow, he subverted rigid ideas about what men could be. "These aren't women's clothes," he'd say. "They’re my clothes." He called himself a "transvestite": a heterosexual guy who sometimes wore frocks. And while some men abused him in the street, women thought he was cool.
    Then "transvestite" became an unfashionable term and the concept of "gender identity" took hold. Whether you're a man or woman was defined not by your sexed body but your inner, soul-like essence.
  • In 2019, the US podcaster Joe Rogan asked how he moved from girl to boy mode, and Izzard replied: "I take off my heels."
  • I find the idea that I can’t make fun of Eddie Izzard and Sam Smith, two of the most ridiculous people around at the moment, absurd.
    I wouldn’t say he's sold out. But he's in the grip of the same mania that a lot of other people are in. Eddie Izzard is trans? Really? He’s a fully intact crossdresser. How is he trans? I am as trans as Eddie Izzard.
  • [Asked if he is misgendering Izzard] The Equalities Act also protects my belief that he's a man. What I find extraordinary about Eddie is he's an intelligent man. He's an enormously talented person. For him to not understand that his going into women's toilets means that men like Adam Graham [the transgender double rapist who identifies as Isla Bryson] can go into women's toilets. I just don't get how he doesn't see that. I can only imagine that he does see it and he’s ignoring it.