London’s Mayor Izzard?

Eddie Izzard battles extremism the only way he knows how — via comedy in English, French and German.

Eddie Izzard is a political and comedic force to be reckoned with.

Image by Amanda Searle

Eddie Izzard is a political and comedic force to be reckoned with.

by Spencer Doar

With the likes of Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone before him, London has a malleable template for unconventional mayors. In 2020, comedian and actor Eddie Izzard hopes to continue the trend (and if that doesn’t pan out, he has a parliamentary seat in mind).

“I think I’d rather stay out [of politics] — I really am enjoying this career — but I think I have to go in [to politics],” Izzard said.

It’s a logical progression for a humanist who says he spends his time battling intolerance and close-mindedness through comedy, political activism and a variety of philanthropic efforts.

Izzard takes aim at the present through the lens of the past, using history as fodder for his comedic canon. When he comes to Minneapolis near the tail end of his “Force Majeure” tour, audiences will be just as likely to hear about the English Civil War or the Spanish Inquisition as they will “The Lord of the Rings” or David Beckham.

Though he performs comedy standing up, Izzard incorporates more one-man showmanship than the average stand-up — re-enacting scenarios, taking on different characters and generally engaging in a theatricality not seen in the likes of Louis CK or Aziz Ansaris.  

Monty Python is an influence for the comedian, but so are Richard Pryor and Steve Martin. Somehow, it all comes together in a comedic stream-of-consciousness show — with equal parts mania, insight and acting like a twit.

But it’s all for his perceived cause. Just last week, Izzard was in Normandy, France, performing in French, English and German in honor of the 70th anniversary of D-Day.  

“I would have tried my damnedest to have been there on that day — I would have fought against fascists,” Izzard said. “My whole life is against extremism; I’m against religious extremists, political extremists. The simplistic nature of their ideas does not work in real life. Real life is complicated.”

Who: Eddie Izzard
When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Where: Orpheum Theatre, 910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
Cost: $47.75­–70