on 12 December 2009
I saw the live show of this, and it was really funny and enjoyable. I was expecting more or less the same on the DVD. Whilst at times, it is genuinely funny, I can honestly say that there were probably only about 5 or 6 times when I found myself laughing out loud. The rest of the time, I only really smiled a bit. The audience seems to have been the same, in that there are more polite laughs and chuckles, than real roaring laughter. I think Eddie is brilliant, but sadly he seems to have tailed off down the years. As the show progresses on the DVD, I find myself almost reaching for the fast-forward button, which I'd not normally expect with a stand-up show. With Stripped, Eddie has a habit of resurrecting jokes from earlier in the act, that, in all honesty, weren't really that funny in the first place. Also, he really only has limited himself to covering ancient history and animals, and it would be nice to see some current stuff in the mix aswell. At times, he sometimes drags out a joke long after it's shelf-life has expired. That said, I still think the bloke's great!
on 10 February 2010
Having just seen him perform his show in Chicago I was curious to see the evolution of the material from his earlier UK gigs.
It was fascinating to watch how some things were the same, some updated, and apparently some things dropped.
His performance in this DVD is superb, very funny indeed and back to the classic comedy timing of Dressed to Kill.
on 2 December 2009
Like many of the other reviewers here I too had seen in London Eddie perform live around the time this was filmed. I had seen (as remarkable as it will sound) very little of his work prior to the live event. I was hugely and pleasantly surprised at how wonderful his flavor of stand up is. On the night I spent about two hours laughing my self silly, to say the show was a hit for me would be a huge understatement.
We decided to purchase this DVD as for the next year we were quoting and still laughing at bits of the show and expected to relive all the bits we might have forgotten.... Then we played the DVD, so much was missing from what we saw, not just entire gags but entire sections. We laughed of course when we were watching it (not as much as we did the first time but that's comedy eh?) but when it ended we sat there and spent ten minutes saying how about the bit when? or what happened to?
So all of this is not relevant if you are going to buy this having not seen the live show but if you have you might be wondering when some of the very funny stuff went. I have watched since then most of Izzard's earlier stand up and while this is very funny its not as good (in the DVD form) as say Dressed to Kill. I do wonder if I had not seen it live if I might have ended up enjoying this more?
So not a full review from me but a slight warning for those that were lucky enough to see this live late last year in the small venue in the West End or on tour that it might not be quite what you were expecting.
First off, in case you're wondering, this is better than Sexie: whatever happened in that train-wreck of a gig was clearly a one-off. Eddie rediscovers some of his old form on 'Stripped', and there are certainly some good laughs to be had throughout, but is this up there with his best? No. Not even close.
'Stripped' is Izzard playing it safe, sticking to the same topics of religion, history and animals as he has done for years, and often lifting material directly from an old and rare gig he did in 1993, called 'live at the ambassadors'. I suppose this is good for those who have never watched that old gig (it's never been properly released), but still, rehashing 16-year-old stuff and selling it as new is just not on, Eddie.
Even the new stuff just reeks of same-old, same-old. True, his punchlines and set-ups are different, but his subject material as mentioned above is so overly-plundered and tired that you can guess where he's going with things long before he's got there. Indeed, the way he targets, for example, religion often lazy: every comedian under the sun has pointed out just how silly creationism is now, and is something of a whipping-boy in comedy circles for easy, cheap laughs. I thought I could rely on Izzard for better, more intelligent, fresher angles, but he's the worst culprit of the lot. We get it, Eddie. You think religion is stupid. Your point was made 10 years ago. Move on, please.
In the past, Izzard would weave and cross-reference his jokes to the point where characters from Roman times were bumping into Sean Connery, and the Pope was playing the bango. It was all fantastically silly, and funny, mainly because it worked and it felt organic. In 'Stripped' Izzard tries the same thing, but it feels forced and contrived, and set-pieces that weren't that funny in the first place return again and again, long outstaying their welcome (the Cow and Raptor in the car is a painful example of this). It's as if he thinks repeating a joke over and over will make it funny. Sorry Eddie, it's the opposite of that.
In the end, though, I can forgive him, because he's given me many laughs over the years, and it's been so long since he toured that I suppose part of it could be down to being rusty. That said, his fame is still running off the goodwill stocked up from his best moments, over 10 years ago, with the triple-whammys of Definite Article, Glorious and Dressed To Kill, and although this is nowhere near the disaster of Sexie, he's a long way to go before he's back on form. I hope he realises that his future in comedy relies on fresh material - indeed, the best bits of 'Stripped' were new ideas, some of which had me in tears of laughter (Cake mix, opera singers and the 20ft spear are all genius). With a little branching out, he could be right back in the game.
This is something of a return to form for Eddie Izzard. Its certainly better than both Circle and Sexie, although it doesn't quite reach the sublime heights of Dressed to Kill, Glorious etc. Theres no point in reciting the sketches here, as you know what to expect. Frequently surreal, very funny (in places) but as with all of Izzards shows he is just interesting to listen to.
The extras include a b&w 5 min montage of footage from his incredible 43 Marathons in 51 days. An insprirational man, a brilliant comedian and an executive transvestite. What more could you ask for?!
on 14 January 2010
A must-have for Eddie's fans, but if you want to introduce someone to his comedy, I'd still go for classics like 'Glorious' or 'Dress to kill'.
Bonus features include a photo montage of his 2009 run for comic relief (a truly inspiring quest) and trailers of his new documentary 'Believe'.
No audio commentary this time, though (which I enjoyed particularly on his other DVDs). Subtitles available in lots of languages, of which Spanish has a pretty decent translation.
on 7 December 2009
OK but nothing special. I was disappointed in this Eddie show (just like I was with Sexie and Circle). I'm a big Eddie fan and I've followed him from many, many years ago when I first saw him on the Montreal Comedy Festival (must be 20 years ago). I liked "Dress to Kill" and "Definite Article" a lot but ... something is going wrong.
This show ("Stripped") is just not polished enough and Eddie spends far too much time on barely coherent babble - stringing together words, seemingly at random, that, for some reason, some of the audience find hilarious. Actually, often, most of the audience don't seem to find this all that funny. If you do see "Stripped" you might notice how little laughter there is coming from the audience.
But, based on the other reviews here, I seem to be in the minority. Either that or a case of Emperor's new clothes.
Of this year's rash of stand up DVDs for Xmas the Dylan Moran one ("What It Is") is by far the best I have seen - and much better, IMO, than Eddie's offering.
on 9 October 2012
As a devotee of Eddie's for many years this DVD actually made me sad. My friends and I have spend many an entertaining evening in the pub re-hashing Deathstar Canteen or proclaiming that we don't want to have coffee with each other because of a prevelance of bees, often much to the bemusement of our non Eddie loving other friends. Sexie was bad enough coming after the amazing laugh a minute that was Glorious, Dressed to Kill and Circle but this DVD is, in my opinion and that of my "Eddie" friends, worse. He trips over himself, forgets what he's saying, repeats old jokes but badly. In some sections I actually had no idea what he was talking about. He appears to have become lazy, trading on the audience knowing his classic gags and obediently laughing at any reference to them.
I won't be watching this DVD again and will think twice before purchasing any new material he releases. So sad to see such a "Gloriously" funny man lose it.
Stripped or death? Death please.
on 30 October 2012
Of the two releases available from this latest tour of Eddie's, Live From Madison Square Garden is definitely the better performance, much like Live From Wembley to Sexie. Even judged on its own merits, Stripped - while an improvement over Sexie - is a bit of a letdown.
There is some laugh out loud material in here. My favourites include his musings on Wikipedia and the Terms and Conditions, Shirley Temple's secret Spartan movie, dyslexia and Scrabble, as well as the silliness of Latin in a military situation. All of the aforementioned is very funny and has lots of Eddie charm.
Then again, there is some weaker material that even feels rehashed at times. Eddie already debunked the logic situation of Noah's Ark in Glorious, and far funnier at that. First and foremost, though, at times Eddie comes on annoyingly preachy. He used to just make fun of subjects like religion (deservedly so), but here he seems to push comedy down for just getting his point across in that area. That's just not very good delivery.
Speaking of delivery, the principle problem I have with Sripped is Eddie's performance. Elocution-wise, he is very shaky. He used to speak loud and clear, and use his voice as a source of comedy. This time, he barely raises his voice and mumbles a lot of the time, which makes me feel embarrassed for him at times, as a viewer. It's like he's allowing his nerves to affect his performance, and that is just not on for Eddie. He is a much better performer than this performance shows.
To see a better performance (though still not great) of the same material, get Live From Madison Square Garden. Live From Wembley is better, though, but especially the four juggernauts; Definite Article, Glorious, Dress To Kill and Circle. Stripped is only for Eddie's most devoted fans.
on 3 January 2010
As the intelligent side of Eddie's comedy genius attracted the attentions of the middle class Guardian reading fraternity, each of the last three or four tours and DVDs are notable for having more and more of these persons in the audiences. With Stripped, they seem to have completely taken over.
This was never a problem (why should it be, anyway?), as Eddie - my favourite comedian - treats everyone to the most hilarious shows. But I have a feeling that the material on this DVD is lazy and comfortable, and is more of a caricature of Eddie's comic persona than the sharp, creative genius that brought us the most hilarious, original, surreal and intelligent stand-up of the last 2 decades.
I feel that on this DVD, he and the new audiences he has recently attracted have become too accustomed to each other. It is as if they have merged, or share a common identity. This show had the feel of Eddie being Eddie for his friends' after dinner party entertainment, rather than the old cutting edge Eddie - the action transvestite who tangented away about cats drilling, God a la James Mason, and those 'biddly-bid' devices used by the crew of the Starship Enterprise.
Creatively, Eddie's still a comic genius. But at the moment, he has become a lazy genius.
But I'm sure he'll be back to form next time.