Eddie Izzard

Starring: Eddie Izzard
Universal Pictures Video
RRP 19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 04 October 2004

Comedian Eddie Izzard entertains an appreciative audience at the Albery Theatre in London with his musings on topics such as advertising, laundry, cats and dogs, birds and bees, and Mr Spock's secret Twix...

Originally released on VHS in 1994, this recording contains many classic observations from Izzard's eccentric view of the world.

These include advertising. Many people have commentated on the fact that sex sells, but Eddie tells us this in a completely new way: "Wash your clothes," screams the advertisers' subtext, "or no one will shag you!" This routine also involves the memorable anthropomorphism of some dark blue underpants, which infiltrate a whites-only wash hidden inside a shirt (because shirts are, of course, very stupid).

Izzard does a lot of anthropomorphising, especially when it comes to animals. There are cats that drill for oil, hence the purring sound. They also lower your blood pressure - by draining off your blood while you're asleep, then selling it to the local blood bank and splitting the takings with your dog. Then there's Steve the bird, who leads the other birds to their annual holiday destination (rather badly, because he can't read the map very well) and Brian the bee, who dances to tell the other bees where the nectar can be found. But, as Eddie observes, if bees can make honey, why don't the other invertebrates do anything so useful? Do earwigs make chutney? Do spiders make gravy?

Sci-fi fans will particularly appreciate the comedian's comments on Star Trek. Though his recognition of the fact that the unknown guys in red shirts are the most likely to get killed is hardly new, his offbeat comments about tricorders, Mr Spock's science station, and phasers are in a league of their own. Hilarious suggestions for additional phaser settings include "Bit of a Cough", "Water in Ear After Swimming" and "Oven Left on at Home".

The 15 certificate is due to the bad language that Izzard uses. However, though he makes frequent use of the "F" word, his tone is so playful and inoffensive that it rarely seems coarse. In fact, you might not even register the swearing until you show the video to your grandma or the vicar!

Seemingly with this factor in mind, the DVD offers an optional bleeped audio track, in addition to a commentary by the comedian, an on-screen trivia track and a photo gallery. I haven't actually seen these extras, because a tape was sent for review rather than a DVD, so don't take my word for it on that.

No matter which extras are present or not, Unrepeatable certainly merits repeated viewing.

Richard McGinlay

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