Currently touring the world with his new show Wunderbar, which he crafted at The Bill Murray, Eddie Izzard was interviewed in The Joe Rogan Experience. Towards the end of the two and a half hour long podcast, the pair discussed Izzard’s approach to writing new material and his preference for a slow paced environment where he is free to experiment.
Joe Rogan: Do you still go to clubs at all?
Eddie Izzard: I don’t so much. I was reading the definitive thing on Robin Williams and how he would jump in the clubs and do stuff and that doesn’t really work for my stuff. (…)They have the [Bill Murray] club in Islington. No, Angel, in London sort of Northeast London. And they had you know, shows going on at 6, one at 7, and I would take an hour of that and just do that again and again and again. So I’ll take an hour and I’ll go out for an hour and workshop a show. As opposed to coming on and doing 15 minutes off the top of my head because I find if I’m completely going scattergun just trying to find funny that doesn’t really help me, I need to keep crafting the stuff cause then I can use it in a show.
Joe Rogan: You need more time.
Eddie Izzard: I also don’t need – if it’s a comedy club they want it fast they want it quicker, you know. And I’m not looking to hit the gags, I’m just looking to find things and have the space to stop and think “What is it about cheese? Why has it got two e’s in it?”. I just want to waffle around until I go “Okay that’s good. I’ll keep that bit”.
Joe Rogan: Do you ever feel like, when you’re doing that, like Jesus Christ I need to get off this fucking subject, there’s nothing there?
Eddie Izzard: Well yeah, I do that, but then I do this thing I write on my left hand like it’s a note to self and I go, say if I was talking about pig farmers “Are you guys all pig farmers? NEVER TALK ABOUT CHEESE AGAIN. CHEESE JOKES DO NOT WORK. ESPECIALLY IN NORTHEAST LONDON”. You just try and get laughs on the way out. And career is over, cheese is taking over my life.
Here at The Bill Murray we would like to thank Eddie for the shout out and for allowing us to see that process in action: the first outing Wunderbar had in our comedy room was nourished by each subsequent performance, and we were lucky enough to be there and see the transformation of a show that made us learn, feel, and, obviously, laugh.