I was sitting in the office on Friday morning, missing my wife and wondering what I was going to do with myself that evening. Bernadette was in Austria and would be flying at 100 km/h down an Olympic Ice Canal in a wok so I was kind of at a loose end.
Then a very good friend sent me a Snapchat and invited me to Berlin to see Eddie Izzard’s last show at the Quatsch Comedy Club. More Snapchats were sent and it was finally agreed that I would indeed fly to Berlin. This could be the world’s first officially documented Snapchat meetup, or Snapchatup or Snapup, but my friend started it all and so it’s his case study.
So I flew to Berlin and had one of the most remarkable evenings of my life.
I’ve always been a huge fan of Eddie Izzard; I love his timing, his madness and his strange vision of this hugely disappointing planet of ours. I love the gravel in his voice and the sparkle in his eye and I adore the fact that Eddie Izzard is a very naughty boy so, as you can see, I’m a proper fan boy and was properly excited about seeing him live for the very first time.
What made this gig so special was that fact that this show was in German. Izzard has done this kind of thing before in France but I was really interested to see how it would work in the language which I now call my own and it was quite honestly the most remarkable thing I’ve ever seen. I’m not only talking about what Eddie did on stage but how it was received at the Quatsch Comedy Club and, specifically, from the German comedians that were in the audience. I’ve been banging on for nearly 20 years about the fact that Germans have a brilliant sense of humour but that the stand up circuit is kind of behind the eight ball and watching them watching Eddie Izzard do his thing on their stage was glorious.
Izzard was brilliant and used the German language element to add yet another layer of comic complexity to his already impressive arsenal of being naughty. It was a two hour master class in comedic possibilities and I hope that the German comedians in the audience will have walked away from that evening and had a long hard think about the relevance of their mother-in-law jokes.
It was an amazing evening that featured me sitting in one of Europe’s most desirable restaurants moaning about their pommes-frites and me lightly touching Eddie Izzard’s elbow. I’d like to thank my evening’s host for taking care of me, convincing me to fly to Berlin and taking me to see my favourite comedian (seriously thank you – it was an unforgettable evening). Many thanks too to his wife for making me that hangover destroying coffee (you lovely, heroic, lady).
Also many, many thanks to Thomas Hermanns (who will never read this but, you know, fuck it) for your comedy club, the European Song Contest thing you do and being a darling and a lovely man (my wife loved the photograph. The other one. Not the one above). Etc.