Eddie Izzard on World War I, cake or death, and marathoning

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Now that I've gotten Eddie Izzard to re-derive his famed "cake or death?" routine in real time, I'm ending this podcast. Always good to go out on top.

Okay, maybe I won't actually end it. But this episode was a thrill to do. Eddie Izzard has long been one of my favorite comics. I've watched his specials more times than I can count. And this conversation was a real pleasure. Izzard — whose new memoir, Believe Me, is now on shelves — thinks fast, and not always linearly, so we covered a lot of ground.

Among our topics:

- How he ran 27 marathons in 27 days, and why he did it

- His process for writing jokes

- Why he wants to run for parliament, and how he's taken inspiration from Al Franken's career

- His techniques for borrowing confidence from his future self

- What he learned as a street performer

- Why so many of his routines are based on history and anthropology

- His off-the-cuff and hilarious explanation of World War I

- The thought process that led to his famous "cake or death?" routine

- His gender identity, and how he integrated it into his act early on

- How he managed being the first transgender person many Americans ever saw

- Who excites him in comedy now

- His thoughts on the recent British election

And much more. Enjoy this conversation. I certainly did.

Books!

Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Al Franken, Giant of the Senate by Al Franken

102 episodes available. A new episode about every 6 days averaging 76 mins duration .