1998's Dress to Kill
was Eddie Izzard
's belated breakthrough into the U.S. comedy mainstream, thanks to the filmed special's regular airings on HBO. Unfortunately, of the four concerts that Anti Records reissued on CD in 2004, it loses the most in the loss of its visual element. Not only is Izzard
's flamboyant stage presence lost (the heart of the show is his long routine about being, in his own words, an "Executive Transvestite"), but he had become so much more comfortable on-stage by this point that there's a very strong physical aspect to the show that simply can't be recreated with the visuals removed. For example, there's a running gag in the hilarious "Italians and Fascists" that involves the general Italian world view even under Fascism, a devil-may-care La Dolce Vita attitude that Izzard
sums up perfectly in the way he says "ciao," but sadly, the joke isn't even half as funny without seeing Izzard
's body language as he says it. Despite these flaws, Dress to Kill
is still one of the pinnacles of standup comedy in the '90s.