Stand Up Sunday: Easter Eddie, The Easter Bunny, and Atheism

Fans of Eddie Izzard will find this bit an all-too-obvious feature for a stand-up Sunday that falls on Easter, but in my small household, viewing it has become somewhat of a tradition, and I’d like to share it.  Izzard performs this bit in his 1999 tour, Dress to Kill. 

Was it just me, or did some of the San Francisco audience seem a little uncomfortable with Izzard’s pithy summary of  the Easter tradition?

We use stand up comedians as a societal court jester; sometimes we listen to them just to hear things we don’t want to hear.  I may have been the smallest bit shocked when I heard this bit for the first time, but now I find that it provides a gentle grounding that I very much appreciate.  It’s a similar feeling to the one evoked by Dustin Hoffman performing Lenny Bruce’s “Happy Ending Culture” bit in Lenny (1974).  It’s sad.  It hurts.  But, because he can acknowledge it, I can acknowledge it, and I feel better.  Wait, do I?

Eddie Izzard is receiving as much attention for his out-and-proud atheism these days as for his out-and-proud transvestism. Very recently he appeared on the National Mall as a guest speaker for the Week of Reason’s Reason Rally, amongst other atheist activists as Richard Dawkins and Bill Maher.

The thing about Eddie Izzard’s forays into atheism that I most relate to, as opposed to Maher’s, for example, is that we can stare the terrifying prospect of a Godless existence in the face and respond with silliness.  Izzard’s whimsey coupled with the legacy of Bruce’s truth-telling is preferable to me on days like today, when I remember the feeling I got having discovered the truth about the Easter Bunny.  Even if deep down, we don’t really feel better, it serves as a much more pleasant transition from myth dissemblance back into our everyday lives filled with everyday tasks.  At least we get some chocolate bunnies out of it.

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2 responses

  1. Haha great comedy!

  2. LOL, I hadn’t heard this first bit before. Thanks for posting it.

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