Affable American comedian, Eddie Ifft, cruises into the studio without a care in the world ready to see his self-described ‘lazy’ apparel (naturally complete with his signature laceless sneakers) transformed into sharp James Bond-esque stylist-composed ensembles. Flashing a piercing look and a slight cheeky smile, Ifft seems at ease in front of the camera during the photo shoot despite admitting that this was only his third time. Luckily for us, his inexperience did not get in the way of a relaxed, enjoyable and entirely unproblematic encounter with Mr Ifft. However, our little chat revealed that his other photo shoot experiences had yielded much less success…
Besides one engagement with GQ, Eddie’s only other fashion shoot experience had been somewhat of a trauma. Reflecting on the freezing cold shoot that he had been talked into in his hometown of Pittsburgh, he laughs about how he was far more concerned about the photographer attempting to have his way with him than about the looming hyperthermia. “Still to this day the guy just calls me up drunk… for a chat… it’s a bit concerning!”
Even with something as basic as headshots, Ifft finds himself falling into trouble. Thinking back to the very early days of his comedy career as a naive Pittsburg boy in New York City, Ifft dishes up the details of the time he got his first headshots done. Chuckling to himself, he tells of the flamboyant male photographer whose persistent pestering for a kiss on the cheek and overly suggestive conversation points like “but you would never sleep with me because I’m fat and bald… would you?” have left him scarred for life. Luckily, his experience on this occasion with Melbourne-based fashion photographer, David Higgs, was far less intrusive and (basically) innuendo-free.
Obviously quite at home in his jeans and sneakers, Eddie surprisingly reveals that his experience of fashion in the workforce started off with suits: “working for my dad, I was always in a suit. I hated it! Although now that I wear them so infrequently, I quite enjoy having an occasion to wear one – it’s like fancy dress!. … Oh except on court days, of course”. Nowadays, Ifft dresses down on stage opting for a relaxed and casual jeans-and-t-shirt combo. “When I got into comedy my whole goal was to do a job where I dress how I dress all the time and just show up and do what I do”. While explaining this away as a brainless, lazy choice, he admits that it also helps the audience to focus on the comedy instead of being distracted by his threads.
Though Eddie maintains that his wardrobe isn’t too outrageous, his fashion exploits during a recent appearance on ‘Good News Week’ might suggest otherwise. Suffice to say that he turned up in a shiny gold tuxedo awkwardly teamed with a vibrant green Hawaiian shirt of the style unseen since the early 1990s. And let’s not even mention the red leather jacket and backless chaps that we somehow found out about during his studio visit. If that wasn’t enough, Ifft committed yet another fashion faux pas during his first ever TV appearance when he turned up on Comedy Central sporting some sexy parachute pants. Such was the outrageousness of the infamous pants that Ifft was met by a barrage of phone calls from friends and peers completely ignoring all aspects of his performance in favour of jeers and taunts over his questionable choice of attire!
Even wardrobe malfunctions aren’t out of the realms of possibility for this extremely likable comedian whose infamous bonnet-slide during his appearance in a late 90’s KFC commercial caused many a phone call abouthis very obvious “vagina wedgie”.
Fortunately (or some might say unfortunately) we will not have to see the Ifft crotch that closely during his stay in Australia, although you may catch a cheeky glimpse during one of an impressive 26 shows that he is putting on at the Melbourne International Comedy festival this year. Ifft also has a new DVD – Eddie Ifft Live – out in stores now. For tickets and information check out eddieifft.com.au.
Written by Nic Davidson.