40 of Eddie Izzard's funniest jokes and quotes ahead of his October shows at Edinburgh's Festival Theatre

Self-professed "action transvestite" Eddie Izzard is one of Britain's best loved comedians, and a growing presence on the political scene.

Self-professed "action transvestite" Eddie Izzard is one of Britain's best loved comedians, and a growing presence on the political scene.

His rambling, whimsical monologues throw up surreal imagery and observational comedy, which combine to resemble something you might dream up when you're neither fully awake nor fully asleep.

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We compiled 40 of his best moments ahead of his new stand-up show Wunderbar at Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 October.

You can buy tickets on Capital Theatre's website here.

(Warning: contains some strong language)

"Guns don't kill people, people kill people. And monkeys do too - if they have a gun."

"Puberty is the sickest joke God plays on us. So you're just noticing members of the sex: 'Girls girls, ooo'. Naturally you want to look your best, and God says 'No! You will look the worst you've ever looked in your life!'"

"Performance enhancing drugs are banned in the Olympics. OK, we can swing with that. But performance debilitating drugs should not be banned. Smoke a joint and win the hundred meters, fair play for you. That's pretty damn good. Unless someone's dangling a Mars Bar off in the distance..."

"If you've never seen an elephant ski, you've never been on acid."

"I like my coffee like I like my women. In a plastic cup."

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"Cats have a scam going - you buy the food, they eat the food, they go away; that's the deal."

"Cats leap up walls! Six foot walls, they just go - 'fwang'! They always land perfectly, you never see cats on a wall having a problem, do you? You never see a cat going, 'F***ing 'ell! I'm not sure about this', and a cat on the ground, going, 'Easy, Ginger! I'll walk you down!'"

"I've learnt that the world is 4500 million years old. If you're very religious, then it's not 4500 million years old, it's 6000 years old. One of these is not correct."

"Scrabble was invented by Nazis to p*** off kids with dyslexia. This is true, they proved this one. The word dyslexia was also invented by Nazis to p*** off kids with dyslexia."

"Do you know the three rules of Fascism? Make s*** up, scream it loudly, and then kill people."

"Richard The Lionheart: one of the greatest English kings we have going. Born in Oxford, fought all the fights, fought against Saladin in the third crusade, good looking, played the banjo, the David Beckham of kings, right? Revered by the English; English as English Pie. And he spoke... French."

"You notice how they always put the fruit and veg at the entrance to the supermarket? You go in thinking 'this is a fresh shop, everything in here is fresh! I will do well to shop here'. You never go straight to the bit with the toilet paper, loo brushes and such do you? You'd think 'this is a poo shop! Everything in here is themed on poo!'"

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"I've done a bit of Latin in my time... but I can control it."

"Horseshoes are lucky. Horses have four bits of lucky nailed to their feet. They should be the luckiest animals in the world. They should rule the country."

"I grew up in Europe, where the history comes from."

"If you're choking in a restaurant you can just say the magic words, 'Heimlich maneuver,' and all will be well. Trouble is, it's difficult to say 'Heimlich maneuver' when you're choking to death."

"I am a professional transvestite, so I can run about in heels and not fall over. Because if a woman falls over wearing heels, that’s embarrassing. But if a bloke falls over wearing heels, you have to kill yourself. It’s the end of your life."

"What shall we call our son so he does not get the s*** kicked out of him at school? We shall call him Englebert Humperdink! Yes, that'll work."

"There's not much makeup in the army, is there? No. They only have that nighttime look, and that's a bit slapdash, isn't it?"

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"Squirrels always eat nuts with two hands, always two hands, and occasionally, they stop and go, oh, uh, ah, as if they're going, 'Did I leave the gas on? No! I'm, no I'm a f***ing squirrel!'"

"If I were Achilles, I would put my foot in a f*** off block of concrete!"

"I couldn't tell the kids at school I was a transvestite. They'd kill me with sticks. 'Why are we killing him with sticks?' 'I don't know... he said a word we didn't understand... and he won at Scrabble with it...'"

"There's two positions in snowboarding. One is looking cool and the other is DEAD!"

"Racist people, interestingly, are never as polite as smokers. Have you noticed that? Smokers always go, 'Do you mind if I smoke? Oh, you do? Okay, I'll go outside and have a cigarette.' Racist people never go, 'Do you mind if I'm racist? Oh, I'll go outside... f***ing blue people, eh? Coming here, stealing our hamsters..."

"Charles Darwin wrote a famous book. And that book was an interesting book, because it was called 'Monkey-Monkey-Monkey-Monkey-Monkey-Monkey-You'".

"Today's sermon is taken from a magazine that I found in a hedge. This season's lipstick colours will be in the frosted pink area - and nails to match... and this reminds me rather of our lord Jesus. Because, surely, when Jesus rode into town on a donkey, he must have gotten tarted up a bit."

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"People think I'm on drugs and I'm not. Just a bit of coffee. When I take drugs I start going, 'Oh, would you like insurance?'"

"I was very driven as a boy scout. Very driven. Driven everywhere I was."

"They went to the Moon and they brought back rock. Trouble is, we've got rock. That was the one thing we didn't need, wasn't it?"

"Words like 'kiosk': that’s a Viking word and it came from when they would rape and pillage. Because they would rape and pillage and awful and blood everywhere and limbs hacked and money stolen, and then they’d say, 'If you have enjoyed today’s experience, you can get some souvenirs in the kiosk down on the beach."

"Picasso, he should have been a taxidermist. 'I’ve done your dog. It’s got nine eyes down the side, I made his head all square, 15 legs.'"

"The same people who make toasters make showers. For they have a turney button too that lies. For we all know turn turn turn turn for hot. Turn turn turn turn for cold. But the only position we're interested in is the position one nanomillimeter between fantastically hot, and f***ing freezing."

"I'm an action transvestite really, so it's running, jumping, climbing trees... putting on make up when you're up there!"

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"Pears can just f*** off too. Because they're gorgeous little beasts, but they're ripe for half an hour, and you're never there. They're like a rock or they're mush. You put them in the bowl, and they go, 'Don't ripen yet, don't ripen yet. Wait til he goes out the room! Ripen! Now now now!'"

"In the Christian faith God created Adam in his own image, yeah? That was good, but 65 million years before that God created the dinosaurs using the image of his cousin Ted. Ted was not the black sheep of the family, he was the huge f***ing monster of the family."

"I love technology! If you have techno-joy, you get the instructions, you unwrap it, and you throw the instructions out the window! Forget them! F*** 'em! I must know how this works, I've used machines before!"

"When a bird gets sucked into an engine they call it 'bird strike'. It's not bird strike, it's 'engine suck'!"

"I grew up in the 70s, when the careers adviser used to come to school, and he used to get the kids together and say, 'Look, I advise you to get a career, what can I say? That's it.'"

"That's what narcissism is all about; looking in the mirror everyday and thinking 'Damn, I'd like to shag myself.'"

"MAC gave me 55 lipsticks to test. These are the same lipsticks I got caught stealing by the police when I was 15. How ironic."

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"If there is a God, his plan is very similar to someone not having a plan."