Watch: Ricky Gervais explains his use of irony to the audience of his new comedy special
Gervais, 60, opens the show saying he will name "funny female comedians" before pretending to struggle.
He goes on: "I know there are loads of funny women... Dame Edna Everage...
"Eddie Izzard. She’s brilliant, isn’t she? She’s not only a great comedienne, she’s also a great actress, isn’t she? She was brilliant in that thing as that man.”
Comedian and actor Izzard, 60, has been openly transgender since 1985, and announces on social media in December 2020 she would prefer to be referred to using “she” and “her”.
Gervais continues to make jokes about the LBGTQ+ community throughout the show.
Talking about cancel culture he says: "The worst thing you can say today is, 'Women don’t have penises’, right? Now, no one saw that coming … We didn’t think we f**king had to.”
He also refers to, "the old-fashioned women," explaining, "you know, the ones with wombs."
The Extra's star continues: "I love the new women. They’re great, aren’t they? The new ones we’ve been seeing lately. The ones with beards and c**ks. They’re as good as gold, I love them.”.
Gervais tells the audience: "Okay, full disclosure, in real life, of course, I support trans rights. I support all human rights and trans rights are human rights. Live your best life. Use your preferred pronoun.”
The After Life star then adds: "“But meet me halfway, ladies. Lose the c**k. That’s all I’m saying.”
At the beginning of the show Gervais reminds to his audience: "That was irony. There's going to be a bit of that throughout the show.
"That's when I say something I don't really mean, for comic affect. And you as an audience laugh at the wrong thing, because you know what the wrong thing is. It's a way of satirising attitudes."
Izzard – who in the past identified as a transvestite – has previously said she knew she was transgender since she was a child.
She was in a long-term relationship with the British singer, director and producer Sarah Townsend after meeting at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1989 and they are still friends.