By: Diane Feen Contributing Writer
When Jerry Seinfeld first came into our living rooms in his show “Seinfeld” it was touted as a show about nothing.
That nothing lasted nine years and was about everything. The good news is that Seinfeld is still on stage performing. And, his humor is still baked in a casserole thick with reality simmered in nothingness.
His funny stand-up act is rooted in the little things in life that often pass us by each day like traffic or butterflies. Yet they make us stop and see our world through the Seinfeld lens – one that sees the absurdity in our oft mindless routines.
Take the cell phone for instance. Seinfeld sees this device as something you use – but not to make calls.
“Talking takes a lot of energy, you have to make facial expressions, listen to what the person is saying – it’s exhausting. Talk is obsolete. We have the option now to text. As a matter of fact, I can text you this whole show and we can get out of here right now.”
A mighty assumption, but one that over 6,500 people did not take to heart. The hordes of people who flocked en masse to see Seinfeld in the Vegas-style Hard Rock Live arena were loath to move from their coveted seats.
Instead, everyone howled with laughter when the subject of the cell phone battery life was mentioned.
“You see the charge going down – and think, oh no I can’t talk right now – I’m fading. I have no energy,” he says slowly as his physical form began to wither on stage. “If your phone is dead does it matter if you’re still alive?”
Seinfeld has been on stage for decades. That may be why he delivers jokes in rapid succession tumbling off his lips like nitrogen gas blowing through the atmosphere.
It makes one wonder (as I did) why a billionaire father of three would be doing stand-up comedy across the US? If you listen to his live interviews you will hear his unfiltered take on stand-up comedy.
“When I get a good joke, I keep it in my act,” he said. “You have your great routines and you know they’re good. A joke is a miracle.”
And Seinfeld clearly enjoys those miracles. That’s why he continues to perform to sold-out crowds.
“I’m 65 and it’s my favorite decade,” he said. “People ask me to do things and I can say no. I don’t want to improve, and I don’t have to lie in a restaurant. When they say, ‘Do you want your check, I say, ‘no.’”
Point well taken. When Seinfeld talked about Pop Tarts being as nutritious as a box, It was an old joke that dates back a few years. But one has to admit it’s still funny. “When Pop Tarts came out, the back of my head blew off. It was the 60’s and all we had was toast. It can’t go stale because it was never fresh.”
His Hungry Man frozen dinner joke, that he espouses is a marketing director’s genius, is also one of his staples. “It’s like a little taste of prison in your own home. How do we get people to eat these things? Find hungry men that are broke, alone and starving. You know taste is the least of their problems.”
The show was filled with such sharp observations of human behavior that it was hard to keep from getting mental paper cuts.
“The price of stamps keeps going up a penny, but we don’t care. Just open our letters, email us and tell us what they say. Make stamps a dollar and if there’s profit buy yourself some pants and a real car.”
Seinfeld also confessed that he’s not good in crowds of people and tends to keep to himself. That is unless he’s getting coffee in cars with Comedians.
Dressed in a dark suit, and still rather trim, Seinfeld has retained his comedic stature, but lost most of his hair. But that doesn’t matter, he still has that glimmer in his eyes and the confidence to make jokes that expose our addiction to minutia.
Going to see Jerry Seinfeld is a treat. His humor is finely tuned and his ability to see something funny out of nothing is unrivaled. “I feel like a blacksmith up here. Talking is over, It antiquated.”
Perhaps it is. But you couldn’t convince anyone in the audience that night to agree with him.