Wednesday, August 03, 2005


This weekend, I rented Comedian, a documentary that follows Jerry Seinfeld as he returns to a career in stand-up comedy after concluding his hugely successful television series. After I watched the DVD I seemed to remember that the last time I was in the family way (spending time with my family in Rhode Island, not up the stick) Little Brother recomended the movie to me and he possibly even offered to let me borrow his copy, but I of course was not listening*.

I found this film to be incredibly inspirational and here's why. You have Jerry Seinfeld who is a world class entertainer. Had one of the top-rated TV shows of all time, seems to be a shrewd businessman (ie has yet to blow all his money on McMansions and tranny Hookers), keeps his nose clean, etc... Basically, the guy is on top of the world and can sit around and do nothing for the rest of his life, but he instead decides he wants to go back to stand-up, one of the least-respected and most brutal milleaux in performance. Okay, big deal.

So here's the thing, Seinfeld gets back out there, starts working out a new act and he blows. He sucks. He's playing these small little clubs, he's totally bombing and he's letting people film this. Then he goes around to his friends, who by all accounts are less successful than him, and has to ask them, why do I suck so bad and will I ever be able to do this again?

Okay, so it's not a film about Penguins, but I found this incredibly inspirational and very familiar. PS I think I laughed the hardest during one of the deleted scenes on the DVD where Seinfeld is talking about trying to make his joke about DNA work.

Oh yeah, and the film also follows young, 'up-and-coming' comic Orny Adams who made me renew my committment not to date any more stand-up comics. If you can't figure out why from the film, then just trust me on this.

3 comments:

Linda said...

This film showed me an agony I would never have associated with stand up comedy, putting together the material. Though Cosby made it look easier than Seinfeld and Adams. It does make you want to throw together your best jokes and go to an open mike night (many Rolling Rocks would help). BTW March of the Penguins is worth a look too .... I love documentaries!!!

Vanessa said...

I rented the Seinfeld DVD last year and really enjoyed it, too. I admire him and his work ethic. He loves what he does and really works at it. He deserves his success.

ravingloon said...

I loved the Korean nail lady joke. And, I totally agree about Orny Adams.