Jerry Seinfeld Brought the (Ziff Ballet Opera) House Down
Seeing Jerry Seinfeld's stand-up is like having Tom Brokaw come over to your house and read you the evening news. It's something you've willingly enjoyed with the masses, but there he is, just 15 feet in front of you, trying to make the smallest of chortles rupture up from your throat. And it worked. During his hour-long set, the 7 p.m. audience at the Ziff Ballet Opera House doubled over in full belly laughs right from his opener: "Miami, Florida! How do you take the excitement of being here all the time?"
What's his shtick? Seinfeld treats everyone as if they were as ridiculous as Kramer. He presents everyday, humdrum situations with the same bewilderment as if he caught you trying to iron your pants while still wearing them. And even though we've been dunking ourselves in his bemused yadda yadda bit for over 20 years (hooray for syndication), there were still some surprises.
1. The man can move
Seinfeld isn't really considered a physical comedian, but he was all
over that stage. He ran onstage, rolled on the floor, squatted, and
lunged - all in what appeared to be a nice, Italian suit.
2. He avoids every stand-up cliché
Although we've nearly memorized every episode of his Show About Nothing,
we've gotten used to stand-up revolving around the same four topics:
current events, shock jock humor, culture clashes, and self-deprecation.
Seinfeld managed to step around these four clichés while still being
funny. While Louis CK talks about wiping poo out of tiny vaginas as a father and Lisa
Lampenelli, the very same night, hashes out which races are the smellist and laziest, Seinfeld
ridicules the way you hold your cup of coffee. The raciest moment came when he was describing how cookies only get eaten
between the bewitching hours of 9 and 11 p.m. and he called them
chocolate sons of bitches and vanilla bastards.
3. He was especially exasperated by technology and all things interwebz
--Ebay, there's a good idea. Let's just start mailing our trash to one another.
--Email is like having a mailman stand right outside your door, who hands you 7 or 8 things every time you leave the house.
--By the end of the day, when your cell phone is almost out of juice,
you start to sound like you're also on your death bed. You start
answering phone calls with: "I don't know how much time I have left" and
"I wish I could take back some of the things I said."
--OnStar, is this why we conquered space? Because morons keep getting
lock out of their car? They should call it MoranStar. "Okay, moran, what
did you do now?" "Well, I locked myself out, I want to find an Italian
restaurant, and now I'm upside down."
Throwaway detail #1: His friend and comic Mark Schiff first warmed up the crowd. Forgettable, but at least he wasn't Tom Papa.
Throwaway detail #2: Seinfeld came out afterward for a spontaneous and quick Q&A. Why are these things always so cringe-worthy? If a famous person asks if anyone has any questions, please don't ask them their zodiac sign. (By the way, he's a Taurus.)
Overheard in the crowd: I think every Jew in Miami is in here.
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