Five things I learned at Jerry Seinfeld’s show last night
The king of observational comedy stormed Lincoln Center, ranting about iPhones, coffee culture and the ridiculousness of everything.
Fri Sep 27 2013
Photograph: John Shearer
The crowd inside the Rose Theater erupted when Jerry Seinfeld burst onstage. (Not surprising, right? The dude is, you know, like the most successful comedian ever.) But what took us aback during Seinfeld's performance, an exclusive event for Citi ThankYou card members, was how energetic the 59-year-old vet was. Throughout his set, packed with grinning gripes about modern minutiae, the comic remained animated, emphatically pointing and jumping in and out of characters at a rapid-fire pace. The guy also was never once crass—even when throwing in a rare reference to sex. Impressive. Here's what we picked up:
1. Smoking is cool.
Opener (and longtime Seinfeld pal) Tom Papa thought so. At least he did in the confines of the theater, a regular venue for current jazz greats like Wynton Marsalis, where a bit of Louis Armstrong–era smokiness felt appropriate. He then transitioned into an amusing bit involving soldiers complaining about secondhand smoke while in the trenches during World War II.
2. Seinfeld can handle really annoying audience members gracefully.
Some variation of "Jerry, I love you!" was screamed at the comic as he tried, several times, to launch into his set. Rather than go off on the unruly group (which would have been totally understandable), he politely responded with "I love you. This is my favorite type of relationship. I love you, and you love me, and we never have to meet."
3. Facebook's legacy isn't what we thought.
No, it's not the social-networking platform that changed everything. It's "the final whoring out of the word book," according to the stand-up.
4 At the end of the day, he's just another inconvenience.
The ever-irked (yet somehow warm and delightful) comic admitted that even getting to the theater to see him is a drag. Because moving, anywhere, sucks. From this thought, he segued into funny bits about how beds are essentially unbeatable and the greatest accomplishment for a couple is getting out of the house together.
5 Yes, putting the numbers 6 and 9 together in a sentence is still funny.
During an admittedly dated bit on the *69 call return (does that even exist anymore?), Seinfeld sets up a great scene about its invention, asking "not one person who worked at the phone company went to junior high school?"
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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)