The master: Jerry Seinfeld

Not until a couple of days before the show did I let on to Lori what I had in mind for the “mystery date” she had written on our calendar. Turned out it was a night of comedy with Jerry Seinfeld.

Toss in a casual pre-show dinner at a Japanese restaurant right across the street from the concert hall and it was a great Friday night.

Jerry+Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld

When the cultural history of the late 20th century is written, it will no doubt cast Jerry Seinfeld as one of the era’s iconic entertainers, someone whose last name is synonymous with a wildly successful TV show that is still watched all over the globe in syndication.

I mean, really, all you have to do is mention a word or two and the memory of favorite episodes immediately kick in: Shrinkage. The Chinese restaurant. Elaine dancing. The Soup Nazi. The Bubble Boy.

The genius of “Seinfeld” was that it was “a show about nothing” — a quartet of quirky New Yorkers muddling through everyday situations that brought out their insecurities and petty rivalries. In other words, it was a show about life.

On stage last night, it was more of the same. Seinfeld was masterful. Spot-on observations about food (including a great riff on Pop Tarts), marriage, coffee, parenthood and modern technology, all delivered with seamless transitions and flawless timing.

I’d seen him once before, years ago when I took our youngest son, then a teenager, and we laughed through a show free of F-bombs and lewd sexual references. The second time around, I knew Lori would enjoy the show as much as me.

We marveled afterward at what a gift it must be: to be able to get up on stage, tell jokes for 90 minutes and send people into the night with smiles. It’s a trite saying that laughter is the best medicine. But when you look at the trivialities of modern culture through the eyes of a talented comedian, it really is a tonic, A reminder to not take yourself — and life — so seriously.

Photograph: last.fm

What was your favorite episode?

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3 thoughts on “The master: Jerry Seinfeld

  1. I saw Seinfeld several years ago in Portland and was impressed in much the same way. I also liked that he did not rely on obscenities. That show had some older and newer material (my daughter had seen him another time or two and she had heard parts of it then, and I recognized a couple of bits from televised routines); it sounds as if he might have had more new material this time around. But he is good, in any event. Clearly, an enjoyable night out for the two of you.

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