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I'm sorry, but Jerry Seinfeld is NOT funny

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posted on Feb, 19 2006 @ 02:48 PM
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Yup... I know I’m gonna be crucified for this thread, but the truth must be told - Jerry Seinfeld is the most overrated and overvalued comedian in the history of comedy. Look, folks: anyone whose standup routine opens with the phrase, “What’s the deal with...” is marginal at best, tedious at worse. That’s just slightly better than those “prop” comedians, such as Carrot Top, who rely on an annoying array of visual gags, or any one of several hundred black comedians whose entire presentation is nothing more than noting the differences between blacks and whites (“Have you even noticed that black people do _____ like _____ and white people do _____ like _____?”). Of course, the low-man on the standup totem pole is any nitwit who brings a musical instrument on stage and sings silly songs in a futile effort to evoke a half-hearted chuckle. I say to these cretins, “Pack it in, Hendrix. Your career ain’t going nowhere. Take your Mom’s advice and enroll in law school.”

Earlier I used the word marginal, and I think that pretty much sums up Mr. Seinfeld’s comedy. Marginal. He’s not unusually bad or grating, but he doesn’t really stand out as a premier talent either. He’s just another marginally competent comic with marginally amusing material. And since the true test of a standup comedian’s talent is the longevity of his material, does anyone honestly believe that Jerry’s observational humor about folding socks or Halloween costumes will successfully withhold the test of time? All the truly great comedians captured immortality on the stage - George Carlin with his “Seven Dirty Words” routine, Lenny Bruce for his rants against censorship, and Sam Kinison for his angry tirades about Christianity. What has Jerry Seinfeld ever said or done that’s even moderately compelling or creative? “What’s the deal with airline peanuts?” C’mon, guys... this ain’t the stuff of legends. This is the pedestrian drivel of a second-rate talent.

Of course, there was that television show. By starring in what’s arguably the finest sitcom ever created, Jerry Seinfeld has earned a vault’s worth of wealth and undying fame and adulation. Hey, Seinfeld was a great show. It recreated the genre and killed the touchy-feely sugarcoated family sitcoms that dominated the TV dial at the time. And some of its episodes, such as “The Contest,” were as wickedly funny as anything ever produced by a television studio. But capturing lightning in a bottle and reaping in big numbers with the Nielsen’s doesn’t necessarily mean that the star is a great standup comedian.

Cheers was a great show and the character of Norm Peterson, played by George Wendt, was originally part of a comedy troupe. Home Improvement was a great show and was created by Tim Allen, who was discovered by ABC while touring the country as a comedian. But neither Allen nor Wendt are particularly gifted standup comics. Like Jerry Seinfeld, they’re marginal talents who were fortunate enough to latch onto a terrific television idea and live forever in syndication. Friends is a superbly funny program, but that doesn’t mean that David Schwimmer could routinely bust out the guffaws as a standup comedian. Conversely, truly great comedians such as George Carlin, Jackie Mason, and Sam Kinison have all had sitcoms that failed in less than one season.

To be perfectly candid, I’m not sure how much credit Jerry should receive for the success of Seinfeld. The show’s co-creator, Larry David, has proven to be an unusually clever television talent with his ingenious HBO sitcom, The Larry David Show. I don’t know if the creation of Seinfeld was more Larry or more Jerry, or how the executive decisions were rendered. I do know that Larry David is credited with being the head writer of some of Seinfeld’s most memorable episodes and that the quality dipped when he left the show before its eighth season. I also know that Larry David isn’t an outstanding talent on stage either; I’ve seen his standup routine as well.

If Jerry Seinfeld were an NFL football player, he’d be good enough to start... but certainly not a marquee star. He’s an effective workman who clearly loves the standup medium, even though he’s never been the breakthrough performer that generates much of a buzz. Is he funny? Perhaps the title of this thread was unduly harsh... he can be funny at times, but his skill at etching giggles doesn’t match the public respect he receives for doing so. And he certainly doesn’t deserve a seat atop comedy’s Mount Olympus. In today’s society, there’s a push to overly hype the importance of individuals and incidences in an effort to make our mundane existence seem less ordinary. Case in point is Major League Baseball declaring Cal Ripken’s continual game streak the greatest moment in baseball history. Now, was Ripken avoiding injury and showing up for work really more dramatic than the called shot of Babe Ruth or Hank Aaron setting the new home run record? No... but Ripken’s streak was more recent. Was the death of John F. Kennedy Jr. really the tragedy the media claimed it to be? Nope - true tragedies carry long-lasting legacies and repercussions. Slavery was a tragedy. The Holocaust was a tragedy. JFK Jr. was a rich dude who flew into the ocean. About three years have passed since his death and not much has changed. By this token, is Jerry Seinfeld a great comedian? Nah. Is he funny on stage? Sometimes, but not often. Jerry Seinfeld is what he is - a marginal talent who spent years on the road, perfecting his craft, rising to the upper level of mediocrity, ultimately striking TV gold.

But that’s nothing to be ashamed of. After all, in the Land of the Mediocre, the marginal man is king.


[edit on 2/19/2006 by Dr Isaac Yankem DDS]




posted on Feb, 19 2006 @ 03:43 PM
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Funny you write this.
I tried watching a Seinfeld rerun last night.
I wasn't able to do it. Maybeit was just a lousy episode, I don't know.
I don't even like the little theme ditty. I find it annoying.
Kramer is a hoot, and I like Elaine, but Jerry and George....they should have been written out of the show after the second episode.



posted on Feb, 19 2006 @ 03:56 PM
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I totally agree. "What's up with that?"


One sentance for comedy, "Rick James *****."


You can't go wrong with Carlin either.



posted on Feb, 19 2006 @ 04:02 PM
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Are you kidding? You have Lenny Bruce and, him... in the same topic! Lenny Bruce was a great of greats, he was the last man in America to be arrested for using the F word! And on that night someone else was arrested, his name? George Carlin.

But you do have a good point, people like, Him and Tim Allen are mediocre comedians that had a great run with a great idea. Now would those shows have been just as funny with different actors? Probably, their shows were funny because of what was in the show not who was doing it. Of course that is why the shows were so great, the show themself was funny not just the people in it.

Although another great comedian who isn't that great on TV is Dennis Leary. He has had a failed show, another one that may not be renewed for a third season, and his movie appearences aren't the greatest. Also he has some great stuff, Life's Gonna Suck, Elvis is in the Kitchen, and his comedy bits like Beer, Coffee, his Kids, growing up with his dad, I'll never forget those! Going on about how his father cut his tumb till it was hanging on by the skin and tried to tape it back on and would not let his wife drive him to the hospital because it wasn't manly.



posted on Feb, 19 2006 @ 05:03 PM
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I love Seinfeld the TV show...I could watch it over and over again. I don't think I could sit through a Seinfeld comedy show though...his voice can be annoying after awhile and there would be no George or Elaine to break up the madness. George with his parents is just classic....actually...George would have to be my favorite charcater.

When it comes to whitepeople do/blackpeople do jokes there is no one funnier than Cedric the Entertainer. Some of those observations are funny, you gotta admit. The whole Kings of Comedy team is hiliarious to me.

ah, its all relative.



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 01:45 PM
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I have never heard Jerry do it comedy, but I have heard Tim Allen, and I must say he isn't marginal. I find it to be incredible that he had as clean of a TV show as he did.

Dennis Leary's stuff gets old...it doesn't really take to the test of time all that well. The Asshole song is excellent still though.

The one comedian I have seen where the stuff never gets old is Tommy Chong. I have never laughed so hard as when I went and saw him. I didn't even have to smoke pot or drink alcohol...it was great!

Anyway, I love some of the old episodes of Seinfeld, but they are kind of dated. I would prefer to see the same storyline with a more modern dialog, clothes, and other details...

Jeff




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