A look at the work of two stand-up comics, Jerry Seinfeld and a lesser-known newcomer, detailing the effort and frustration behind putting together a successful act and career while living a life on the road.
Fresh from the success of his sitcom, comedian Jerry Seinfeld decided to do the unimaginable: he completely retired his stand-up act, electing to start over again by developing entirely new material. "Comedian" follows Seinfeld through this process, as he rehearses in front of small comedy club audiences, meets with fellow comics and finally appears before a national audience. Written by
Shannon Patrick Sullivan <email@example.com>
The equivalent for a normal person would be to go into work each day in your underwear and try and do your job that you normally do. All of a sudden you can't do anything. That's how a comedian feels when he's doing a new bit.
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After the credits end, there's a short scene in which Colin Quinn tells Seinfeld a very old joke. See more »
Written by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker
Published by Universal-MCA Music Publishing (ASCAP), a Division of Universal Studios, Inc.
Performed by Steely Dan
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises See more »
This is a fine documentary about what it takes to make it in this business. Comedy is a very difficult business. Think about it. How many movies have you seen lately that inspire real laughter that don't involve seamen or feces. You wouldn't believe it, but here is a guy that is surely going to be a billionaire by the time he retires and he is nervous as hell backstage. You would think that a guy like Seinfeld would just be able to get up there and do a 10 minute act like nothing. After all he is a genius, isn't he??? But no. He is constantly refining his material, getting heckled and trying jokes that get little laughs. Who would have thought?
The documentary features another comedian that is up and coming by the name of Orny Adams. The guy is completely neurotic, paranoid and cannot handle criticism in the least bit. Seinfeld is seen several times with him drinking beer and eating fries. The temptation is to think that Seinfeld sees himself 20 years ago in Adams. More like he sees himself now in Adams, still a nervous wreck. Seinfeld is not treated godlike at all by his peers, but rather, well like a peer.
There is a great scene where Chris Rock describes an act he saw where a man did two 2-hour shows a day without an opening act and without an intermission with constant killer material. The man is Bill Cosby. Robert Klein and George Carlin might have been the forerunners of this industry but Bill Cosby is the god that everyone is amazed by and later Seinfeld gets to meet him and is very quite while Bill is giving advise.
This is a great documentary that shows it is far more difficult than it looks and it has some very funny moments as well.
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