61 user 47 critic

Comedian (2002)

1:29 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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.


2 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Live from New York City, Jerry Seinfeld, aided and abetted by a host of friends and fellow comedians, performs his 1998 Emmy-nominated performance on Broadway.

Director: Marty Callner
Stars: Jerry Seinfeld, Michael Barryte, Grace Bustos
Jerry Before Seinfeld (TV Special 2017)
Documentary | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld takes the stage at the comedy club where he began his career to recount his early life.

Director: Michael Bonfiglio
Stars: Jerry Seinfeld, Jimmy Brogan, Mark Schiff
Orny Adams: More than Loud (TV Movie 2017)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In his new stand-up special, Orny Adams fluctuates between the relevant and the absurd, attacking what's wrong with the world and at times including what's wrong with him.

Director: Scott Moran
Stars: Orny Adams
Comedy | Talk-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Jerry Seinfeld is joined by friends for a cup of coffee and a drive in a classic car, sharing stories all along the way.

Stars: Jerry Seinfeld, Jimmy Fallon, Michael Richards
Dave Chappelle: Equanimity (TV Special 2017)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Dave talks about not actually growing up in the projects, the hate he received from the transgender community, and from fake news.

Director: Stan Lathan
Stars: Dave Chappelle, Donnell Rawlings
Judd Apatow: The Return (TV Special 2017)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Judd Apatow returns to stand-up comedy after 25 years, riffing on living with three women, amusing moments from his career and much more.

Director: Marcus Raboy
Stars: Judd Apatow
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A behind-the-scenes look at how Jim Carrey adopted the persona of idiosyncratic comedian Andy Kaufman on the set of Man on the Moon (1999).

Director: Chris Smith
Stars: Jim Carrey, Danny DeVito, Milos Forman
Documentary | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Dave jokes about the sexual assaults dominating the 2017 entertainment news and how and why people allow themselves to be abused.

Director: Stan Lathan
Stars: Dave Chappelle
Chris Rock: Tamborine (TV Special 2018)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Chris Rock takes the stage in Brooklyn for a comedy special filled with searing observations on fatherhood, infidelity and American politics.

Director: Bo Burnham
Stars: Chris Rock


Cast overview, first billed only:
Himself (as Greg Geraldo)
Sherrod Small ...
Cynthia Koury ...
Himself (as T Sean Shannon)
Gary Greenberg ...
Shawn Seymour ...
Richard Spector ...
Michael Britt ...


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 <shannon@mun.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Without a doubt, the single most horrifying movie you'll ever see. (If you want to be a stand up comedian) See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

1 November 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Anatomy of a Joke  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$60,224, 13 October 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,744,253, 22 December 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Interestingly, the funny in-joke teaser trailer for the film has nothing to do with its subject, doesn't feature any scenes or characters from the documentary nor does it ever mention what the movie is even about. It instead follows a trailer narrator called Jack (played by the legendary movie trailer narrator Hal Douglas who along with Don LaFontaine and Nick Tate narrated the trailers for almost every single big Hollywood blockbuster during the 1990's), who's in a recording booth trying to record the opening narration for the trailer for the Comedian, but since the film is not a typical Hollywood blockbuster, Jack is simply unable to find the right non-epic wording that would properly describe such a normal non-blockbuster movie. See more »


Orny Adams: [showing his folders of jokes] If I'm doing a show and being Jewish, I can pull out the Jewish stuff. If I want to do dating, I can do dating.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits end, there's a short scene in which Colin Quinn tells Seinfeld a very old joke. See more »


References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »


Lament 1 (Bird's Lament)
Written by Moondog (as Louis Hardin)
Published by Archimedes Music (ASCAP)
Administered for the World by Don Williams Music Group, Inc.
Performed by Moondog and Orchestra
Courtesy of Sony Classical
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

A Stand-Up Kind Of Guy
3 June 2008 | by See all my reviews

After cocreating and starring for nine years in THE sitcom of the '90s, and rightfully earning hundreds of millions of dollars doing so, funnyman Jerry Seinfeld did not do what I would have done; namely, lay in a hammock by the ocean for the rest of his life. To his great credit, Seinfeld decided to go back to what he loves most: doing stand-up material in front of an audience. Director Christian Charles' 2002 documentary "Comedian," it must be stated, is not so much a performance film as it is a primer in how very difficult it is to put an hour's worth of "killer" material together. This is not a Jerry Seinfeld biography, but rather a collection of glimpses into the lives of working comics. During the course of the film, as Jerry painstakingly--and sometimes painfully--puts his new act together, he talks to such established names as Jay Leno, Gary Shandling, Bill Cosby (his childhood hero, apparently), Robert Klein (whose joke about Florida may be the film's funniest) and Ray Romano. For contrast, perhaps half the film is taken up by the travails of a talented and cocky aspiring comic named Orny Adams, whose various struggles really show us how difficult the comedy business can be. I mean, here it is, more than six years since Orny's Letterman debut, and he is still hardly a household name, right? The net result for most viewers will most likely be a realization of how hard it is to just get up there and tell jokes; forget about making it big in the business! On the down side, "Comedian" features excessively choppy editing, overlapped dialogue that is often hard to make out, and just not enough actual performance footage. The film does have a cumulative effect, however, and the sum does wind up equalling more than its many jagged parts. "Not that there's anything wrong with that."

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 61 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Watch the Latest Episode of "The IMDb Show"

Zach Braff tackles acting and directing on his new show "Alex, Inc.," and we take a look at the 15 most bingeable TV shows of all time.

Watch the show