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Comedian (2002)

Trailer
1:29 | Trailer

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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.

Director:

Christian Charles
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Seinfeld ... Himself
Greg Giraldo ... Himself (as Greg Geraldo)
Sherrod Small Sherrod Small ... Himself
Jim Norton ... Himself
Allan Havey ... Himself
Colin Quinn ... Himself
Cynthia Koury Cynthia Koury ... Herself
Orny Adams ... Himself
George Wallace ... Himself
Robert Klein ... Himself
T. Sean Shannon ... Himself (as T Sean Shannon)
Gary Greenberg Gary Greenberg ... Himself
Shawn Seymour Shawn Seymour ... Himself
Richard Spector Richard Spector ... Himself
Michael Britt Michael Britt ... Himself
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

You'll laugh, you'll cry. And it'll be because you missed the point completely. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

July 2003 (Norway) See more »

Also Known As:

Anatomy of a Joke See more »

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Orny Adams: See, I'm not a 100% confident about this stuff and that's what kills me. If you're not 100% behind this you can't sell it.
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 »

Connections

References The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Can't You Hear Me Knocking
Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards
Published by Abkco Music, Inc. (BMI)
Performed by The Rolling Stones
Courtesy of Promoton B.V./Virgin Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Interesting backstage glimpse at a comic's life
3 November 2002 | by Buddy-51See all my reviews

The documentary `Comedian' provides a nuts-and-bolts, behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of the stand-up comic. While it features a sea of familiar faces - Ray Romano, Gary Shandling, Chris Rock, Jay Leno, Bill Cosby - making what turn out to be little more than cameo appearances, the film focuses almost exclusively on two figures from the comedy nightclub scene: one well known, Jerry Seinfeld, and the other an up-and-coming, potential new star named Orny Adams. `Comedian' derives much of its meaning from the ironic juxtaposition of these two men. Seinfeld is a man who has managed to achieve what, for any comedian, would be the pinnacle of success – fame, fortune and international celebrity status - yet he still finds himself riddled with personal doubts and feelings of inadequacy every time he gets up to perform on stage. Adams, who has yet to get that `big break,' somehow comes across as much more cocky, arrogant and self-assured than Seinfeld – although Adams, too, confesses that he may indeed be a harsher critic of his own performance than are the members of his audience.

`Comedian' was originally shot on video and transferred to 35 MM film, a fact that accounts for the dark, blurry, grainy quality of the picture. Most of the film's time is spent backstage with the comics as they air their views on their chosen profession, their colleagues, their personal idols, their various demons, their need to perform, their drive for perfection and their harsh, overly critical evaluation of their own skills and talents that often lead them into bouts of serious depression (Adams seems particularly prone to such reactions). These scenes are interspersed with brief snippets of some of their stand-up routines, which, surprisingly, seem rather devoid of laughs (Seinfeld has always struck me as more funny on his TV series than he ever has been on stage). One also notices that the world of the stand-up comedian in this film is strictly an Old Boys Club. Perhaps, we will one day be treated to a sequel entitled `Comedienne' to give the distaff side of the profession its due.

`Comedian' is a very short film – it runs a mere 81 minutes – and, as a result, it feels a little superficial at times and even truncated at the end. We would like to see a bit more of the lives of these two men – Adams, in particular, seems to disappear from the film a bit prematurely – but it is a must-see for anyone interested in this unusual branch of the entertainment field. The film will make you view stand-up comedy in a whole new light.


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