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>
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 »
Last year I thought I had lupus, has that happened to you yet? I was on the bus and I saw an ad, "Chances are that somebody on the bus has lupus." I look around, I'm the only one on the bus.
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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 »
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."
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