Jerry Before Seinfeld (2017) Poster

(2017 TV Special)

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7/10
Nothing amazing, but still a nice and amusing way to spend an hour
Jeremy_Urquhart26 September 2017
Jerry Seinfeld's clearly a pro comes when it comes to comedy, and even if he's telling jokes that aren't among his strongest or best, I still find them entertaining (as is the case here). Most of Jerry Before Seinfeld shows Jerry telling jokes from throughout his career, while small sections where he reflects on his past and his beginnings in comedy are interspersed throughout his routine.

This special is a little on the short side, and likely won't blow anyone's expectations, but fans of Jerry Seinfeld will likely get something out of it. Most jokes worked for me personally, even if nothing really proved to be 'laugh out loud' funny.

There were only a couple of parts that I thought misfired. There's a short section where two of Jerry's friends reminisce with him about doing comedy in the 1970s, which felt a little awkward and forced, and then another part shortly after, where somebody in the audience calls out something related to baseball, which Jerry then springboards off and begins a lengthy joke about sports teams. If this was intended to feel spontaneous or unscripted, it didn't really.

Still, I can't be too negative about watching this, because it was enjoyable enough and, like I said, most of it worked fairly well. Also, I've always admired Jerry Seinfeld's ability to be funny without being raunchy or swearing a whole lot, even though I personally don't really have a problem with bad language in comedy (if I did, there wouldn't be too many comedians I could listen to!) I guess his relatively clean comedy serves as a nice change of pace, and maybe even adds to the casual, relaxed feeling of a comedy special such as this one.
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7/10
Jerry still got it!
bettycjung6 October 2017
10/4/17. While I never really watched Seinfeld, I did catch bits and pieces when my kids watched it (they are die-hard fans). I decided to watch his stand up and it is pretty much like the series. He is funny, and clean, too. You will enjoy him more if you are native New Yorker. One hour of comedy that is definitely worth the watch.
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A treat to watch
Kingslaay30 September 2017
While I was expecting more of a background to how Jerry got his start into Comedic stardom or even a mixture of that with his act it was still a treat to watch him perform. His stand up as always was first class. We were treated to great material that was effortlessly delivered by the master. I am so glad Netflix gave us this wonderful special amidst all their other shows. Seinfeld is a class act who has distinguished himself in the comedic and entertainment world. He gave us the greatest TV show of all time, Seinfeld and has continued to conquer the stand up and comedic world. We saw some snippets into his life before making it big but it was really a treat to watch him perform and own the stage.
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5/10
An uncomfortable experience at best
sanabeer19 October 2017
Jerry Seinfeld is no doubt one of the original kings of clean comedy and we remember him for this stand-ups pieces from Seinfeld. Even his special, post Seinfeld was tight. However, this offering from Jerry doesn't even come close.

Jerry is aging and that is no secret. However, it is evident from the lack of energy in his routine. Jerry has tried to transition to the seasoned comic routines that the likes of George Carlin specialized in, where the comics talk about their experiences a lot and crib about everything. However, without the aggression of Carlin and the comic relevance of Louis CK, this particular stand-up is more of a miss than a hit. Most of the special focuses on his experiences and only a few punch lines are funny. And those are the jokes from several previous specials.

Some of the lines lack humor to the extent of making you cringe. People used to say the Jerry's comedy was for the sheep and I was one of them. His mainstream comedy has transitioned into an unfunny narrative that is selectively laced with mild humor.

Watch it for Jerry, if you have to. If you miss it, you wouldn't be missing much. If like me, you want to remember Jerry in a different light, avoid watching at any cost.
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7/10
"We grew up like wild dogs in The Sixties!"
classicsoncall10 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Not much love on this board for this Jerry Seinfeld Netflix special. To be honest, I haven't seen any of his prior stand-up specials, so there's no comparison I can make. I thought 'Seinfeld', the TV show was a blast once it got beyond the first season. After that I became a regular viewer.

This routine takes place at 'The Comic Strip', the New York City club where Jerry got his start in 1976, working for hamburgers and loving every minute of it. His observations about every day life contain humor because the stuff he zeroes in on is so mundane yet so true to one's personal experience. I'd have to agree with other posters though, this was somewhat of a low energy show, and it didn't feel like a whole lot 'new' was presented here.

But hey, it's Jerry Seinfeld, and if you've had all you can take of the screamers and vulgar mouthed 'comedians' working today, this special is passable enough to while away an hour or so. You could do worse with your time.
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2/10
The answer to a question nobody asked
ciaranmarley25 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"Don't believe in the sixties, the golden age of pop, you glorify the past, when the future dries up" screamed a younger, angrier Bono. Decades later he would prove his own point when he and the boys would decide to embark on what is tantamount to a 'greatest hits' world tour. It is this deliberate milking of nostalgia which seems to be the thinking behind the release of 'Jerry before Seinfeld'.

Rather than a two hour rock concert that blows the back off the world's stadia we are instead given a 62 minute cringe-fest as Jerry showcases the material that got him to where he is today. Quite sadly, 'where he is today' translates into being right back at the Comic Strip in New York where he started doing the same jokes as he did in the seventies.

Let me be frank, this is weak stuff. I would imagine even back in the day this was fairly weak and safe material but as Jerry repeatedly tells us in the cut away sequences that punctuate the act, he didn't care. He didn't care if the audiences didn't like him personally. He didn't care if he bombed. He was living the life he wanted to live as a stand up comedian and that's what mattered most to him.

To some this might be a quasi inspirational sentiment but in Jerry's case it comes off as self indulgent and self satisfied. No more is this accurately highlighted than the sequence where all the pages of all the jokes that Jerry has ever written are stretched out end to end on a city street. Jerry sits in the middle of this, chooses a page at random (please!) and reads out the joke there upon. The sequence ends with Jerry laughing at his own joke and we are returned to the slow death that is the live gig. Children of New York you may not go out and play on your bikes today, Seinfeld is re-living his glory days all the way up the street.

This is not cutting edge stuff, jokes about losing one sock in the laundry never were in my book. There is also a straight, almost verbatim steal of a Billy Connolly joke somewhere around the final third which really annoyed me. With the exception of his cameo role on 'Louis' I've never had any particular love for Seinfeld before this show, now I have no love or respect. I'm sure he'll lose little sleep about it.

Apparently this is one of two planned specials commissioned by Netflix. Even if the next one turns out to be all new material I certainly won't be watching.

This was plain old awful.

The End. (hopefully)
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5/10
It disappointed me big time!
MrBobWhite24 September 2017
I really like Seinfeld and I love Seinfeld the TV show. But this special really disappointed me simply because most of the jokes(70% in my rough estimate) are old material. I am talking about jokes from Seinfeld the TV show. I do understand that this is special is about his history but I can't help to think he should have included way more new material.
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7/10
A one hour comedy show with the same charm, but with no new material
siderite17 October 2017
I am a big fan of the Seinfeld show and of Jerry's sense of humor. When I saw that he did a new thing for 2017 I absolutely had to see it. But it was nothing new. Just him talking about his childhood and his life in New York for a few scenes, and the rest of this one hour show he just does stand up. Which was fine, only I knew about 90% of the material just by watching the Seinfeld TV show.

And then there is the voice thing. I don't know what happened to him, but at some time he would just raise his voice a little bit and it would come out all shrill and broken. In this show he managed to keep it under control, but not all the time.

Bottom line: I always enjoy Seinfeld, but I expected some more depth in something that was about his personal life and was marketed as "before Seinfeld". I understand he took all the good bits and put them in the TV show and he couldn't have made another show just with the bad material, but still, I wanted to see him write again, not just reminisce about the good jokes he thought of when he was a kid. Maybe next time.
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8/10
Pre-Jerry
NikkoFranco22 May 2018
People who are expecting new material will be disappointed. The title says it all. These are glimpses or insights into a part of Jerry before he became THE SEINFELD. It is shown in fragments of him on stage as well providing us reels of him as a child, how his family is, just a normal kid. Perhaps it will be easier for the new viewer not to take things too literally and get to know him a bit. Which is the purpose of this docuspecial anyways. It is interesting to take into account that Jerry the normal kid became such a megacomedian if say you want to compare him to other superstar comedians who came from the slums, poverty and the likes. His normalcy gave him an edge, clean cut you may say but a funny genius nonetheless.
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10/10
How is it to see al your comedian life before you ?
v_irascu31 March 2018
It can be sad. Or it can be a moment from where you can draw conclusion for your future life. Jerry is an artist that wins the audience over since the moment he goes on stage and that is, arguably, more profound than any other comedian. This appearance is a goodbye to the stage life and a welcome to his post-showbiz life. To conclude, Jerry is an artist that knew when to quit and left a legacy that can't be topped.
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6/10
A Nice Look Back With Modest Humor
AudioFileZ28 January 2018
When a comic goes back and does his old schtick sometimes it doesn't quite impress as it did when it was topical and fresh. Jerry Seinfeld can, at least in front of a home crowd, re-do his old act and still hold an audience's interest. Will it be the same for everyone who became fans mostly built on his humor in the Seinfeld series is another matter. What will be appreciated is that it's clean and not in any way reaching. Jerry is just doing young Jerry and he's definitely not trying too hard...and, he's still funny to an acceptable degree. But, for a standup comedy video act this isn't overly funny. As a straight comedy video it's even kind of pedestrian. As a look-back with his early act it works much better which is the point.

What's clear is that Jerry always has been a wry observer for whom everything should be questioned to find some absurdity. Jerry does this as good as anyone and definitely has his own style. I'd like to see a less reined-in Seinfeld with material that looks at today's absurdities in his unique style. Maybe that will be the second installment of his specials? For now it is good to see him on stage and having a good time with some modest amount of humor laced with a few killer observations. I think as a fun little look back at his early years it succeeds so don't be expecting a revelatory "Jerry's Back" act. Seinfeld, especially for what he did with his series, is definitely one of the finest comedians of any time.
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5/10
Disappointing
bandukda8430 October 2017
I love his brand of comedy and was really looking froward to this. however as much as i wanted to like it it was the same old jokes all over again from his previous specials with a lot less enthusiasm. I know he likes to go back to his old goldies but they should at least have a new prelude/spin. Better off watching the old specials again.
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6/10
Just okay
xhindik22 January 2019
It had some pretty good jokes. But not really a story line or a pattern to follow
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7/10
A plaisant catch-up
cathylr23 September 2018
As an old fan of the series Seinfeld, it was nice to see the comedian again, speak about his first steps. However, as a former fan, I couldn´t help but notice that most of the jokes he is referring to were already in the show. So I am not sure whether the targetted audience is the former Seinfeld fans and to play on the nostalgic part, or the new generation that may never have heard of him and may want to discover his works. This being said, Jerry Seinfeld is still a great comedian who still shows the same enthousiasm as in the past and caught me into in his monologues with pleasure. I just wished there had been more new materials.
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A solid if familiar set, but has good pace and flow as well as a hatful of good laughs
bob the moo27 August 2018
I learnt of this special when it was mentioned in an episode of the new Comedians in Cars season - before that I had never heard it was out there; perhaps this was the reason for the mention, but I doubt it. The special is somewhat of a trip down memory lane, as Seinfeld does a show at the club he started at, and that show is framed as memories from the time, as well as pulling material from his past too. In this way it feels very familiar, although I am not sure it is the material so much as the many himself. His presence and cultural impact via his show very much means he has no tricks left to pull other than the ones we know. As such I'm not sure he has a gear that would now be seen as pushing the envelope.

So, it is familiar and he seems to know that, hence the comfortable approach to the material. His delivery is good, and even though on paper the subjects and observations are all over the place, it actually flows very well and stands up well as a whole. I've read comments saying it is low energy and not 'classic' Seinfeld but I think that the problem is that it very much is 'classic' Seinfeld - and we know what that is and how it works. As such the show is overly familiar and delivers no more than we expected, even if it is funny and professional throughout.
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9/10
great comedian, but is he living up to his potential?
aldunisch24 July 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Seinfeld has always brung up superman at one point or another, he even knew a lois on his tv show. why has he not wroye a superman film? lets hear it from his point of view!
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5/10
Not sure what I expected
fixxx-informal9 July 2018
I felt disappointed. The material is too .. weak, I guess. Calling this a Comedy Special, gives actual comedy specials a bad name. Just call it a Special, cause that's what it is.
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4/10
Nah, this was a swing and a miss for me...
paul_haakonsen9 June 2018
Jerry Seinfeld is definitely a seasoned stand-up comedian, for sure. But he is just not all that funny,. And that is a statement that I will stick to. In fact, I didn't even laugh once throughout this hour of comedy. all he managed to get was some smiles here and there.

His material in terms of jokes and punchlikes is well thought through, but it just was a swing and a miss as in regards my sense of humor.

He was funny in the "Seinfeld" show, and that is why I decided to sit down to watch the "Jerry Before Seinfeld" stand-up comedy show. And with it now seen, then I can honestly say that I am in no way motivated to go sit down and watch his other stand-up comedy shows.
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8/10
Awesome story of the early Jerry
packernet5 April 2018
I loved this! Jerry back to his roots. If you were expecting new material you apparently didn't read the title of the show. However, I didn't see Seinfeld before his show so most of this was all new to me. Love how the early jokes ended up being one of the most successful TV shows of all time.
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Boring and a bit sad.
OrangieTooDope28 September 2017
Jerry Seinfeld was never funny, that's a fact. His sitcom was funny because Larry David and several other people who are actually funny wrote it. That's how the industry works. Only the worst comedians can have success on television. Romano, Leno, Degeneres, O'Donnell, Roseanne, I could list them all day. Can you name a good comedian who had a sitcom last more than one season? No you can't. If you are surprised this special isn't funny, you haven't been paying attention to life.
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5/10
My cameo in Jerry Before Seinfeld
japiketo7 October 2017
One recent Sunday night, my nephew sent me a text with a screenshot of a photo taken of me in the early 80s, when I worked at the Comic Strip in New York City. That's where Jerry performed as a comedian at the start of his career and the setting for Jerry Before Seinfeld. My nephew was watching the film on Netflix, saw the photo and recognized me immediately. When I saw this picture of 'young me' in his text, I was stunned. At first I wondered how the producers could use it without asking my permission. And then I wondered about the context for which it was used. So I watched the show with this in mind. Until I saw the photo, I laughed a lot (hence the rating of 5). But seeing myself in the context in which the photo was presented made me feel sick. At the risk of writing anything that resembles a spoiler, I won't describe that context but I will say it hurt me profoundly. And the insinuation surrounding the photo is, in fact, untrue. It's deeply egotistical on Jerry's part, in fact. The whole 'bit' feels like it was done at my expense, and that seems pathetic to me. As well, when I think of the millions (Jerry was reportedly paid $100,000,000!)that were spent on this film, and the time and effort spent on retrieving archival tape and photos, the fact that no one sought my permission(and I am not that hard to find) is indicative of the utter disregard that the producers had for me as a person and for their portrayal of me(albeit momentarily) in this film. I think using me this way was shameful and so incredibly unnecessary. The film benefited not one iota from it, and its disregard for another being is deeply uncharacteristic of the Jerry who, at the beginning of his career, sat in my living room and dreamt aloud about having a one-bedroom apartment, a sign that he had 'made it.'
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7/10
Slick and accomplished observational comedy
shakercoola23 February 2019
American stand-up comedian Jerry Seinfeld revisits the Comic Strip club, a small nightclub where he cut his teeth as a comic in 1976 before going on to international success as actor, comedian, producer and director. The material is pleasingly nostalgic and funny and one gets the feeling that the secret to his success has been down to his sunny disposition and laid back persona.
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3/10
Not funny then, not funny now
theskuj29 January 2019
I gave this about 15 minutes, but it was just brutal. A comedic idiot on display.
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