Many comedians cover similar material in discussing relationships and observational humor.
Tom Papa demonstrated that well enough in 15 minutes warming up the packed Wang Theatre crowd for Jerry Seinfeld last night. Of course, Papa’s NBC sitcom only lasted a few episodes, while Seinfeld’s has been heralded as one of TV’s best ever, and continues to prove its mirthful mettle nightly in syndication on stations across the country.
But that’s not the only reason Seinfeld can bound onstage without an introduction and garner an enormous roar of audience approval.
Sure, plenty of other comedians tell jokes about Cialis or cereals, just as Seinfeld did last night. Where he always has stood out from the stand-up pack has been in his presentation — deconstructing the details of an observation to the very essence of its lunacy.
An extended bit about the process of how items become garbage segues into asides about eBay ("Why don’t we mail our garbage back and forth across the country?") and the irony in the collectibles market, to another segue into death and the art of being buried with your possessions ("They say you can’t take it with you. I say you can!"). That’s what still makes Seinfeld, for lack of a better cliche, the master of this domain.
Some jokes you’ve likely heard before, but that doesn’t make his take on prescription drugs any less funny than watching a Seinfeld episode for the umpteenth time.
Now 51, married with three young children, he wondered aloud why he has to go to all of his children’s friends’ birthday parties. He also tackled humanity’s increasing laziness and how a man’s voice apparently changes once he gets married.
Seinfeld followed his 70-minute set by answering the most predictable audience questions and non sequiturs. Naturally, he doesn’t see anything wrong with that.