The New York Post quoted me yesterday for an article they wanted to write about how Jerry Seinfeld is also a victim of the so-called "Seinfeld curse," except my opinions didn't exactly jibe with their premise.
You see, in my world-view, Jerry Seinfeld simply loves being a stand-up comedian — his sitcom was even about Jerry Seinfeld being a stand-up comedian — and as I pointed out to the reporter, that sitcom got panned at its start before everyone decided they loved it more than any other sitcom. His documentary, Comedian, earned him even more respect in the comedy community. And anything he has done since then, outside of touring (the Post reporter didn't know that Seinfeld has been touring theaters regularly each year), has been because of an idea he has had that he wanted to see become a reality. So this new vanity project, The Marriage Ref, should be seen in that light. Anyhow. The trades are reporting today that last night's one-hour "debut" of the show pulled in half of the audience of its Olympic-sized sneak preview, but still won the 10 p.m. Thursday hour in the demo over The Mentalist and Private Practice.
It's still far from perfect. And I wish that Tom Papa got to do more. He is the host, after all. But in the past week of big promotional pushing — from Oprah to Letterman and everywhere else — Seinfeld continues to be the face of The Marriage Ref. It's his show. NBC knows people want to see him. So he gets all the face time. In the case of Letterman this week, Seinfeld also reminded us that he's first and foremost a stand-up comedian, doing a new routine (in the middle of the show) before doing panel talk with Dave. Roll the clip.