If people were tired of seeing Jerry Seinfeld seemingly everywhere this month, it didn’t show Friday night for either him or the 4,000 cheering fans at Caesars Palace for The Comedy Festival, where he was introduced to the stage as "the star of the number one movie in America."
After opening with a couple of Vegas jokes, Seinfeld got to work with a workmanlike precision and also a physicality I hadn’t remembered seeing from him, crumbling to the floor during a comparison of how your life battery syncs up with your cell-phone battery, as well as acting out several other bits. When comedians get too rich and famous, they sometimes cannot get away with the same types of observational humor that helped them get laughs on their way up. Seinfeld knows this and built his set list accordingly, by taking a bit about the narrowing gap between "great" and "sucks" to his own life. "Now I’m sure (my life) doesn’t suck as much as yours…but it does!" He went to great lengths to demonstrate his humanity — that I’m just like you quality — throughout his 55-minute set. Despite the constant shout-outs from the audience who think they’re expressing their love but only disrupting the show. Seinfeld must be more than used to this by now, and used one shouter to talk about his own "random thoughts" that include both suicide fantasies and homocide fantasies. He also talked about his 89-year-old mother, his wife and his children, though he did not mention any of the recent headlines about his wife’s new cookbook.
Seinfeld also returned to some things that seem to have piqued his curiosity for years now, from people continuing to remind us "to wait for the beep" to intricately analyzing several common phrases that use the word "ass" and how everything we buy begins a "long parade to junk."
Mario Joyner, one of his longtime openers and seen on those odd NBC snippets promoting Bee Movie, got the crowd into laughing shape with a 17-minute set that included plenty of Vegas material, as well as bits on cell phones and the fact that he’s remained single into his 40s. Seinfeld covered a couple of these topics, too, but no one seemed bothered by that.
When Seinfeld tours, he often comes back onstage for an encore and audience Q-and-A that normally revolves entirely around his late NBC sitcom. None of that on this night. Could’ve been because they had to clear the house for Chris Rock later that night, could’ve been because of all the shout-outs during the show. Either way, everyone left happy.