Comic Relief: Jerry Seinfeld Keeps the Silliness Going
Jerry Seinfeld Comes to San Diego in January!
On Friday, January 15th, comedy icon Jerry Seinfeld will regale lucky San Diego Civic Theatre audiences with his familiar, always relatable standup routine as part of his national and international tour, which runs through June 2016.
Touted as “America’s premier comedian,” the Brooklyn–born Seinfeld has been diligent in creating his own new performance material since his wildly popular TV sitcom Seinfeld, in which he played a semi–fictional version of himself, said its fond farewell 17 years ago.
Concurrent with his tour, the energetic comedian has signed on for a six–show residency at New York’s Beacon Theatre, titled Jerry Seinfeld: The Homestand, which he will perform in Manhattan once a month, from January through June. Evidently he has no qualms about being in two places almost simultaneously.
Seinfeld credits another great performer, Billy Joel, from whom he purchased his second New York home in East Hampton, for motivating the comedian’s decision to take on his Beacon Theatre residency. The iconic singer has performed monthly in residence at Madison Square Garden since January of 2014. Inspired by Joel’s residency, Seinfeld has said he remains open to continue his own residency beyond its present end date in June.
“Jerry Seinfeld is one of the most influential and respected comedians of all time,” says James L. Dolan, executive chairman of Madison Square Garden Company, which also owns the New York Knicks and Rangers sports teams. Dolan cites Seinfeld’s groundbreaking hit series, as well as the comedian’s recent venture, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, for irreversibly changing the landscape of modern stand–up and TV comedy.
“When I was ten years old, I started watching stand-up comedians on TV,” Seinfeld says. “I fell in love with them and I’m just as fascinated with stand–up comedy today.”
Seinfeld’s influence on other comedians is also significant. Contemporary comic Kevin Hart, creator of the TV series Real Husbands of Hollywood, credits Jerry Seinfeld as one of five top comedians who most inspired him. “People don’t understand, what he did for TV was a simple idea and he set the bar for what people would eventually want to make doing stand–up comedy,” Hart says.
Destined to become a “forever” classic, Seinfeld portrayed a character who gave audiences an insider’s view of the details of a stand–up comic’s way of life. Rather than being a “show about nothing,” the sitcom presents daily minutiae that provide a deeper understanding of what makes a comedian tick, with an engaging observational silliness that focuses on personal relationships and on social situations that are cringe–worthy but engaging. “Seinfeld was our generation’s beacon calling us all together,” says comedian Pete Holmes. “It was like a Comic–Con for comedy dorks that you didn’t have to leave the house for.”
That view of the nitty–gritty of a comedian’s life is now influencing the so–called Millennials, whose fascination with comedy is causing a resurgence of interest in the genre. “Millennials have a deeper connection to comedy than previous generations,” says Chanon Cook, head of research at Comedy Central. And since a major portion of the slice of life portrayed in the show is represented through dialogue, members of the present generation are eager to lap up the characters’ intimate and revealing conversations depicting the popular culture of Seinfeld’s life and times.
Hart is quick to emphasize the importance of Seinfeld’s contribution to comedy, TV and the ability of comedians to become highly successful. “He took stand–up comedy and took an idea to television and was ground–breaking for TV,” he says. “To make $1 million an episode for a stand–up comedian’s idea is unheard of. He lasted so long doing it and now still goes and does what he loves.”
That is exactly what Seinfeld will be doing for comedy aficionados in San Diego in this rare opportunity to witness his genius up close and in person. “Somewhere out there are ten year olds like I was, just waiting to get hooked on this strange pursuit,” says Seinfeld. “This is for them. I’m just hoping somehow it will keep this silliness going.”
Tickets for Seinfeld’s two January 15th performances are available online; by phone at the Civic Theatre Ticket Office (619-570-1100); or via Ticketmaster (800-982-2787).