Comedian (***)

Posted on November 15th, 2002 in Movie Reviews by EngineerBoy

Comedian tells the story of Jerry Seinfeld trying to rebuild his comedy act after retiring his classic material in one last Broadway show (see “I’m Telling You For The Last Time!”). The film is documentary-style, and also includes the parallel story of a young, up-and-coming comedian named Orney Adams.

I found the movie to be a fascinating look at the professional life of stand-up comics. At one point, another comedian asks Seinfeld how long he’s been working on his new material, and Seinfeld says four months. The comedian then asks how many “minutes” he has, and Jerry says 20. Four months work for “20 solid minutes”. All the comics seem to be searching for the holy grail of an hour of solid material, which allows the comedian to be the “showcase”. It’s very revealing to see Seinfeld unsure of himself and his material, struggling to find the right timing and weed out the bad material. Even though it is a flattering look at Seinfeld, it is not a reverential treatment.

If you like Seinfeld, stand-up comedy, or the artistic/creative process, check this movie out to see a realistic look at the life of a performer.

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