Comedy gold—-I have discovered Jerry Seinfeld’s jokes, or tiny stories, are even better when read. I can fully absorb the nuances leading to a smooth punchline, being taken by surprise, and bursting into laughter. Fortunately in the comfort of my own home.
Of course, reading a Jerry Seinfeld book filled from cover to cover with his observational comedy written over five decades is best taken in small doses.
There is nothing truly personal in this book so don’t expect an autobiographical exposé of his life. The best you are going to get under the heading of About The Author is “Jerry Seinfeld is a stand-up comedian. He lives in New York City with his family.”
However, his life does subtly unfold throughout the book via his comedy routines, both on and off television. I can relate to most of his observations. Admittedly they don’t always mirror my experiences of life, but do cover a large, unavoidable portion of my existence as a human being.
It is fascinating to read through the decades from 1970s to 2010s. Small bits, longer bits like “The Chicks and the Checks”, an ordinary event turned monumental. And there’s the condensing, the immediacy of his transference, the reveal, the audience reaction he craves on stage. He couldn’t hear me laughing at the six lines of “Earthquake”.
If you’re wondering, the book title “Is This Anything?” is taken from what comedians nervously ask each other about a new bit they have written.
Seinfeld’s stand-up comedy style is a clean, straight-forward, perfectly paced delivery. Always on the funny side, in his 452 page book plus index, he goes from being a young man to a mature adult with a family. Gradually the content and tone of the jokes change, a kitchen sponge talks, technology invades and “Device Dictatorship” rules but the entertainment is always there.
It is not necessary to have watched his television series “Seinfeld” but as I read, I heard his voice in my head.
I guess maybe that’s a good thing…
♥ Gretchen Bernet-Ward