Jerry Seinfeld (Fox Theatre Atlanta) still mines humor out of seemingly tired topics

Sorry. I didn’t bring in a camera to the Fox Theatre concert and I was too far back for my iPhone to do much. So this is from last November. He hasn’t changed much in five months. CREDIT: Getty Images

This was posted Saturday, April 8, 2017 by Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

If you had a whiteboard and started throwing up topics that stand-up comics have used and overused to the point of tedium, they’d include subjects like:

  • How husbands don’t listen to their wives
  • Smartphones making people dumber.
  • How his parents fed him crap cereal when he was a kid
  • The horribleness of TV dinners
  • The absurdity of bathroom stalls with gaps so you can see your shoes
  • Movie theaters that ask you to pick up after yourself
  • Using golf to avoid your family

Then there’s Jerry Seinfeld. At the Fox Theatre Friday night during the early show, he managed to take those topics and more and make them funny – if not necessarily fresh. (He did an extended riff on the never fresh food item Pop Tarts, marveling over the invention as a child, pretending to be Moses momentarily pretending to hold up two Pop Tarts like tablets.)

Who cares?  For a Seinfeld show, it’s less about the actual jokes themselves but his delivery, with his high-pitched cadence, his exasperated tones, his frantic body language, his knowing wink of an eye. It’s First World kvetching.

Nearly two decades after the end of “Seinfeld,” the 62-year-old Seinfeld himself took command of the stage and never let go over 70 minutes that left you hungry for more – even for Hungry Man TV dinners.

He doesn’t do current news. (He made an exception about the I-85 bridge collapse up front. “I heard that someone lit a joint and the bridge collapsed!”) He doesn’t do politics. (The name Trump was not uttered even in passing.) He doesn’t name drop all his celebrity buddies. He doesn’t promote his “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” series. And sex was nowhere to be found, much less a genuine double entendre. And he made, at best, a passing mention of the show that made him famous and very very rich.

Bottom line: Seinfeld does what he knows best: observational humor, like wondering why people say “It is what it is.,” an inane comment that can fit any occasion when someone has no consequential opinion about something. Or why he, as a guy, has never had a single need for a cotton ball – yet his wife uses a million of them.

In the end, his kvetching is bit of a put on. He’s not Larry David. Even when he tries to go acidic, it’s hard to feel any real bite.

“Everyone’s lives suck,” he said early on.”Your life sucks. My life sucks too.” Then after a pause, he smiled bemusedly: “Perhaps not quite as much.”

Nope. Not at all.

 

 


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