Saturday, 4 June 2011
Me outside Tom's Diner, the New York diner shown in the opening credits of Seinfeld.
Jerry Seinfeld performed his first big London gig in years last night. For me, this was a big deal. I must have seen every episode of Seinfeld at least twice and probably relate my daily life to a Seinfeld gag once a day. (For instance, last night I went to wait for everyone in the seats because I didn’t want to miss any of the show and one of my friends quipped, ‘Like the episode where Elaine goes to save the seats at the cinema!’ Exactly.)
I prepared myself for it to be a letdown, thinking that the size of the O2 would probably swallow up the atmosphere, maybe he would only do a short show, what if he just wasn’t funny? It would be like falling out with an old friend, spoiling all of our happy memories and casting a shadow over the hours spent cosily together, giggling. #loser
Thankfully that was not to be the case. From the second he ran on, waving goofily, he absolutely ruled the arena and had us in his pocket; straight into nasally, whiny, misanthropic, low expectation of life hilarity, expounding upon how everyone’s life sucks really, including his. ‘Life sucks. One thing I’ve learnt is that there is a very fine line between ‘great’ and ‘sucks’.’
The telly Seinfeld was a playboy 30-something with commitment issues and he touched on those years. 'Yeah, I suppose I had issues. But I loved those issues. Every single one of those issues.’ He finally got married at 45 and now has 3 kids. A lot of his material focussed on how marriage and fatherhood has changed his life, painting a picture of how his wife lies awake trying to think of situations and questions to catch him out. ‘What if you faked your own death, and I found out and you knew that I knew…what THEN?’
And on weddings: ‘I know there are a lot of you out there at the moment, planning your wedding, don’t make yourself known, I don’t care… Well, I have something I want to tell you about your wedding that you don’t know. WE DON'T WANT TO GO TO YOUR WEDDING!'
He performed flawlessly for 90 minutes, not even slightly ruffled or breaking a sweat, like the Roger Federer of live comedy. Looking years younger than 57, he barely stopped to pause and his confidence and professionalism were awe-inspiring, with moments of pure crystallized Seinfeld observational brilliance. Thanks for not letting me down, Jer.