Last night I went to see Jerry Seinfeld at the Schnitz here in Portland. He was great. I didn’t realize how much I missed his relevant quick wit until I heard his famously whiny voice inflections. His cadence is impossible to replicate in writing, but you know what I’m talking about. Imagine Jerry conversing with George Costanza in his kitchen (“what’s the deal with…”) and you get the picture.
With no introduction (nice move, very humble), Jerry jogged on stage after a good warm up act to a pounding round of applause. He opened with a few jokes about how to pronounce – “is it Oregon or is it Oregin”, follwed by a bit about the nice weather we’ve been having, funny comments about peoples silly obsession with “good” weather, implying good weather is overrated and rain is good too, plus many well received compliments about the great city of Portland (coffee jokes included). I have no idea if Jerry really likes Portland, but something tells me he wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t so. For some reason that makes me feel good about Portland, because let’s face it, we are always a bit defensive about our weather. Jerry’s a real New Yorker; if he likes Portland it must be cool. I’ve heard comedians say making jokes about the city you are in is a cheap way to get laughs. I completely disagree. It shows respect to the audience and also lets them know you care about where you are. I once went to a concert where the lead singer called out “hello Seattle.” It was embarrassing, as of course, we were in Portland. Yeah we’re sensitive about that too, being confused with Seattle (you know it rains more in Seattle). He then wove thru his bits as if we were all just sitting around his living room; “What is this obsession with hydration? Why the 5 hour energy drink? Why not seven?” Observations about the painful process of trying to leave the house with your spouse; “Are you ready? I’m ready, you’re not ready?” Then into a story about his wife and children, the rudeness of people on their BlackBerry’s, wasting time on Facebook, and the absurdity of Tweeting. He also managed to handle an annoying woman from the audience with grace, who insisted he acknowledge her mother’s birthday, while still making her appear foolish for interrupting him.
Note to everyone; comedians do not like to be interrupted during their show, it screws up their timing. Imagine interrupting a ballerina during The Nut Cracker to tell her you like her tutu? Comedians are performers, you narcissists. The part where they make you feel like they are talking directly to you is a part of their act! And a great act it was. It was like visiting with an old friend, who you realize you really miss and want to see more often.
Only one criticism. Jerry needs a new stylist. What’s up with the big baggy outdated suit? It may be part of the joke, as he did have a pretty good bit about how married guys stop buying clothes the year they start having children; “79, 82, 67, 90.” At first I was a bit confused and asked my style-conscious husband if big baggy suits were coming back into vogue (Jerry is worth a gazillion dollars and probably jetted in on his Gulfstream V, he must have a great stylist).
“Pleats are coming back (bummer), but still slim fit (whew!),” my husband replied (and I thought). Jerry – if you’re reading this. Please take a look at what Steve Martin is wearing these days. Last week he appeared on Saturday Night Live sporting a gorgeous slim fitting dark suit, it was to die for!