Jerry Seinfeld

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Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's back - and he's buzzing
Since his sitcom ended, Jerry Seinfeld has steered well clear of Hollywood. It took a wise-cracking cartoon bee to lure him back into the spotlight. The comedian talks to Dave Itzkoff
Friday November 2, 2007
The Guardian

In the dressing room of an Atlantic City nightclub, furnished by the request of its current occupant with cheese steaks from the White House Sub Shop and a full array of Tastykake snacks, Jerry Seinfeld is explaining the stand-up comedy ritual of "getting in the bubble": a state of mind that a performer seeks before show time, a few final moments of calm before the tumult of an unpredictable live audience. Minutes later he emerges from the bubble and on to a stage at Resorts, Atlantic City.

The hour-long routine is a crucial opportunity for Seinfeld to practise his act at a time when he feels, as he often does, that he's not performing enough. More important, it's a warm-up for his biggest leap yet out of his bubble, into a medium he has never attempted before. This week Paramount will release Bee Movie in the US. The DreamWorks animated comedy is by far the most substantial project the 53-year-old comedian has taken on since pulling the plug on his Seinfeld television sitcom in 1998. In the ensuing years Seinfeld has starred in an HBO comedy special and a low-budget documentary, and written a children's book. He has also married, and fathered three children; in whatever spare time remains, continues to perform his stand-up act with a triathlete's zeal.

Yet none of these endeavours - the professional ones at least - has demanded as much of Seinfeld as Bee Movie, a studio feature with a budget of about $150m (£73m) for which he not only supplied the voice of the lead character, a wisecracking honeybee named Barry B Benson, but also helped write the script and spent nearly four years overseeing every element of the production. He is also a central component of the film's marketing campaign, showing up in TV commercials and at live appearances (occasionally dressed in an oversized bee costume), suggesting that this cartoon movie about talking insects is just another part of his indomitable comedic continuum.

But to many fans, and to many people who worked on Bee Movie, the film represents the first real return of Seinfeld since the end of his TV show, a welcoming back after what appeared to be a self-imposed absence. "When you watch this movie, it feels like you've found your best friend who you haven't seen in ages," says Jeffrey Katzenberg, the chief executive of DreamWorks Animation. "It's like, where have you been the last 10 years?" Just don't mention this to the man whose name appears atop the movie poster.

Two days after his Atlantic City appearance, Seinfeld is walking through Central Park on his way to lunch. He is dressed in blue jeans and wears a pair of John Lennon-esque spectacles, offering pointed analysis about anyone who enters his field of vision. Much of Seinfeld's success is predicated on the nonchalant persona he cultivated in his comedy act and on his TV show, and the apparent accessibility that comes from his insightful observations of the quotidian and the ordinary.

The rewards that he has reaped have been substantial: Forbes recently estimated that he makes $60m (£29m) a year, primarily from his share of the syndication revenue Seinfeld still generates. (A representative declined to confirm this figure.) His live touring and royalties from Seinfeld DVD sales also contribute to this sum.

In person he can be affable, but he doesn't hide a certain earned arrogance. While attending the US Open tennis tournament, Seinfeld recalled, he was approached by a well-attired fan who handed him a business card and invited Seinfeld to visit his brokerage house. Both men became noticeably perplexed when the offer was declined. "I said: 'We don't know each other. You're a total stranger,"' Seinfeld recounts. "He says, 'But we really like you.' I said, 'Thank you so much, but this is as far as we go."' Seinfeld adds: "This is a sophisticated guy who doesn't understand that TV only works one way."

In our meeting, Seinfeld is playful but also perturbed about a short article he had read over the weekend in the New York Times, 69 words about Bee Movie that described the film as his effort at "gingerly" re-entering mainstream entertainment. "Gingerly," he says with emphasis. "If they only knew. There was nothing gingerly about this."

Seinfeld likes to tell a story of the film's spontaneous origins, about four years ago at a dinner on Long Island with Steven Spielberg, at which Seinfeld joked that Bee Movie would be a fitting title for a movie about bees, and Spielberg concluded this would actually be a good idea for a film. "I wasn't pitching him," Seinfeld recalls, "but then he started pitching me: 'You gotta make this.'"

Bee Movie represents the culmination of a campaign more than 13 years long, waged by Katzenberg, to recruit Seinfeld into animated movies. Dating to his tenure at the Walt Disney company, Katzenberg had frequently tried to persuade Seinfeld to lend his voice to a cartoon project, but to no avail. "He was always amazingly open and accessible," Katzenberg says, "and incredibly polite and definitely not interested."

At first the reason for Seinfeld's refusals were fairly straightforward: he was still fully invested in his sitcom. But after ending the show, his rationale became more complicated. The unprecedented success he had enjoyed had left him without a clear road map of what to do next.

What persuaded Seinfeld to take on Bee Movie were the assurances by Spielberg, and his DreamWorks partner Katzenberg, that he would have free rein to make the film his way (as well as access to a videoconferencing system so that he could work from New York when necessary), and his naive assumption that it would take three to four months to write a script, record his tracks and finish the job. "I could not have been more wrong," he says. Seinfeld estimates that it took him and three hand-picked writers nearly two-and-a-half years just to complete the script for Bee Movie, the story of a talking bee who falls in love with a human florist and discovers, to his horror, that mankind has been stealing his community's honey.

As Seinfeld became further entrenched in the film's pre-production process, he was in for a rude awakening about how he was really perceived in the entertainment industry. Working with a casting director to recruit voice talent for the film, Seinfeld was given two lists that supposedly represented all the A-list male and female stars in Hollywood. When he looked at the lineup of male performers, he was surprised to find his own name missing from the roster. "I said, 'How come?"' Seinfeld recalls. "She said, 'Because everybody knows you only do your own thing."'

To the extent that Seinfeld engages with Hollywood any more, these interactions are often fraught with ambivalence. "I never get offered things that I think I could really bring something special to," he says, though it is hard to imagine what kind of project he would deem a good fit. Over the years he has turned down his share of offers - most recently, a comedic caper written by David Mamet - often because he cannot find the time, and sometimes through lack of interest. "I could just take parts to act in movies," he says, "but they don't need me."

Nor can Seinfeld understand why the industry seems to believe he has spent his post-sitcom career in a cushy exile of his own design, when he continues to appear at clubs and theatres as much as possible. "That's what I do," he says. "That's all I can do. That's what a comedian is. Our thing is not disappearing into other characters. It's being this character that you are."

Friends who have known Seinfeld for years say that he has always been sharply attuned to the fitness of his stand-up act, and eager to perform it no matter what else was occupying him in his personal or professional life. "When he wasn't out there for a period of time, he would start to get antsy and feel like he was losing his edge," says Larry David, the co-creator of Seinfeld and star of Curb Your Enthusiasm. "The phrase he would use was 'out of shape'. I never looked at it like that."

Still, the rarity with which Seinfeld applies his full creative energies to a project like Bee Movie would seem to add pressure on the film's critical and box-office results, if only to prove that its star remains a powerful draw.

Seinfeld's colleagues agree with him that it is unfair to categorise Bee Movie as a comeback project. "It's not like he's been hurt or injured or anything," David says. "It's not like he tried something and failed, and now has to come back from it. He's just been doing what he wants to do."

Some Bee Movie collaborators are already wondering if Seinfeld's experience on the film could be parlayed into a larger producing career. "Don't think I haven't thought about it," Katzenberg said. "I think about it every day." But Seinfeld quickly snuffs out such pipe dreams. "So I would have an office, I guess," he said, "and people would come in and pitch me something, and I'd go, 'Yeah, that sounds good.' Oh my God, I'd kill myself. Give me a gun."

When his promotional duties for Bee Movie are over, Seinfeld says, he has no concrete plans, except perhaps allowing his daughter to see his stand-up act for the first time and proving to his two sons that their father is more than just a guy who makes films about bees for a living.

He says he took a certain pride in measuring his life against those of other stars - he declines to name names - who have achieved comparable success, but who haven't found the time or the will to settle down and raise a family. "There's certain celebrities," he says, "where I see where they're at, and I know how old they are, and I know what they're doing, and I'm like, 'Yeah, what are you going to do now, Potato Head?'" Seinfeld understands that these same people might derive a similar schadenfreude from seeing him - formerly the quintessential single guy - made over as a happily married man, or in secretly wishing that his remarkable streak of good fortune comes to an end. "I can't imagine that they wouldn't," he says. "I sure would. 'Enough of this guy, it's about time he fell on his face.'"

Then the man who has almost everything considers what he might need most of all. "I think it might be time for that big, juicy flop," he says - as long as it isn't Bee Movie. "Not something that takes this long. I don't want to spend that much time on a flop."

· Bee Movie is released on December 14. ©2007 New York Times News Service
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Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seinfeld scraps reunion plans
...and gets tetchy in an interview

Jerry Seinfeld has given up on a secret plan to write one last Seinfeld script - because he ran out of time. He has revealed he was working on a reunion episode with Michael Richards, Jason Alexander and Julia Louise Dreyfus. But he says now the last series of the hit sitcom has been released on DVD, he feels it is too late.

‘I was serious about it,’ he told Entertainment Weekly, ‘But I don’t think it can happen now. ‘It would’ve had to happen because this is the last DVD coming out, so now would’ve been the time to do it. But there were too many things happening at the same time.’

Seinfeld has being doing the interview circuit to publicise his current Bee Movie. Last week, he appeared to get tetchy with CNN’s Larry King after he suggested the sitcom had been cancelled.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thats a shame, i liked seinfeld. mind you, it wouldn't have been the same without kramer - and after his racist rant a while back i doubt he'd have been in it
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of Kramer, here's a story about the real person behind the character...

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seinfeld To Focus On Stand Up Comedy.
Sunday (02nd) 10:13

The wife of U.S. comedian Jerry Seinfeld has banned him from appearing on the big screen - after Bee Movie alienated his entire family. The 53-year-old wrote, produced and starred in the computer-generated movie, which took four years to complete. And Seinfeld's wife Jessica insists her spouse's hard work took its toll on his family life - and his three young children Sascha, seven, Julian, four, and Shepherd, two. She says, "Jerry is... as he would say, he's at the end of his career. (Bee Movie) took four years out of our life... My children are not going to see their father for 23 days (while he's promoting it)".

Last week, Seinfeld hinted he was quitting acting, telling reporters, "I wanna be with my own kids. I tend to over-involve myself in things that I make, so it takes me away from the family. They're young, so I just think I'm probably going to fade away a little bit after this".

But Jessica adds the star is keen to concentrate on his stand-up routine instead of making movies. She adds, "That makes him happy. He goes for 36 hours. I like to have my bed to myself once in a while".
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jerry Seinfeld has been hit with a lawsuit for defamation – for defending his wife’s cookbook. The comic’s contentious comments came in response to a claim that his wife Jessica had plagiarised an idea about how to sneak healthy foods into children’s diets.

Chef Missy Chase Lapine claimed the book, Deceptively Delicious, used many of her ideas, which she had published six months earlier. Now Jerry Seinfeld has been hit with a writ after sticking up for his wife on The Late Show With David Letterman in October. On the talk show, Seinfeld referred to Lapine as ‘a wacko’ who waited in the woodwork to disrupt his life.

He said: ‘There’s another woman who had another cookbook, and it’s a similar sort of thing. So this woman says, “I sense this could be my wacko moment” We’re sorry that she’s angry and hysterical because she’s a three-name woman… and you know if you read history, a lot of three-name people do become assassins,’ he joked. When Letterman asked Seinfeld was worried his comments could exacerbate the situation, the comic replied: ‘Well, that gets me another shot on your show.’

But the consequences could be more serious than that, as Lapine filed a defamation lawsuit yesterday, accusing Seinfeld of maliciously casting her as mentally unstable. Papers filed in Manhattan Federal Court said: ‘Jerry Seinfeld is an enormously wealthy and well-known comedian, and Jessica Seinfeld is his wife, but that does not give them license to slander and plagiarise.’

The lawsuit – which seeks unspecified damages - details numerous similarities between Lapine's book and Seinfeld's, such as camouflaging avocados in chocolate pudding. The Seinfelds' lawyer Richard Menaker replied: ‘Even though Jerry Seinfeld is a public figure, he doesn't lose his right to free speech.’


I'd not heard about this before, but it really makes him seem a complete twat.
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Macho Business Donkey Wrestler

Joined: 21 Jan 2007
Location: BC, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't argue with that, faceless. Defending your wife is one thing. Calling someone a "wacko" is another.
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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seinfeld is More Than a Sitcom
By Julian Snow
May 08 2008

As the crowd stirred around the Fabulous Fox Theatre on Friday, with Sinatra music blaring overhead, they seemed to be overtaken by anticipation for the headliner we had come to see that evening — Jerry Seinfeld. An avid Seinfeld fan myself, I had awaited this day to see Jerry in stand-up for a while. Finally, when the music died down, the emcee entered and the evening began.

Chuck Martin, a writer for the television sitcom “Arrested Development,” began the evening on the right foot. He satirized some ofthe absurdity that defines human behavior — a theme Seinfeld would later hit on — joking that there really is no need for a remote control for your car stereo, or a “take cash” instruction on an ATM.

He joked, “you know, whenever I see a machine giving out money, I don’t need to be told to take it.” After a satisfying performance, he exited and made way for the night’s real star.

As the 54-year-old Seinfeld spryly jogged out to take the stage, the audience erupted in applause, and I, sitting twelve rows from him, finally had the chance to see my well-dressed idol stand so close before me with a show

Before he began his set, I grew hesitant that I would find him funny solely because of the television show bias. But he quickly proved me wrong. In fact, Seinfeld proved that he is even funnier in his natural stand-up comedic setting than he is on TV. He reigned supreme over his comedic kingdom, cleverly crafting jokes that left the audience laughing throughout the night.

As expected, his show was dominated by mocking common human behaviors and tendencies.

In his opening monologue about the weather, he satirized perfectly the inane human tendency to question otherson whether they “can believe the weather outside.” In a satirical tone, he explained that he easily could because weather like this has happened for millions of years.

Seinfeld set up a bit about Life cereal, explaining that the creators must have been on a bit of a power trip to consider their product so important as to call their cereal “Life.” He joked about a cereal of equal grandeur called “Almighty God” with the slogan, “If you don’t like them, you can go to hell."

Later, he led the audience through a hilarious review of some of the preposterous cliches we have come to accept.

Seinfeld combined multiple hackneyed phrases to form a fictitious conversation between two men. In one tone of voice he said, “You know, if you would get off your ass, then you wouldn’t be riding my ass.” Changing his voice to emulate a different character, he responded, “my ass,” which left the crowd laughing uproariously.

Perhaps the most perfectly acted joke of the night came when Seinfeld satirized the pretentious coffee drinker. As he carried around his imaginary drink, hand held parallel to the ground, he gave a snooty look to a fake car and mocked it, an image to which everyone in the audience could relate. They expressed their approval of Seinfeld’s imitation with a loud bit of laughter.

In between the many hilarious observations he would joke about, Seinfeld also entertained the audience with brilliant one-liners. At one point, he made fun of failed suicide bombers, dubbing them “Jihad E. Coyote.”

A natural born stand-up comedian, Seinfeld worked the audiencelike a finely skilled craftsman, always maintaining perfect timing. His ability to keep the crowd in the palm of his hand and deliver each joke with ease further proved his greatness as a true comedic legend.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great headline - haha
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen his stand up in person. He's a blast. I'm seeing him in mid-July again and can't wait.
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jerry Seinfeld at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, May 22nd 2009
23 May 2009

I’m thankful for a lot of things and I’ve regretted a lot of things. First, I’m thankful that I managed to get my ass down to see George Carlin at his last performance in Portland just over a year ago now, not long before he passed away. On the other hand, I’ve regretted missing Jerry Seinfeld on at least one occasion. So freaked out was I over George Carlin’s passing that I vowed that I would buy tickets to every last damn A-list comedian performance for the rest of my days, bad economy or not – you only go around once.

Last night Sabrina Miller and I hit the first of two sold out Jerry Seinfeld shows at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. I’m a bit of a Seinfeld nut and consider the Seinfeld sitcom to be the half hour comedy by which all others are measured (followed closely by Curb Your Enthusiasm which is obviously more than just a little related). I knew pretty much what to expect going in, after all, Seinfeld has been called all of these nifty things like “the best comedian of our generation” and so on… Bottom line, I didn’t expect to be disappointed.

Well, I was. Just a little bit. But none of that is on Jerry himself. No, the greatest bummer of the evening really came in the form of the Schnitz itself – or maybe the damn sound guy. Sure, we were in the nosebleed section but c’mon, it’s just a one mic show here dude, turn up the fucking volume. Both Sabrina and I joined everyone seated next to us in straining to hear some of the material. It’s a comedy show, not fucking theatre … it’s not exactly visual, just a guy in a suit with a Shure in one hand and water in the other - we’re mostly all here for the audible part of the show, NOT to see if Seinfeld still has 90’s bachelor hair. I don’t know how much it would cost to get one lousy extra set of speakers a little further back but they really need to do something here, the sound was unacceptably awful.

With that out of the way, Seinfeld himself was great. It’s a little strange to hear him referring to more modern devices and our reliance on them, after all, the internet was just a toddler still when the Seinfeld show was at its height of popularity. “What’s the deal with this iPhone?” seems a little obvious when you think about it but it was handled with the same impeccable timing and wicked sharp observations we’ve all come to love. Jerry Seinfeld is also a dad now, something he wasn’t just a decade ago. While I’m always a little weary of “comedian parents”, here again all of it was funny-as-fuck. I’ve had a lot of friends over the years try to convince me that Seinfeld is something of a one trick pony, “What is with this?”, “What’s the deal with that?”, etc. - I say bullshit. This man clearly understands people on a level most of us can relate to and laugh along with for an hour or so and that’s really all that matters at the end of the day. None of this was more apparent to me than after we sat through opener Larry Miller - a good comedian, but not a great and timeless one.

End all rating? I give Jerry Seinfeld an enthusiastic A+. The shit sound at the Schnitz on the other hand gets a solid (and disappointing “give me my money back”) D-.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jerry Seinfeld teams with Oprah producer for comedy panel show
The comedian and Ellen Rakieten launch show in which comedians and celebrities sit in judgment on people's marriages
Stephen Brook
6 October 2009

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld has teamed up with Oprah Winfrey's producer to launch his first TV project since his eponymous sitcom – a comedy panel show where comedians and celebrities sit in judgment on people's marriages.

Just as the 1990s sitcom Seinfeld became one of the world's most successful comedies by focusing on how the little things in life becoming major issues for its neurotic cast, the new panel show, The Marriage Ref, will focus on the little things in people's marriages. In it, squabbling couples will explain their disagreements from their home to an "expert panel" of comedians, politicians and celebrities, who will try to convince the Ref, chosen by Seinfeld, to rule in favour of the husband or wife.

But Seinfeld, whose 1989 to 1998 comedy made him one of the world's most successful and wealthiest comedians, will not be appearing on the show. "I haven't really planned to do that yet," the comedian said today at the Mipcom TV festival in Cannes. "It's really not about me. I don't need the attention any more. I seem to do things, do them once and then never do them again," said the comedian, who has just reunited with his Seinfeld cast in an episode of the comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm.

One clip showed a couple in their home bickering over the position in the lounge of a snack table, which the man complained blocked his access to the window. "In common with Seinfeld, these are little problems that are blown out of all proportion. Like the guy with the snack table – it's ruining his life," Seinfeld said.

The programme will go live to the couple's home for the verdict and their reaction. Seinfeld said the idea occurred when he had a disagreement with his wife, Jessica Skylar, in front of a friend, whom he then asked to decide who was in the right. Skylar persuaded him to develop the idea into a TV programme.

The comedian has teamed up with Ellen Rakieten, who was executive producer on The Oprah Winfrey Show for 17 years, to develop the concept. Endemol has the worldwide sales rights to the programme, which will broadcast on NBC in March. "Some reality programmes, you watch them but you don't feel good about it," Seinfeld said. "The show is a comedy panel show, not a therapy show."

Rakieten said the programme would be lighthearted and supportive of the institution of marriage, but would also include gay couples. "This is a very simple concept but it is dealing in what is probably the world's biggest topic, which is relationships and marriage," Rakieten added.

Endemol has not announced any deals with other countries but said it would do so by the end of the week. Shed US is making the series.


It sounds like a right pile of derivative crap to me, but we'll see...
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Curb Your Enthusiasm new episode... the start oif the reunion. Great stuff so far.
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