As I have mentioned before, my childhood was characterized by a lot of 90’s Disney cartoons, “Jeopardy”, “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, and of course, “Seinfeld”. So, even though I have never watched a comedy special until now, it wasn’t hard for to me to decided to watch “Jerry Before Seinfeld” when it was released on Netflix last September 19.
Jerry Seinfeld was one of the few comedians that did make me laugh, and “Seinfeld”, to me, is the gold standard of what a good sitcom is. Aside from the nostalgic memories I have of the show, I found each and every character in the show fascinating and funny at the same time. I also loved Seinfeld’s particular brand of comedy, observational comedy, which came in spades in the Netflix special.
The special saw Seinfeld appearing on stage in New York’s The Comic Strip, the oldest stand up comedy club in New York, and where Seinfeld began as a stand up comic. Then, in a mix of old video montages, interviews and the show itself, Seinfeld, in his own way, talked about a side of him that not many do know about, and as the title suggests, Jerry before the days of “Seinfeld”.
During the special, Seinfeld talked about his past, how he never gave up on his dream to become a comedian, how working as a stand up comedian at The Comic Strip was like; as well as more timely topics such as UBER and politics, while deftly inserting material left and right seamlessly into the performance.
I particularly loved the fact that the first thing he said when he got on stage was “Are you kidding me?!” and that it ended with a very young Seinfeld taking a bow on his very first appearance on the “Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” looking like he was at the top of the world.
Being a comedian or any entertainer, for that matter, is really no easy feat, and the trajectory of Seinfeld’s career is just amazing.
However, as mentioned in the special, it looks like he knew from when he was younger that he wanted to be a comedian, and ended up doing so, despite the fact that he knew that he would be earning less than what he was making as a construction laborer at the time he decided to finally pursue comedy as a career. Instead, he stuck to it, and wrote a ton of material, which all can be seen in the special as the director had Seinfeld line a city street with all the material he wrote and kept in a special accordion file.
Watching this, you can see how much dedication and passion he had in being a comedian, and it shows.
As for the laughs, there were plenty to be had in this special, but my favorites are the one about how socks always go missing and the one about the movies.
In the end, I learned more about a comedian that I look up to, while it gave me some very Seinfeldian laughs at the same time.
“Jerry Before Seinfeld” is funny and nostalgic, and definitely a good pick to watch if you are a fan of Jerry Seinfeld, as it, in its own way, sort of pays tribute to the success he is today.
Did you watch “Jerry Before Seinfeld”? How did you like it? Which jokes in his show did you love the most? Would you recommend this to someone who has never seen “Seinfeld” in their lives? Let me know what you think in the comments below!