Does Jerry Seinfeld's comedy stand up on stage?

His sitcom commanded 70 million viewers, its DVD sales still earn him $100m a year. Now he's coming to Britain.
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The Independent Culture

It's the act that spawned one of the most successul sitcoms in history – and now it's coming to Britain.

Jerry Seinfeld has announced a one-off show at London's 02 arena in June, his first appearance here for 13 years.

There's little doubt that the 20,000 seats will sell out. But that will be no thanks to the British television schedulers who could never find a peak-time slot for a series that ran for nine years (1989-1998) in America and attracted 70 million viewers at its zenith.

Seinfeld, now 56, was a fixture on the New York comedy circuit when he was approached by NBC to create a show. The result was Seinfeld, in which he played a semi-fictional version of himself. Episodes were interspersed with scenes of the comedian on stage. And one of Seinfeld's running gags was the quality, or otherwise, of these routines.

When the show was retired (to the dismay of NBC and its millions of American fans), Seinfeld returned to stand-up and now, at last, his small but dedicated British following has the chance to see him in action. So will his stand-up humour be a hit over here? Or were the BBC schedulers right to relegate him to the insomniacs' hour? Judge for yourself...

Seinfeld On...Eating Out

Why do people give each other flowers? To celebrate various important occasions, they're killing living creatures? Why restrict it to plants? "Sweetheart, let's make up. Have this deceased squirrel."

Can't we just get rid of wine lists? Do we really have to be reminded every time we go out to a nice restaurant that we have no idea what we are doing? Why don't they just give us a trigonometry quiz with the menu?


If airline seat cushions are such great flotation devices, why don't you ever see anyone take one to the beach?

How come you have to pay someone to rotate your tyres? Isn't that the basic idea behind the wheel? Don't they rotate on their own?

What the hell were they doing with a car on the goddam Moon? You're on the Moon already! Isn't that far enough?

...Men and Women

I was the best man at the wedding. If I'm the best man, why is she marrying him?

There's very little advice in men's magazines, because men don't think there's a lot they don't know. Women do. Women want to learn. Men think, "I know what I'm doing, just show me somebody naked."

I swear, I have absolutely no idea what women are thinking. I don't get it, OK? I admit, I'm not getting the signals. I am not getting it! Women, they're so subtle, their little... everything they do is subtle... Men are not subtle; we are obvious. Women know what men want, men know what men want. What do we want? We want women, that's it! It's the only thing we know for sure, it really is: we want women. How do we get them? Oh, we don't know about that, we don't know. The next step after that we have no idea. This is why you see men honking car-horns, yelling from construction sites. These are the best ideas we've had so far... The car-horn-honk, is that a beauty? Have you seen men doing this? What is this? The man is in the car, the woman walks by the front of the car, he honks. This man is out of ideas. The amazing thing is, that we still get women, don't we? Men, I mean, men are with women. You see men with women. How are men getting women, many people wonder? Let me tell you a little bit about our organisation. Wherever women are, we have a man working on the situation right now. Now, he may not be our best man, OK – we have a lot of areas to cover – but someone from our staff is on the scene. That's why, I think, men get frustrated, when we see women reading articles, like: "Where to meet men?" We're here, we are everywhere. We're honking our horns to serve you better.


Now they show you how detergents take out bloodstains, a pretty violent image there. I think if you've got a T-shirt with a bloodstain all over it, maybe laundry isn't your biggest problem. Maybe you should get rid of the body before you do the wash.

Have you ever noticed how they keep improving your laundry detergent, but they still can't get those blue flakes out? Why do we trust them to get our clothes clean? These guys can't even get the detergent white!


I'm not into working out. My philosophy: no pain, no pain.


Would somebody please explain to me those signs that say, "No animals allowed except for Seeing Eye Dogs?" Who is that sign for? Is it for the dog? Or the blind person?

This, to me, is the lowest activity in human life: following a dog with a little pooper scooper. Waiting for him to go so you can walk down the street with it in your bag. If aliens are watching this through telescopes, they're going to think the dogs are the leaders of the planet. If you see two life forms, one of them is making a poop, the other one's carrying it for him, who would you assume is in charge?

...Nothing in particular

I will never understand why they cook on TV. I can't smell it. Can't eat it. Can't taste it. The end of the show they hold it up to the camera, "Well, here it is. You can't have any. Thanks for watching. Goodbye."

Bozo the Clown. Do we really need "the Clown"? Are we going to confuse him with Bozo the Tax Attorney? Bozo the Pope?

What's with this weird hotel custom of leaving a piece of chocolate on the pillow? I awoke thinking my brain had haemorrhaged some sort of fecal matter.

Why do they call it a "building"? It looks like they're finished. Why isn't it a "built"?

Men want the same thing from their underwear that they want from women: a little bit of support, and a little bit of freedom.

According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.

All the king's horses and all the king's men? Are you kidding me? No wonder they couldn't put Humpty together again. Just what did those idiots expect the horses to do, anyway?