Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Just for Comics: Jerry Seinfeld on how to be funny without sex and swearing VIA The Guardian

Jerry Seinfeld
Jerry Seinfeld: 'I think of myself more as a sportsman than as an artist.' Photograph: Christopher Lane for the Guardian
Once or twice a week, towards the end of the day, Jerry Seinfeld leaves the Manhattan office where he spends his afternoons writing, but he doesn't head home to his family. Instead, he shows up unannounced at some minor comedy club in New York or New Jersey, and inserts himself into that night's lineup. Seinfeld reportedly has a private jet, owns more than 40 vintage Porsches and makes at least $32m (£19.5m) a year, in large part from syndication revenue, adding to a net worth estimated at $800m (£487m) in 2010. Having spent a decade making a celebrated "show about nothing", he could easily afford to just do nothing now. But he prefers – or feels compelled – to keep honing his act, trying a new line here, shaving a word off an old one there, analysing the audience's laughter: a scientist of comedy, painstakingly calibrating his equipment. By the time you hear a Seinfeld "bit" at one of his £70-a-ticket O2 Arena gigs, or on a TV talkshow, it will have undergone months or years of testing, and there won't be a syllable wasted. As in: "Why does moisture ruin leather? Aren't cows outside a lot of the time?" Or: "A two-year-old is like having a blender, but you don't have a top for it." Or: "People are never really sure if they have milk."

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