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Comedian (2002)

Jerry Seinfeld , Chris Rock , Christian Charles  |  R |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)

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Comedian + Jerry Seinfeld Live on Broadway: I'm Telling You for the Last Time + Bill Cosby, Himself
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Garry Shandling, Greg Giraldo, Sherrod Small
  • Directors: Christian Charles
  • Producers: Jerry Seinfeld, Gary Streiner, Amy R. Baird
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: May 13, 2003
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JLW5
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,843 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Comedian" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Jerry Seinfeld's and Orny Adams' complete "Late Night" appearances
  • Deleted scenes with commentary
  • Jiminy Glick's interviews with Jerry Seinfeld and Orny Adams
  • "Where is Orny Now?" short film
  • Complete advertising campaign
  • Notes from Jerry Seinfeld, Colin Quinn and Orny Adams on developing material

Editorial Reviews

Jerry Seinfeld is a working stand-up comic again. COMEDIAN is a candidly revealing, intimately observed, and often very funny look at what it takes to be a comedian. On-stage, Jerry delivers his hilarious brand of observational humor. Off-stage, he struggles with difficult material, confronts self-doubt, revels in small successes, and accepts help and support from friends and colleagues, including Colin Quinn, Ray Romano, Chris Rock, Garry Shandling, Jay Leno, and Bill Cosby. COMEDIAN also discovers the sharp wit of rising young comic Orny Adams -- outspoken, insecure, and fanatical about becoming the "next big thing." What emerge are two fascinating journeys by two contrasting personalities who have some surprising parallels.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a sharp and stinging piece of business September 9, 2003
Format:DVD
"Comedian" chronicles Jerry Seinfeld's return to the comedy club circuit after dismantling his sitcom in 1998 and retiring his well-honed live routines in the HBO special "I'm Telling You For The Last Time."
And though the documentary has lots of stand-up comedy, as well as appearances by comics such as Chris Rock, Jay Leno, Garry Shandling, Robert Klein and Bill Cosby, this is not really a concert movie. It's actually a glimpse into the business of entertaining and the process behind making an audience laugh. "Comedian" is a funny movie, but it's really more about the humor of anxiety and self-doubt than punch lines.

Shot on digital video by Christian Charles (who directed Seinfeld's snappy American Express commercials) and crammed with excellent jazz and pop music, the movie follows Seinfeld and a young comic named Orny Adams as they hit the road, work on new material and perform on "Late Night With David Letterman." Adams -- keyed-up and hypersensitive -- doesn't fare as well as Jerry but given that he's sharing space in a movie with one of the most popular television personalities in history, he kind of has the deck stacked against him.
And yes, Seinfeld, after being out of the spotlight for a while, does remain an interesting personality, even more so when caught on a relatively candid camera (Jerry curses?). His backstage conversations with Leno, Cosby, Rock and Colin Quinn reveal a guarded camaraderie, and fans who spent a significant chunk of the '90s chuckling at the misadventures of Jerry, George, Kramer and Elaine will probably find it amusing that Seinfeld still actively worries he'll bomb in front of a crowd.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great tool for a leadership conference July 26, 2004
Format:DVD
This ends up being less a documentary about comedy and more a character study of a mature and an immature craftsman. The craft here is comedy, but it really could be anything, especially any type of art. A friend and I watched this and afterwards talked about how well Jerry Seinfeld and Orny Adams illustrate the principles of leadership.

Jerry Seinfeld is the portrait of a mature craftsman.

1. He is able maintain a healthy separation between himself and his craft. When a bit is not funny, it doesn't mean he isn't funny, it means the bit needs work. So he reworks it. When a set doesn't go well, he accepts the responsibility (doesn't "blame it on the candles") and figures out how to make the next set go better.

2. He has a life outside of his work. We only see his family for a few seconds; this is a film about comedy, and that's his job, not his life.

3. He views other craftsmen in his field as resources and comrades, not as threats and enemies. It is clear Jerry has a warm relationship with other comics, most notably Colin Quinn, and is able to discuss the craft and refine material with them. He listens to their advice, airs his concerns, and hears their concerns. He learns more about the craft by discussing it with other craftsmen.

4. He is willing to take risks in order to make himself a better craftsman, and produce a better craft. The real story of Jerry Seinfeld here is that he is starting over -- all new material -- in order to sharpen himself, to challenge himself and stay on top of the game. It's a huge risk that makes him a better craftsman.

Orny Adams is the portrait of an immature craftsman.

1. He is unable to maintain a healthy separation between himself and the craft.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting study of stand up comedians November 3, 2002
The documentary "Comedian" provides a nuts-and-bolts, behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of the stand-up comic. While it features a sea of familiar faces - Ray Romano, Gary Shandling, Chris Rock, Jay Leno, Bill Cosby - making what turn out to be little more than cameo appearances, the film focuses almost exclusively on two figures from the comedy nightclub scene: one well known, Jerry Seinfeld, and the other an up-and-coming, potential new star named Orny Adams. "Comedian" derives much of its meaning from the ironic juxtaposition of these two men. Seinfeld is a man who has managed to achieve what, for any comedian, would be the pinnacle of success - fame, fortune and international celebrity status - yet he still finds himself riddled with personal doubts and feelings of inadequacy every time he gets up to perform on stage. Adams, who has yet to get that "big break," somehow comes across as much more cocky, arrogant and self-assured than Seinfeld - although Adams, too, confesses that he may indeed be a harsher critic of his own performance than are the members of his audience.
"Comedian" was originally shot on video and transferred to 35 MM film, a fact that accounts for the dark, blurry, grainy quality of the picture. Most of the film's time is spent backstage with the comics as they air their views on their chosen profession, their colleagues, their personal idols, their various demons, their need to perform, their drive for perfection and their harsh, overly critical evaluation of their own skills and talents that often lead them into bouts of serious depression (Adams seems particularly prone to such reactions).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Look Behind The Curtain -- Just Be Sure You Know What You're...
In order to enjoy this movie, you need to understand what this movie is, and what it is not.

It is not a comedy album. Read more
Published 1 month ago by SoBeBum
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Having just seen Seinfeld live, this gave very interesting insight into the man and his comedy.
Published 2 months ago by Mimi
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for upcoming comics
It;s a really good look into the struggles of an established and an upcoming comic. Good stuff for those considering this field.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Incomplete version
I remember when I rented the original version the DVD extras included commentary by Jerry and Colin Quinn and that was awesome. Very dissapointed it is not on version i own
Published 4 months ago by JOHN K OBRIEN
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep, emotional and hilarious
The perfect documentary. Take a deep, totally unrestricted and unscripted view into Jerry's life getting back on the stage with totally new material and a new comedian trying to... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ojus
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Documentary on Stand Up
If you are interested in Stand Up Comedy as a fan or a comic, watch this movie. It is eye opening and it made me into a huge Seinfeld fan. His work ethic is amazing.
Published 7 months ago by Punk Doctor
5.0 out of 5 stars Want to be a Standup Comic?
There are two ways to approach anything in life. One way goes with the flow and one is an uphill battle. This documentary follows both Jerry Seinfeld and Orny Adams. Read more
Published 7 months ago by LA-Radio Ken
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this
I loved the comedians' transparency and insight into the life of a comedian. I laughed plenty which is always a bonus for me. The extra features were terrific too. Well done folks! Read more
Published 8 months ago by K. Lynch
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect
This was a gift to my aunt and uncle to show them the world of stand up comedy and give them an idea of the profession I am pursuing. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Miles
5.0 out of 5 stars Very insightful!
This is a great film that shows an insight into the insecurities and self-loathing that even one of the most accomplished comedians like Jerry Seinfeld experiences.
Published 13 months ago by DD
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