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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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
"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).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great documentary regarding stand-up comedy. If you are trying to become a stand-up comic, or just like the art of stand-up, this is a perfect movie for that. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent documentary to understand what it means to be a stand up comedian: what stand up comedians go through, what the process is to create stand up comedy material and what it... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Medusa001
Great documentary giving insight on how a comedian gets their material.Published 8 months ago by Jeff Crone
I agree with another review on here - Very Misleading!! It does Not say in the title 'Jerry Seinfeld AND Orny Adams, it Says 'Jerry Seinfeld'.
Of course Jerry is Great!! Read more
Although the life of a comedian often takes place in seedy clubs, I was surprised at the vulgarity coming out of Jerry's mouth. Read morePublished 13 months ago by S. Allman