Jerry Seinfeld, recently in Edmonton for three sold-out shows, dazzled thousands with his probing look at everyday life. Listening to him take on one mundane issue after another made the 13 years since his sitcom ended fall away. The exasperated squeaky voice rose as he drove to his point. The familiar hoarse indignation cued us he was there.
Surprising to me was the physicality of his act. He paced; he gestured and waved. At one point he lay down on the stage, demonstrating how some people’s energy drops in sync with the battery strength on their Blackberries. He did the ?Edmontonian in the pouring rain? walk?no rushing or hunched shoulders from those tough characters.
He said things we’ve all thought. We’ve all done the dance to activate the faucet in the public washroom. He talked about how some people settle into a coffee shop, and we could almost see the laptop and books and bags (and a change of clothing perhaps!). His choice: to sell coffee in ?Get Out? and ?Scram? sizes.
At age 57, Jerry shows his age in some of the topics he tackles: issues like rudeness and over-consumption, for example. Childhood memories of discovering and eating Pop-Tarts sounded almost orgasmic. His observations and mockery of other people’s behaviour is spot-on, and there was a strong underlying message often hitting closer to home. He explained the evolution and journey of garbage: our latest purchase is opened and displayed on the kitchen table, but before long It’s in a drawer, cupboard, or closet. Eventually it makes the one-way trip to the garage (a word eerily similar to the word garbage) before its final trip to the dump. Of course, now eBay allows us to ?mail our garbage back and forth across the country.?
Both Jerry and opening comedian Mario Joyner spoke about cell phones, apps, rudeness, and insanity: ?I’m surprised you people are even paying attention to this.? The glow of cell phones around me confirmed this rude addiction. Why, in the 21st century, do we still need to be told to wait for the beep, then leave our name and phone number?who doesn’t know this? And what’s up with caller ID and now caller ID block?
He ranted about the gaps in public bathroom stalls and the lack of instinct in fathers. He talked about the weather channel and the folly of five day forecasts. If that were possible, why not just do the weather every five days?
During a brief encore he took questions from the crowd. ?Where’s George?? someone yelled. ?George is a fictional character,? came the reply. ?A Seinfeld movie?? ?No, I’m old and rich and lazy.?
Jerry is a master at noticing and exploiting the foibles of human beings. He poked fun at us, and we paid him dearly for the privilege. Jerry is every one of us, from where I sit.