Jerry Seinfeld has never been revealing or edgy in his comedy. The 38-year veteran of stand-up has always relied on observational humor and the absurdity of social awkwardness to get laughs.
With a fresh buzz-cut and wearing a suit and tie, the 59-year-old comedian delivered a squeaky clean set that drew big laughs throughout his 70-minute performance at the Paramount Theatre on Friday.
Much of his material focused on the problems and annoyances of everyday life — something he’s built a career on. His take on death was as morbid as it got.
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“Cremation is now the most popular form of burial in the United States,” he noted. “Cremation is like trying to cover up a crime: Burn the body, scatter the ashes.”
Other topics covered included energy drinks, sleep aids, erectile-dysfunction ads, marriage, children and technology.
“We have more drink options than ever before in the species,” he acknowledged, before pointing out the absurdity of alcoholic coffee. “How rare is it that set of circumstances present itself? … When you need to be the opposite of tired and sober. I’m gonna get trashed and alert. Smashed and focused.”
A few in the crowd were snapping pictures during the set while he teased the audience about its inability to step away from their phones.
“We rarely use it to talk, talking is obsolete. I feel like a blacksmith up here. If you want I can text you this whole thing instead.”
Onstage Seinfeld was confident, delivered a spotless performance, and the capacity crowd rewarded him with a much-deserved standing ovation at the end of his set.
In the place of an encore he returned to take a few questions from the audience.
Will there be another “Seinfeld” reunion?
“Possibly, once all four of our careers are in the toilet. We’re working on it.”
It’s impossible to say he’s not funny — he’s built an empire making people laugh. The only drawback to his material is that it’s tame and a bit predictable. Lucky for him his audience does not seem to mind.
Mario Joyner, Seinfeld’s longtime friend, opened the evening with a series of self-deprecating and personal anecdotes, including one about living in Santa Monica, Calif.
“That’s where interracial couples and homeless people go to live in peace.”
Jeff Albertson: 206-464-2304 or firstname.lastname@example.org