It may be hard to believe, but not all standup comics hold Jerry Seinfeld in high regard. Insult comic Lisa Lampenelli, for example, finds him boring. Of course, she's in the minority. After all, Seinfeld has influenced a generation of comics. He also, along with pal Larry David and a crew of talented writers, has had a lasting impact on the television sitcom. One of the most intriguing things about his standup act is that he rarely curses. His handling of adult topics is approached almost clinically. Perhaps that's why comedian Mike Birbiglia once described him as a scientist of comedy. Emmy-winning writer/comic David Feldman, however, isn't sure that's an accurate description. "There is a science to standup comedy," he notes, "but that doesn't mean you're a scientist." Using that analogy, Feldman likens Seinfeld to an astronaut, or someone who uses science. In any case, Birbiglia says that Seinfeld "gets comedy in a way that nobody else does." He also recalls hearing some advice that Seinfeld once dispensed to young comedians. "They have all these conventions," Birbiglia says, paraphrasing Seinfeld. "'How do you be a standup comedian?' When you show up at the convention there should be a huge billboard that says, 'Do the work. Write jokes. Get onstage. Repeat.' There's no other way." Seems to have worked for Seinfeld.
Fri., Nov. 13, 7 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 14, 7 & 9:30 p.m., 2009