I’ve heard if you see a loved one in an open casket, it can taint your final impression of them. People say first impressions count, but I think last impressions stick. With this in mind, it was with hesitance that I bought tickets to see Jerry Seinfeld Live in Stockholm.
This was the man mostly responsible for the brilliance of Seinfeld, a show I grew up with and still watch today. I might even go as far as to say he was a personal hero. But having taken a 10 year break from the comedy circuit, I feared he might have lost the spark. What if he wasn’t funny anymore? Did I really want to risk the chance of hearing his jokes bounce around the walls of the Globe Arena, echoing, with no laughter to soak them all up?
This ‘Living Legend’ question is a tough one, but for me I think there’s something to be said for seeing someone live when you have the chance, regardless of how far they may be past their prime.
Over the past few years I’ve seen Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Simon and Garfunkel – all in fantastic and memorable performances. What could it hurt to see just one more aging Jew taking the stage? (Seinfeld is 57)
Even more so, I was curious to see how the 10 000 strong crowd would react to an American comedian speaking English. We all know Swedes can speak English, but how would they fare with American humour?
First things first, the concert was excellent. Seinfeld himself didn’t disappoint, however as a fan, I think there were a few things lacking. Namely George, Elaine and Kramer. As funny as he is alone, I think there was a reason only one minute’s worth of his stand-up was in every episode of the TV series. To be really entertained, an audience needs a situation for the comedy. A bit of acting. A few story lines to link the jokes together.
The audience loved it though, I mean really loved it. They was more unnecessary applause than an Oprah episode. When he said that he had a wife and 3 children the crowd went berserk. I don’t get that. Half the people in the audience were probably married with kids. I bet no one ever clapped for them.
But, they laughed, and often. Sometimes they even laughed before the punchline (not that there’s anything wrong with that) which I had read was something that had perplexed Seinfeld himself on previous visits to Scandinavia. But Seinfeld lapped it up, and really played to the audience’s enthusiasm with the energy of a man half his age.
Seinfeld was at his irritated and irritating best, illuminating the comedy that’s hiding below the surface of everyday life.
With only 3 European cities on the tour schedule, some people had probably come a long way hoping for a laugh. I’m glad to say that I, for one, was not disappointed.
Jerry Seinfeld, the King of Comedy, has still got it.