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lMovie Review
"Comedian"
By Mira Harber

Jerry Seinfeld's preparations for his new act are the focus of the documentary Comedian. I've got to tell you that I don't particularly like Seinfeld, and wasn't expecting anything particularly interesting, but I was very surprised,  I really liked this movie. Why would Jerry Seinfeld, the most successful comic of his generation, go out on the road again? Why expose himself to all the potential ridicule? Why bother going to all that work? The answers to these questions are fascinating.

The creative process is a difficult one, and we watch as Jerry struggles to put together a new act. After two agonizing months he is elated to have 20 new minutes of material, on his way to the goal of a one hour act. Interspersed with Jerry's efforts and thoughts, are cameos from almost every famous comic alive today, from Robert Klein to Chris Rock, commenting on comedy and the creative process.

We also meet Orly Adams, a somewhat irritating up and coming 30-ish young comic. He may be on the p of stardom. He scores big at the Montreal Comics Festival and gets an agent (same agent as Jerry Seinfeld). He stuns Jerry with the question ' When you were my age, before you made it big, didn't you look around at your married friends with their homes, mortgages, spouses and children' (I'm paraphrasing) and think What am I doing?'  Jerry looks on in stunned disbelief and responds with a great story about members of the Glenn Miller band, who, stranded in the middle of a cold, wet field, instruments in hand, are trudging on their way to a gig. They see bright lights and discover a happy family inside a cosy, warm home. Mom, dad and the kids are sitting at the dinner table, happily laughing. One musician looks at another and says "How do they live like that?" That says it all.

It's curious to see the unpolished Jerry Seinfeld, who forces himself to go on tour as a stand-up comic. He still gets really nervous and at times even forgets what he's going to say next - guess what? He's human, and a work in progress - that's what makes this documentary work so well.

It's fascinating to hear Chris Rock tell Seinfeld that he's got to go see the best act he's ever seen, just great, really edgy. A 2 1/2 hour set, with no break - nothing short of a miracle for a comedian. Who is this comic genius? Bill Crosby!!! That's right - Chris Rock telling Jerry Seinfeld he's got to go see Cosby. When Seinfeld does see Cosby, he practically genuflects!

Comedian is full of many surprises like these. If you want an honest, gripping account of the creative process, and to see a who's who of today's great comic talents, don't miss Comedian.


 
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