Thank You Jerry Seinfeld
For our 16th anniversary, my wife bought us tickets to see Jerry Seinfeld at the Queen Elizabeth theatre in Vancouver. It was also part birthday present, because not sure if you know this, Jerry Seinfeld is a pretty big deal (and ticket). That said, our babysitter had never seen his TV show, his stand up and didn’t even know who he was… at all. I am quite positive it was the first time I had one of those “what planet have you been living on?” moments. Great kid, but no longer allowed around my children until she is educated. Even my 6 year old knows Jerry Seinfeld thanks to BEE Movie. Her parents clearly failed her.
The show was fantastic! My highlight was how he embodied the ridiculousness of our cell phone obsession by equating our battery life with our own ability to exist and function. Like Cinderella fleeing the ball at midnight, Jerry stumbled and crumbled as he tried to make his way home to his charger. Lying on his back, yelling into the air as if he was just struck with grenade shrapnel, voice cracking as it does in a ‘save-yourself’ -esque desperation… “I’ll call you tomorrow!” 61 years old and still putting it all out there. Inspiring stuff.
That was just one example. I laughed hard all night, except for that one moment when I didn’t. The opening act, Mario Joyner, had just crushed his set and then Jerry came running out to intense applause and cheering… I welled up. Overwhelmed with gratitude. I cried at a comedy show. It was just for a second, but I did indeed cry. From when I first saw SEINFELD the show, to his HBO special, his documentary Comedian, his book SEIN language, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, even his wife’s sneaky way of getting veggies into cookies… he has #BLESSED me with laughter. It’s a gift. He has a gift. And he has shared it with all of us.
A good laugh at any point is wonderful, but a good laugh in the middle of a dark day is a glimpse of heaven. On Friday November 13th with the fresh news of terrorist attacks in Paris and trying to suppress irrational fears of ‘why am I sitting in a packed theatre when there are psychos who feel closer to God when they kill people in crowded places?’, I wondered how he does it. How do you put aside your own fears and doubts and sadness or whatever to make jokes? There is obligation of ticket sales and professionalism, sure, but as he told us at the show, it’s his favourite thing to do. He loves to make people laugh. It is who he is. It’s his purpose. But even when you are passionate, as I am also passionate about entertaining, it still requires a measure of bravery. It’s a different bravery than someone tackling a suicide bomber, but its bravery nonetheless. To look at the dark world, to wrestle with your own uncertainties (I am assuming he is human) and then put yourself out there anyway. To his credit, for the duration of his 60+ minute set, I forgot about cruelty and fear and racism and cancer and all kinds of other un-funny things life has to offer us and for that I am grateful.
That was gold, Jerry! Gold!