Sunday, July 25, 2004

Seinfeld still king of funny nothings


Review

By Chris Varias
Enquirer contributor

Nobody does nothing like Jerry Seinfeld.

The man who gave television "the show about nothing" has plenty more funny things to say about life's least-important matters. Breakfast cereal, the weather, answering machines - those things that embody all that is bland and ordinary about the everyday - were turned inside out and overanalyzed to varying degrees of hilariousness by the comedian in the first of two sellout shows at the Aronoff Center's Procter and Gamble Hall Saturday night.

Six years removed from the final episode of his eponymous sitcom smash, Seinfeld continues to rule as America's top observational-humor standup. He delivered a 75-minute performance that came off like a highlight reel of his best riffs from a lost season of Seinfeld, and the crowd of 2,700 responded time and again with roars as on-cue as a must-see-TV laugh track.

"What a river!" he enthused sarcastically, as some sort of means by which to greet the Cincinnati crowd. "You must be pinching yourselves!"

Then came pained recollection of locals asking him how he enjoyed the day's lovely weather, and he was off and running.

"There's no such thing as a five-day forecast," he reasoned. "If there were, there'd only be weather forecasts every five days, not five minutes."

The only thing more mundane than weather might be cereal, and the name of one particular brand brings him much displeasure.

"Life Cereal - a touch grandiose, isn't it? What were the other names they were considering, 'Almighty God?' Or 'New Almighty God with Raisins?' "

One of the night's only bits about something dealt with the war in Iraq. "That went really well," he deadpanned. "Everything seemed to fall into place."

He spoke with wonderment about America being the only country that would come up with the idea of dropping both bombs and food onto a country, calling the unique diplomacy "kind of a war toss salad. Some things will be exploding, other things will be delicious," he joked.

This is not to say he's gone the way of Dennis Miller. Later, when Seinfeld took audience questions during the encore, someone asked about his vote for president. He declined to answer. "We're trying to have a good time," he said, and the crowd cheered.

Someone else asked about the chances of him doing another TV show. Not likely, he replied. "I'm old, I'm rich and I'm tired."

Seinfeld's opening act of recent years, standup Tom Papa, did 20 funny minutes of the same brand of observational humor as the headliner's.




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