Monday, November 05, 2007

Curb Your Buzz

When Jerry Seinfeld got his own TV show I avoided it like the plague. I used to see him on the Tonight Show asking his "what's the deal with ketchup?" questions and I really didn't need to be irritated for half an hour each week. It wasn't until I was in residence at university and couldn't successfully avoid TV any longer that I happened to watch a few episodes of Seinfeld and found it to be very amusing. Despite the fact that all of the characters were extreme sociopaths it was an innovative show that highlighted the absurdities of everyday minutia. Perhaps I was wrong about this guy. Maybe he wasn't such a superficial simpleton.

Years later while on vacation in Mexico I saw this show called Curb Your Enthusiasm on HBO. I nearly pissed myself laughing and remember thinking that it was another step above the bar set by the Seinfeld sitcom. I watched two episodes during that vacation and it started to dawn on me that this Larry David guy was the same guy who created and wrote on the Seinfeld show. It was also implied that the George Costanza character was loosely based on himself. Curb Your Enthusiasm has of course become a successful and well known show and Jerry Seinfeld hasn't done much of anything since the end of the run for Seinfeld. He would occasionally do a stand-up routine and audiences seemed enthusiastic but it was always the kind of material that wouldn't get a comic very many laughs if he weren't already as famous and powerful as Jerry.

Now we finally have a major project that was initiated, written and produced by Jerry himself and everyone is buzzing about how mediocre Bee Movie is. I'm not at all surprised. If you haven't caught on yet it has become abundantly clear that Larry David was the creative brains and the funny bone behind Seinfeld. Jerry was well known and comfortable in front of the camera so he became the face of the show which I'm convinced would have been just another canceled Pauly Shore type star vehicle if it wasn't for Larry David.


unslaked said...

I've observed in the past that Jerry Seinfeld is a very "physical" comedian. A natural theatre actor at core. His facial expression (or, lack thereof, being essentially dead-pan), hand gestures, body movements - I believe all of those subtle performance devices contributed to the humour being carried off successfully on the show.

Eddie Murphy, by contrast, is fabulous as a voice actor in the Shrek films (a fine ass, I must say!) His delivery (even when he was doing stand-up comedy) is almost entirely in the voice and intonation.

JakeJakob said...

There's no doubt he's good at what he does. I just get the impression that he's not a very interesting writer.