Born on April 29, 1954 in Brooklyn
, Jerry Seinfeld
would grow up to become one of the most popular comedian
s of the 1990s. After completing college in 1976, Seinfeld decided to follow his dream of performing and began working in local New York comedy club
s (often for free
) and trying to make a name for himself on the comedy
circuit. Eventually he captured the attention of Rodney Dangerfield
who decided to promote Seinfeld on an HBO
special, and this special led to guest spots on the series Benson
However, Seinfeld grew frustrated with the lack of control over his character on the series and after only four appearances Seinfeld was fired from the show. He went back to the stage and in 1981 was invited to appear on The Tonight Show and, soon after, on Late Night with David Letterman. These appearances helped to make a bigger name for Seinfeld, and in 1989 he and friend Larry David collaborated on a sitcom project they called "The Seinfeld Chronicles" which eventually morphed into the legendary sitcom Seinfeld. NBC picked up the show and after giving it a chance to grow (its initial ratings were at the bottom of the list), the series grew into a pop culture phenomenon. In 1994 Seinfeld released a book of his best-known comedy routines entitled "Seinlanguage". The series ran for nine years, and in 1998 Seinfeld decided to end the series on a high note rather than allowing it to run into the ground and become repetitive and stale.
After the end of Seinfeld, the comedian returned to the standup circuit, playing to sold out houses on his 2000 comedy tour. He made the radical decision to retire all of his old material (he performed the best of his well-known routines on the 1999 HBO special, DVD, and CD release "I'm Telling You For The Last Time").
I had the honor of sitting in the front row of one of Seinfeld's August 2001 performances and I am happy to report that his new material is just as funny, if not moreso, than his old material. For those who haven't had the pleasure of attending Seinfeld's live show, be sure to check out the 2002 movie Comedian which chronicles Seinfeld's return to the comedy circuit.