-Two Feature Length Commentaries With The Director, Producer, Jerry Seinfeld, and Colin Quinn
-Jerry Seinfeld and Orny Adams’ Complete “Late Night With David Letterman” Performances From The Film
-Deleted Scenes With Commentary From The Director And Producer
-Jiminy Glick’s Interviews With Jerry Seinfeld And Orny Adams About “Comedian” Made Exclusively For The DVD
-”Where Is Orny Now?” – A Short Film Made Exclusively For The DVD
-Complete Advertising Campaign Including The Spoof Theatrical Trailer, TV, And Radio Commercials, Posters, and Action Figures
-Actual Notes From Jerry Seinfeld, Colin Quinn, and Orny Adams on Developing Material
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Running Time: 82 Minutes
This documentary follows comedian Jerry Seinfeld as he works his way back into stand-up comedy after his successful TV series. Having been out of practice for two years, he is shown working up new jokes, chatting with his celebrity friends, and preparing for his new acts behind the scenes. Seinfeld hits comedy clubs all over the US in surprise appearances to try out his new material. He eventually works his way up from small venues to larger clubs, the Late Show with David Letterman, and a large performance hall.
As Seinfeld gets back into the swing of things, up and coming comedian Orny Adams is shown in the early stages of his career. Adams is shown trying out new material, getting an agent, and grasping desperately for the fame and fortune that Seinfeld already has. Surprisingly, the two still share common challenges as standup comics. Both have to work out their acts and new material. Both are heckled and bomb on stage. Both get extremely nervous before performances and both crave approval from their audiences.
“Comedian” ends up being a very candid look at what it takes to become a successful stand-up comic.
“Comedian” is rated R for language.
I was a fan of the Seinfeld TV series, so I was very interested to see what Jerry has been up to since it ended. If you’re any kind of fan of Seinfeld, this is a documentary you’ll be interested in. It’s odd to see him get extremely nervous before a show, completely freeze up in mid-sentence on stage, and constantly being worried about how the audience will react to him. It’s even stranger to hear him cuss like a sailor, something you never saw on his TV show. I thought it was particularly interesting to see him behind the scenes at the Late Show with David Letterman.
The film also follows Orny Adams, a comedian you’ve probably never heard of and will never hear from again. He comes across as an incredible jerk in the movie. He’s really not that funny, he’s rude, and he’s completely self-absorbed. Adams is so neurotic about his performance, his career, and his love life that you hope someone will beat him over the head, heavily medicate him, and order him a Russian Mail Order Bride just so he’ll quit whining. Seinfeld even brushes off the poor schmuck during their one meeting in the film.
Despite the annoying qualities of this young comedian, he’s got a lot in common with Seinfeld as a struggling comedian. Both of them are heckled, and it’s an embarrassing experience. Both of them have to work out their acts over several performances, and it shows. Both of them are so incredibly desperate for audience approval that you begin to wonder if there’s a medical term for their insecurity. If you’re an aspiring comedian, you’ll want to watch this film for tips on what to do and what not to do.
This documentary is filled with cameos. Chris Rock, Colin Quinn, Ray Romano, Jay Leno, Kevin Nealon, and others all stop by and chat with Jerry at one point or another. The most notable cameo is by Bill Cosby. Seinfeld utterly adores him and looks up to him as a role model and legend. Cosby is also shown cussing like a sailor, something you might be shocked to hear if you grew up watching him on The Cosby Show.
Overall, if you have any interest in Seinfeld or comedy, this is a documentary you’ll want to check out. Otherwise, you might find yourself a little bored.
This DVD has some of the better extras I’ve seen in quite a while, especially for a documentary. They all compliment the film itself very well:
Feature Length Commentary With The Director and Producer – The makers of the movie discuss how the film was made. They get into how they filmed the movie, how they cut it, and what it was like following Seinfeld around for so long. It’s interesting, yet not as colorful as the second commentary on this DVD.
Feature Length Commentary With Jerry Seinfeld, and Colin Quinn – Colin Quinn and Jerry Seinfeld provide this commentary, and it really sounds like a couple of guys just hanging out watching the movie. They’ll talk about whatever comes into their minds whether it has anything to do with the documentary or not. There are long silences, Quinn sounds like he’s eating, and someone plays with the microphone a lot. Despite not being so polished, it’s a bit funnier. Both of them crack jokes, discuss Orny Adams, and more. If you’re going to listen to one of the commentaries, this is probably the one you’re most interested in.
Jerry Seinfeld and Orny Adams’ Complete “Late Night With David Letterman” Performances From The Film – Since Seinfeld and Adams’ Letterman performances were highlights of the film, it’s only appropriate to have them on the DVD. They weren’t shown in the movie, so it’s great to see the full performance here. Adams’ act was a bit weak, but Seinfeld’s was better and further energized by the enthusiasm of the crowd. After all, this was one of his first major public appearances after his TV series ended.
Deleted Scenes With Commentary From The Director And Producer – This has around a half dozen deleted scenes from the film. One shows Seinfeld going to a car show, being friendly with the people there, then insulting them as morons behind their backs. Another scene shows him endlessly discussing how a joke bombed and using the word “f—” repeatedly. Neither of these deleted scenes casts him in a very good light. Another deleted scene shows Adams moving to LA, thus explaining what happened to him at the end of the film. These scenes are interesting, but they don’t add anything to the movie.
Jiminy Glick’s Interviews With Jerry Seinfeld And Orny Adams About “Comedian” Made Exclusively For The DVD – This is one of the funnier DVD extras I’ve seen in a while. In case you don’t know, Martin Short occasionally dresses up in a fat suit and pretends to be “Jiminy Glick”. He’s basically a parody of a Hollywood celebrity interviewer. He’s rude, fat, ignorant, and annoying. So, of course, he’s a great person to interview Seinfeld and Adams. Short’s performance ranges from absolutely hilarious to downright stupid, but he really throws Seinfeld for a loop and delivers a really funny interview. Jerry looks equally amused and disgusted while being grilled by Glick. Glick also skewers Adams and it’s particularly fun to watch if you don’t like the guy. Overall, this is a really fun extra to this DVD.
“Where Is Orny Now?” – A Short Film Made Exclusively For The DVD – In case you’re wondering where Orny Adams is now, this 5 minute video tells you. He’s in LA with a flopped TV deal, a new car, longer hair, and a bit of extra weight. You can’t help but wonder if he’d have been better off on Wall Street after seeing this.
Complete Advertising Campaign Including The Spoof Theatrical Trailer, TV, And Radio Commercials, Posters, and Action Figures – This is your typical showcase of trailers, commercials, and movie posters. There’s even a section that inexplicably features action figures of the movie actors. It’s not really explained, it’s just there.
Actual Notes From Jerry Seinfeld, Colin Quinn, and Orny Adams on Developing Material – All this is is a scan of the notes from the comedians. You’ll need a big TV to decipher anything on them, though.
The Bottom Line:
Overall, it’s a decent DVD for a documentary. If you’re an aspiring comedian or a fan of Seinfeld, you’ll definitely want to check this out.