Is This Anything?

In the introduction of his new book, which chronicles 45 years of his developed material, Jerry Seinfeld poses the question, often asked by one comedian to another, “Is this anything?” Ideas that come from nowhere and mean nothing until a fellow comedian or a positive response from adoring fans confirm that it is, indeed, something.

“Seinfeld” proclaimed to be a show about nothing, and this book is a great indicator of how that all developed. From the early material of the 1970’s, to current day, the most mundane, everyday subjects are picked apart and examined until they turn into comic gold. Nobody does this quite the way Jerry Seinfeld does.

If you found his show entertaining, as many did, you would surely love reading this material. It serves as the building blocks of everything ever developed on “Seinfeld.” There is a good chance you’ll recognize material that was developed in longhand on yellow legal pads and stored in accordion files. Many times, bits from the 70’s and 80’s turned up on the story lines from the 90’s era sitcom. The evolution of the material is seen here, and how the subject matter matures over a 45 year period, as he goes from a young struggling stand-up in the 1970’s, to a major star who still develops new material on stage in small clubs.

After a brief introduction that chronicles his beginnings as a comedian, the book is nothing but the comedy bits. However, the index of the book is what is most interesting to me. Subjects ranging from airplane bathrooms, to almond milk, making your bed, to pop-tarts, car alarms, to cereal bowls, and closets. The list goes on, and in any other book would appear as mundane subject matter, but in the world of Jerry Seinfeld, these very same subjects become larger than life. They are everything, they are comic gold.

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