Times Change, Seinfeld Doesn't

By Paul Krueger
|  Saturday, Dec 5, 2009  |  Updated 11:28 AM PDT
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Fresh off his reunion appearances on HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" Jerry Seinfeld brought his comedy act to San Diego this weekend.

Seinfeld has been doing live comedy for more than 30 years, and his adoring public never tires of the Brooklyn native who sold light bulbs and hawked jewelry on New York street corners before launching one of the most popular sit-coms in television history.

Times do change, but Seinfeld's ability to transform the mundane into the hilarious is a constant. He joked non-stop for more than an hour in a nearly sold-out show at downtown's Civic Theater, and the audience seemed to love every minute of it.

Seinfeld didn't even earn his first of three standing ovations; fans were on their feet when the 55 year-old comedian made his entrance.

He riffed on what a lazy society we've become; how evolution has molded our bodies to fit so comfortably in a chair

"The ass -- it's a seat cushion growing out of your body,” he joked. And reflected on how "the only time you're happy to get out of a chair is when you're going to the bed."

Seinfeld poked fun at weddings, funerals, and restaurants with their "daily specials" delivered by snooty waiters who brag about "drizzles" and "reductions" of ingredients that we've never heard of, but must pretend we're familiar with.

"If it's so special, then why don't you put it on the menu?"

He waxed nostalgic about the simple foods of his childhood, and ridiculed America's obsession with "liquid refreshment: from Starbuck's coffee to bottled water and "meth lab jello" energy shots.

"When I was a kid, I had one drink from the water fountain and ran for 28 hours. What's happened?"

He offered a sharp put-down of the pharmaceutical industry's TV advertisements, taking special aim at the ad for an erectile dysfunction drug that shows a couple relaxing in separate hot tubs, admiring the beautiful scenery.

"Who the hell sits in two tubs, trying to get something going? Who even has two tubs?"

Evoking the best of George Carlin and other socially aware comedians, he groaned about rude "friends" who send text messages, "tweets" and "twitters," and can't keep their hands off their Blackberries while trying only half-heartedly to carry on a conversation.

"Do we even know what rudeness is any more in this country?"

His cutting, sarcastic and all-too-real description of dating, marriage, and parenthood struck a chord with the audience, including one young couple who said they love Seinfeld's humor because it has such universal appeal. They were barely teens when the "Seinfeld" TV series premiered on NBC in 1990, yet they "Tivo" the re-runs every night, and are happy that Seinfeld still connects with then now, as 30-something professionals.

"We're thinking about having kids, and hoping he talks about that," the husband said. "We relate to his humor."

They weren't disappointed, and you won't be either, if you can get tickets. Jerry Seinfeld performs two more shows Saturday night at the Civic, but only a few seats remain.
Fellow comedian Larry Miller, a long-time Seinfeld friend and very talented performer, opens the show.

Jerry Seinfeld: Saturday, December 5, 7p.m. and 9:30 p.m at the Civic Theater, 3rd and "B: Street, downtown. Call the Civic Theatre Ticket Office at (619) 570-1100 for tickets, which range from $48 - $78.

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