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Comedian


By Joe MacLeod | Posted

The Movie: Well, it probably helps a little (OK, a lot) if you enjoy stand-up comedy, and it probably helps a little more if you're familiar with Jerry Seinfeld, but you don't have to give a shit about this guy who made a fortune from a wildly successful TV series and his return to his stand-up-comedy roots to be engrossed by this 2002 documentary, shot 99.9 percent on digital video. As the fly on the wall, you will get sucked into the discussions of why stand-up comedians do what they do, and even if the documentarians don't do the greatest job showing Seinfeld's completely new act evolve (completely new act equals nothing he's ever done before, basically throwing away 20 years worth of work, a fact not lost on the parade of famous, successful comedians Seinfeld speaks with in his travels), you are also dropped squarely into the stressful, doubt-filled world of the stand-up, and inside the swelled head of one Orny Adams, an obsessive, obnoxious, Rupert Pupkin-like nobody-from-nowhere on the rise who wants what Seinfeld has, and may succeed, in spite of himself.

The Disc: If you've already seen Comedian, your first question is no doubt, "Where is that Orny guy now?" All will be revealed in a time-wasting wealth of worthy extras, including the complete comedy sets from Seinfeld's and Adams' Late Show With David Letterman appearances, complete advertising campaign materials (trailers, TV and radio commercials, posters), some always unfortunate "Jiminy Glick" interviews, an opportunity to view actual comedians' notes, and the complete set of "Homies"-style Comedian action figures. Good Lord. Plus there are two--count 'em--two full-length commentaries from Seinfeld with friend and fellow comedian Colin Quinn and from director Christian Charles with producer Gary Streiner. Commentary highlights: Seinfeld and Quinn's intermittent mocking of Adams, culminating in a meta moment in which Seinfeld, referring to media coverage of the theatrical run, actually defends his hapless counterpart: "A lot of people wrote . . . that it was really arrogant of him to say that the audience sucked. . . . There's no comedian ever that doesn't talk about the shitty crowd."

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