On Sept. 19, Netflix added to its ever growing list of original comedy specials with “Jerry Before Seinfeld,” an hour-long description of one of the most successful comedians in history, Jerry Seinfeld.
The iconic stand up returned to the comedy club where he discovered the world of live comedy at Comic Strip Live, in Manhattan, New York, a starting point for fellow stars like Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy, and Sarah Silverman.
Throughout the special, Seinfeld illustrated his early life as a nerdy Jewish New Yorker with a dream of entertaining mass audiences. Switching between serious and one-on-one narrative moments in his old neighborhood and classic jokes that revolved around his coming of age in front of a local audience (much larger than his typical size audience, for obvious reasons).
Seinfeld took the audience through his childhood by comparing the ‘60s household he grew up in to the childhoods of the mainly millennial live audience. “You had garbage compared to what we had in the ‘60s, and you know why?” said Seinfeld. “Your parents paid attention to you! My parents didn’t even know our names!”
What makes this comedy special is Seinfeld’s ability to combine acting and telling jokes. He highlights the important parts of the story so that the audience feels the same way. His appearance is incredible and could only come from a professional with more than 40 years under his belt.
Jerry Seinfeld has had a long career filled with stand up performances that he was able to lay out enough pieces of paper with jokes written as far back as the ‘70s to fill an entire neighborhood street from his childhood town. While bringing back the various jokes he found from his collection, Seinfeld reflected on his career as a whole and what made comedy so special in his heart.
“To feel that your sense of humor is actually being validated,” Seinfeld said. “That is the only validation I think I’ve ever really cared about as a human being.”
As a whole, “Jerry Before Seinfeld” gives a wonderful glimpse at the comedy legend’s career prior to being watched on millions of televisions across the world as the main character of “Seinfeld.” The Netflix special focused on Seinfeld’s wacky childhood, his experiences in his home state of New York, and his undoubtable passion for comedy. In just one hour, Netflix viewers have the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of a tremendously successful comedian.