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Laughing into Hysteria: Jerry Seinfeld hits Salt Lake

by Autumn Thatcher 

Jerry Seinfeld at a recent live performance.

With four sold-out shows during a two night stay in Salt Lake City, Jerry Seinfeld proved that though his hit show ended nearly a decade ago, he is still a leading man within the comedic realm.

Seinfeld graced the stage at Abravenel Hall in early April, answering deafening bouts of applause with a drawn-out exclamation of, “Salt Lake City…Jesus Christ!” Though many artists appearing in Salt Lake insist on throwing out a sarcastic remark directed toward the locally dominant religion, Seinfeld’s retort seemed more amusing than insulting. His introduction was well-received by the audience members, who could hardly get over the fact that Jerry Seinfeld was standing, in the flesh, on a stage in front of them.

As the night progressed and Seinfeld transitioned from one subject to another, it became increasingly obvious as to why the comedian turned actor has successfully maintained such a strong fan base. Though he is a widely celebrated comedian whose old comedy episodes still take over television for several hours a day, Jerry Seinfeld represents himself as someone who is simply “one of us.” Seinfeld’s comedy routines center on day-to-day events nearly every individual can relate to in some way. Not once did the comedian reference his wealth or success. He easily connected with the audience, and answered rounds of applause with exaggerated facial expressions that he could only hold for so long before even he had to laugh.

After his hour and a half act, Seinfeld graced his audience with an encore, where he allowed for a question and answer session. Sadly, no questions were answered as none were asked. Instead, ravenous fans who had obviously followed each and every Seinfeld episode, requested certain acts that he had done years ago. The final act was a presentation of the famous way in which Jerry Seinfeld says, “Hello, Newman” on the TV show. Seinfeld took as long as possible to get to the climax of that request, explaining with great detail each little step that it takes to get to the point of being able to say “Hello, Newman”, in just the right way.

Though the comedy show felt entirely too short, it was an awesome experience. Laughter echoed throughout the Hall, and every guest left with rosy cheeks and happy spirits. Hopefully next time, Seinfeld will stick around just a bit longer.

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Seinfeld has enjoyed critical acclaim and vast success as a stand-up comedian, television actor and author of the hilarious “SeinLanguage” which was on The New York Times Best-Seller List for 33 weeks and also author of the best-selling children’s book “Halloween” currently on bookshelves.

The series, “Seinfeld” – and his innovative work on it – has been recognized with dozens of premier honors. Among them, the show received a Peabody Award and an Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series. Seinfeld himself garnered three Emmy Award nominations, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Television Critics Association Award, an American Comedy Award and an American Television Award.

While Seinfeld is inextricably linked to his namesake series, he recently starred in "Comedian," a behind-the-scenes documentary acquired by Miramax. The film follows him both on and off-stage traveling on his national stand-up tour, which reflected on his post-Seinfeld life – including fatherhood. He also performed in a one-night-only concert in October 2001 at Carnegie Hall to benefit families of New York emergency workers killed in the terror attacks on the Twin Towers.

Born in Brooklyn, Seinfeld became fascinated by comedians as a child while watching them on television and realizing their entire job was to make people laugh. That mission became Seinfeld's goal as well, even through his years as an honors student at Queens College.

He spent the next few years honing his craft and, in 1987, starred in his own HBO special, "Jerry Seinfeld's Stand-up Confidential," before Seinfeld began its run in 1990. Seinfeld has also hosted NBC's "Saturday Night Live" and has made several appearances on "The Tonight Show" and "Late Show with David Letterman". Following “Seinfeld”, he went to Broadway’s Broadhurst Theater where his sold out performances of “I’m Telling You for the Last Time” culminated in his HBO special of the same title and he recorded his first comedy album for Universal Records based on this material.

He continues his successful career as a stand-up comic performing sold-out shows across North America.

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