Jerry Seinfeld (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Jerome Allen "Jerry" Seinfeld (born April 29, 1954) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and television/film producer, best known for playing a semi-fictional version of himself in the sitcom Seinfeld (1989-1998), which he co-created and co-wrote with Larry David. For the show's final two seasons, they were co-executive producers.
In his first major foray back into the media since the finale of Seinfeld, he co-wrote and co-produced the film Bee Movie, also voicing the lead role of Barry B. Benson. In February 2010, Seinfeld premiered a reality TV series called The Marriage Ref on NBC. Seinfeld directed Colin Quinn in the Broadway show Long Story Short at the Helen Hayes Theater in New York which ran until January 8, 2011.
Seinfeld is known for specializing in observational humor, often focusing on personal relationships and uncomfortable social obligations. In 2005, Comedy Central ranked Jerry Seinfeld 12th out of 100 as the greatest comedians of all time in its five-part special The 100 Greatest Standups Of All Time.
Jerry Seinfeld was born in the borough of Brooklyn in New York City. His father, Kálmán Seinfeld (1918–1985), was a sign maker of Austrian Jewish descent; his mother, Betty (née Hesney; born 1915), is of Syrian Jewish descent; her family lived in Aleppo.
Seinfeld grew up in Massapequa, New York and attended East Lake Elementary School and Massapequa High School. At the age of 16, he spent a short period of time volunteering in Kibbutz Sa'ar in Israel. He went to SUNY Oswego, and after his sophomore year he transferred to Queens College, City University of New York, graduating with a degree in communications and theater.
Seinfeld developed an interest in stand-up comedy after brief stints in college productions. In 1976 after graduation from Queens College, he tried out at an open-mic night at New York City's Catch a Rising Star, which led to an appearance in a Rodney Dangerfield HBO special. In 1979 he had a small recurring role on the Benson sitcom as "Frankie", a mail delivery boy who had comedy routines that no one wanted to hear, but he was abruptly fired from the show due to creative differences. Seinfeld has said that he was not actually told he had been fired until he turned up for the read-through session for an episode, and found that there was no script for him. In May 1981 Seinfeld made a highly successful appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, impressing Carson and the audience and leading to regular appearances on that show and others, including Late Night with David Letterman.
Seinfeld created The Seinfeld Chronicles with Larry David in 1988 for NBC; the show was later renamed Seinfeld to avoid confusion with the short-lived teen sitcom The Marshall Chronicles. By its fourth season, it had become the most popular and successful sitcom on American television. The final episode aired in 1998, and the show has been a popular syndicated re-run. The show also starred Saturday Night Live veteran Julia Louis-Dreyfus, as well as experienced actors Michael Richards and Jason Alexander. On the show, Seinfeld played a caricature of himself. He has said that his show was influenced by the 1950s sitcom The Abbott and Costello Show. Citing Jean Shepherd as an influence in his commentary for "The Gymnast" episode on "Seinfeld, Season 6," he said, "He really formed my entire comedic sensibility—I learned how to do comedy from Jean Shepherd." Seinfeld also holds the distinction of being the only actor to appear in every episode of the show.
From 2004-2007, the former Seinfeld cast and crew recorded audio commentaries for episodes of the DVD releases of the show. Seinfeld himself provided commentary for numerous episodes.
After his sitcom ended, Seinfeld returned to stand-up comedy instead of continuing his acting career. In 1998, Seinfeld went on tour and recorded a comedy special titled I'm Telling You for the Last Time. The process of developing and performing new material at clubs around the world was chronicled in a 2002 documentary, Comedian, which focused also on fellow comic Orny Adams, directed by Christian Charles. He has written several books, mostly archives of past routines.
In the late 1990s, Apple Computer came up with an advertising slogan called "Think different" and produced a 60-second commercial to promote the slogan which showed people who were able to "think differently", like Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and many others. This commercial was later cut short to 30 seconds and ended up paying tribute to Jerry Seinfeld. This commercial aired only once, during the series finale of Seinfeld.
In 2004, Seinfeld also appeared in two commercial webisodes promoting American Express, titled The Adventures of Seinfeld & Superman, in which he appeared together with an animated rendering of Superman, who was referenced in numerous episodes of Seinfeld as Seinfeld's hero, voiced by Patrick Warburton, who had portrayed David Puddy on Seinfeld. The webisodes were aired in 2004 and directed by Barry Levinson. Seinfeld and "Superman" were also interviewed by Matt Lauer in a specially-recorded interview for the Today show.
Seinfeld had a cameo appearance on May 13, 2006, Saturday Night Live episode as host Julia Louis-Dreyfus' assassin. Louis-Dreyfus in her opening monologue mentioned the "Seinfeld Curse". While talking about how ridiculous the "curse" was, a stage light suddenly fell next to her. The camera moved to a catwalk above the stage that Seinfeld was standing on, holding a large pair of bolt cutters. He angrily muttered, "Dammit!", angry that it didn't hit her. Louis-Dreyfus then continued to say that she is indeed not cursed.
On February 25, 2007, Seinfeld appeared at the 79th Academy Awards as the presenter for "Best Documentary". Before announcing the nominations he did a bit of a stand-up comedy routine about the unspoken agreement between movie theater owners and movie patrons. One of the winners of the award was Larry David's now ex-wife, Laurie.
On October 4, 2007, Seinfeld made a brief return to NBC, guest-starring in the episode "SeinfeldVision" of 30 Rock as himself.
On February 24, 2008, Seinfeld appeared as the voice of his Bee Movie animated character Barry, at the 80th Academy Awards as the presenter for "Best Animated Short". Before announcing the nominees, he showed a montage of film clips featuring bees, claiming that they were some of his early work (as Barry).
Amidst his spring 2008 tour Seinfeld made a stop in his hometown of New York City for a one-night-only performance on June 2, 2008 at the Hammerstein Ballroom to benefit Stand Up for a Cure, a charity aiding lung cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
In August 2008 the Associated Press reported that Jerry Seinfeld would be the pitchman for Windows Vista, as part of a $300 million advertising campaign by Microsoft. The ads, which were intended to create buzz for Windows in support of the subsequent "I'm a PC" advertisements, began airing in mid-September 2008 and were cut from television after just 3 installments, Microsoft opting instead to continue with the "I'm a PC" advertisements, and instead continued running the Seinfeld ads on the Microsoft website as a series of longer advertisements.
In March 2009, it was announced that Seinfeld and the entire cast of Seinfeld would be appearing for a reunion in Larry David's HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm. The fictional reunion took place in the seventh season's finale.
Seinfeld appeared on an episode of the Starz original series Head Case. Like many of his previous guest appearances on sitcoms he played himself.
In Australia, Seinfeld appears on a series of advertisements for Greater Building Society, a building society based in New South Wales and southeastern Queensland. His appearance in these ads were highly publicized and considered a coup for the society, being only the third time Seinfeld had appeared in a television commercial. The advertisements were filmed in Cedarhurst, Long Island, with the street designed to emulate Beaumont Street in Hamilton, where the Greater's head offices are located. Seinfeld also wrote the scripts for the 15 advertisements that were filmed. The ads largely aired in the Northern New South Wales television market, where the society has most of its branches.
Seinfeld was the first guest of Jay Leno's talk show, The Jay Leno Show, which premiered on September 14, 2009.
Seinfeld was featured on Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update sketch to do the "Really!?!" segment with Seth Meyers. He executive produced and occasionally starred as a panelist in The Marriage Ref. On August 30, 2010, Seinfeld made a notable surprise guest appearance on The Howard Stern Show, repairing the falling out the two had in the early 90s.
Seinfeld toured the U.S. in 2011 and made his first appearance on stage in the U.K. in 13 years. In July 2011, he was a surprise guest on The Daily Show, helping Jon Stewart to suppress his urge to tell "cheap" "Michele Bachmann's husband acts gay" jokes. He launched a personal archives website at JerrySeinfeld.com. In 2011, he appeared in the HBO special Talking Funny with fellow comedians Chris Rock, Louis C.K. and Ricky Gervais. In 2012 he began an Internet comedy series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. In 2013, it's been reported that Seinfeld is working with rapper Wale on his 4th studio album, The Album About Nothing. In June 2013, he appeared on rapper Wale's album The Gifted on the song "Outro About Nothing".
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
In 2012, Seinfeld started a talk show named Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. In the show he would pick up a fellow comedian in a special car (usually old but powerful ones), and take them out for coffee.
Broadcast on the internet, with flexible length episodes (7–25 minutes), the initial series in 2012 had ten episodes with a reported 10 million viewers per episode.
In 2013, Seinfeld was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for the series.
Seinfeld wrote the book Seinlanguage, released in 1993. Written as his television show was first rising in popularity, it is primarily an adaptation of the comedian's standup material. The title comes from an article in Entertainment Weekly listing the numerous catch-phrases for which the show was responsible. In 2002, he wrote the children's book Halloween. The book was illustrated by James Bennett.
He wrote the forewords to Ted L. Nancy's Letters from a Nut series of books and Ed Broth's Stories from a Moron. Seinfeld also wrote the foreword to the Peanut Butter & Co. Cookbook.
Years before Seinfeld was created, Seinfeld dated Carol Leifer, a fellow comedian and one of the inspirations for the character of Elaine for the TV series. When he was in his late 30s, Seinfeld began a romantic relationship with then-17-year-old high school student Shoshanna Lonstein. The relationship lasted for four years. A while later, after meeting Jessica Sklar at the Reebok Sports Club, he began dating her. Sklar, a public relations executive for Tommy Hilfiger, had just returned from a three-week honeymoon in Italy with Eric Nederlander, a theatrical producer and scion of a theater-owning family. Sklar divorced Nederlander and married Seinfeld on December 25, 1999.
Seinfeld and his wife have one daughter and two sons; daughter Sascha was born in 2000, son Julian Kal was born in 2003, and Shepherd Kellen was born in 2005, all in New York City. His son Julian's middle name, Kal, is the first name of Seinfeld's father and also the first name of Seinfeld's hero Superman, aka Kal-El. Among Seinfeld's best friends are fellow comedians Larry Miller, George Wallace, and Mario Joyner.
In 2000, Jessica Seinfeld launched Baby Buggy, a charity that provides clothing and gear for underprivileged women and children. She is the author of the best-seller Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food, released by HarperCollins in October 2007.
Seinfeld is recorded as having made several political contributions, including George W. Bush and Al Gore's presidential campaigns in 2000, and subsequently to four Democratic Party primary candidates in 2000 and 2004.
Seinfeld stated that he dabbled in Scientology when he was in his 20s, though he says he was never in the organization. The association came to light in 1992.
A fan of the New York Mets, Seinfeld periodically calls Steve Somers' show on WFAN-AM, a sports talk radio station, as "Jerry from Queens." Seinfeld called four innings of a Mets game on SportsNet New York June 23, 2010, reuniting with analyst Keith Hernandez who appeared in the Seinfeld two part episode The Boyfriend.
In December 2012, Seinfeld said that he had been practicing Transcendental Meditation for 40 years. He has supported the David Lynch Foundation for the use of this technique to help treat Posttraumatic stress disorder, and he appeared at a 2009 benefit for TM.
According to Forbes magazine, Jerry Seinfeld's annual earning from Seinfeld in 1998 was $267 million, making him the highest-earning celebrity that year. He reportedly turned down $5 million per episode, for 22 episodes, to continue the show for a tenth season. He earned $100 million from syndication deals and stand-up appearances in 2005 and $60 million in 2006. He also earned $10 million for appearing with Bill Gates in Microsoft's 2008 ads for Windows. Between June 2008 and June 2009, Seinfeld earned $85 million, making him the highest-paid comedian during that 12-month period. Jerry Seinfeld has earned a net worth of $800 million during his career so far. As per Forbes, his annual income is $32 million, as of 2013.
Seinfeld, an automobile enthusiast and avid collector, owns a large Porsche collection. He rented a hangar at the Santa Monica Airport, in Santa Monica, California, for an extended period of time during the 1990s for storage of some of the vehicles in the collection.
One tally has Seinfeld owning 46 Porsches. Paul Bannister has written that Seinfeld's collection includes Porsche 911s from various years, 10 Porsche Boxsters each painted a different color, and the famous 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder, the same model and pearl-grey color that actor James Dean was driving when he crashed and died. The Discovery Channel television show "Chasing Classic Cars" claims Seinfeld owns the first and last air-cooled Porsche 911s produced. The centerpiece is a US$700,000 Porsche 959, one of only 337 built. He was not allowed to drive it as U.S. emission and crash tests were never performed because Porsche refused to donate four Porsche 959s for destruction tests, rendering the car "not street-legal". He imported the car "for exhibition purposes", which stipulates the car may never be driven on USA roads. The car was made U.S. street legal in 1999 under the "Show and Display" federal law. He wrote an article for the February 2004 issue of Automobile, reviewing the Porsche Carrera GT.
In 2008, Seinfeld was involved in a car accident when the brakes on his 1966 Fiat 500 failed and—to avoid an intersection—he pulled the emergency brake while turning sharply, ultimately causing the car to come to a stop on its side. Seinfeld was unhurt.
The Ratings Game
Pros & Cons
Prison Man #2
A Uniform Used to Mean Something
Hindsight Is 20/20
Barry B. Benson
Voice, Producer, Co-writer Nominated - Producers Guild of America Award for Motion Picture Producer of the Year Award - Animated Nominated - Kids Choice Award for Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie
American Comedy Award for Funniest Male Performer in a TV Series (1992, 1993) Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series (1993) Golden Globe Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (1995, 1997, 1998) Nominated - American Comedy Award for Funniest Male Performer in a TV Series (1996, 1999) Nominated - Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996) Nominated - Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series (1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998) Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (1996)