Seinfeld inspired to become a comedian in Israel

Israeli audiences connect to his performance out of Nostalgia and because he keeps it clean.

Raphael Poch ,

Jerry Seinfeld performs in Tel Aviv, December 19, 2015
Jerry Seinfeld performs in Tel Aviv, December 19, 2015
Reuters

In a country that is good at finding laughter in tough situations, sometimes finding laughter about nothing can be equally as rewarding.

Jerry Seinfeld, whose signature comedy may be best described by character George Costanza from the hit 90’s TV show, when he said it is "about absolutely nothing”, performed in front of 11,000 adoring fans in Tel Aviv on Saturday night.

Seinfeld gave the audience exactly what they were looking for, but during the encore, threw in a bit of a twist that no one expected.

In relating his earlier experiences in Israel to the crowd, Mr. Seinfeld said it was at the age of 15, in 1970, during a program that took him to work a kibbutz, that he first thought, “that if I could be a comedian, that that would be the greatest thing that I could do with my life.”

“It was classic Seinfeld,” said Miri Gantshar, a resident of Beit Shemesh, who made the trek to see Seinfeld perform in the Menora Mivtachim Arena. “He doesn’t reach out to the audience the way some other comedians do, but that is because he doesn’t have to. His jokes are about the human condition and they apply to everybody,” she said.

While he didn’t reach out to the Israeli crowd so much, he did field questions from the audience which included him responding to whether he would retire in Israel. “Why would I retire, I just go around making people happy,” said the millionaire comedian.

Mark Schiff opened the evening for Mr. Seinfeld, and the audience had a good response for him as well.

“We love Seinfeld from the old country and we have all of the seasons, and watched them every Saturday night," said Gantshar. “One of the things we loved about him is that he is very similar to the way he was 20 years ago,” she added.

“Many comedians get dirty over time, but Seinfeld didn’t do that. He makes implications but he keeps it very clean, and that has not changed in the 25 years since he has come out, and that is what we enjoy about it. He applies to the mundane in everyone’s life, and he is for everybody which is why he appeals to everyone, even if he doesn’t reach out to each audience in particular.”

Hillel Katchen from Jerusalem also appreciated the clean style of stand-up comedy that Seinfeld performed. “Do I need a reason to go? He is great and I am a huge fan,” said Katchen.

Another fan who attended the event, Sarah Chin from Jerusalem, said that “while she likes to support acts that come to Israel,” there was a special place in heart for Seinfeld as well as she grew up watching the show.

“I came to love the show, so many of the characters and situations reminded me of my own family/life and as i got older I appreciated his stand up as well,” she told Arutz Sheva. “I laughed throughout the entire performance. [In true Seinfeld form] it was about nothing and hilarious at the same time.”

Robbie Strazynski from Ginot Shomron also responded about the performance. "His work speaks for itself. It has always made me laugh. I loved watching his show as a teenager and I still love watching his standup clips on YouTube.”

Seinfeld performed in front of two more audiences in Israel on Sunday night, and if he succeeds like he did on Saturday night, both of those audiences will be in stitches for the entire two hour performance.



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