I'm Telling You For The Last Time

Jerry Seinfeld

Universal Records, 1998

http://www.jerryseinfeld.com

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/17/1998

Confession: I absolutely hated the television show Seinfeld. I thought is was one of the dumbest shows on television ever, and I didn't think what comedian Jerry Seinfeld was doing with the show was funny at all. (Yes, I watched part of the series finale - same opinion.)

So why was I so interested in listening to Seinfeld's first live comedy album, I'm Telling You For The Last Time? Possibly because I wanted to hear Seinfeld in his natural habitat - the stage. Maybe because I wanted to hear him do something different. Maybe I was just curious.

Maybe I was wrong about Seinfeld not being funny, as there are some incredibly hilarious moments on this disc that show Seinfeld is back where he belongs: in front of a live audience.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

There still is a lot of the old Seinfeld that people saw in the opening/closing montages of the show, featuring him asking "what's up" with particular things. However, it seems much more natural in a true live comedy show setting than it did on the program. He kicks into one such routine, about cab drivers and, aah, bodily odors, within the first five minutes. Fortunately for Seinfeld, he's got a good routine to back up the statement.

In fact, a lot of what Seinfeld talks about is based in reality. Whether it's reminiscing about cheap Halloween costumes, questioning why pharmicists have to stand two feet above everyone else or making fun of old lady drivers (I won't spoil the joke for you, but it's funny as hell), Seinfeld does have his finger on the pulse of truth, and delivers his material in perfect fashion.

Nobody is safe from Seinfeld's wit. Not McDonald's, not horse racing, not airlines - not even audience members (Seinfeld takes two light-hearted jabs at people in the audience, one of whom has their cellular phone ring in the middle of the performance). But such attacks aren't delivered with venom, so they're quite easy to laugh at and to laugh off.

What I especially admired about I'm Telling You For The Last Time is that Seinfeld took a big chance, and took questions from the audience. Some of the questions were so banal that one wondered if they might have been plants; who really cares what kind of cereal Seinfeld likes the best? Still, the interaction between common fan and comedy superstar was fun to listen to.

Fans of the television show, beware that I'm Telling You For The Last Time is different from the show you knew and loved - thank God. It's still the same old Seinfeld, but he does sound liberated, and that is a refreshing change.

I'm Telling You For The Last Time is a comedy album that you will want to listen to repeatedly, and Seinfeld shows just why he's one of the most revered comics of the '80s and '90s. Although this album won't be out until September 22, it will be worth the short wait.

Rating: B

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© 1998 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Universal Records, and is used for informational purposes only.