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Is This Anything?
Cover of Is This Anything?
Is This Anything?
The first book in twenty-five years from Jerry Seinfeld features his best work across five decades in comedy.Since his first performance at the legendary New York nightclub "Catch a Rising Star" as a...
The first book in twenty-five years from Jerry Seinfeld features his best work across five decades in comedy.Since his first performance at the legendary New York nightclub "Catch a Rising Star" as a...
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  • The first book in twenty-five years from Jerry Seinfeld features his best work across five decades in comedy.
    Since his first performance at the legendary New York nightclub "Catch a Rising Star" as a twenty-one-year-old college student in fall of 1975, Jerry Seinfeld has written his own material and saved everything. "Whenever I came up with a funny bit, whether it happened on a stage, in a conversation, or working it out on my preferred canvas, the big yellow legal pad, I kept it in one of those old school accordion folders," Seinfeld writes. "So I have everything I thought was worth saving from forty-five years of hacking away at this for all I was worth."

    For this book, Jerry Seinfeld has selected his favorite material, organized decade by decade. In page after hilarious page, one brilliantly crafted observation after another, readers will witness the evolution of one of the great comedians of our time and gain new insights into the thrilling but unforgiving art of writing stand-up comedy.

About the Author-

  • Jerry Seinfeld is the author of Seinlanguage, a #1 New York Times bestseller and one of the bestselling books of the 1990s.

Reviews-

  • Library Journal

    May 1, 2020

    Assaying 50 years of making people burst into fits of giggles, Seinfeld's new work is his first book in 25 years (one million-copy first printing).

    Copyright 2020 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    August 15, 2020
    "All comedians are slightly amazed when anything works." So writes Seinfeld in this pleasing collection of sketches from across his four-decade career. Known for his wry, observational humor, Seinfeld has largely avoided profanity and dirty jokes and has kept politics out of the equation. Like other schooled jokesters, perhaps most famously Bob Hope, he keeps a huge library of gags stockpiled, ever fearful of that day when the jokes will run out or the emcee will call you back for another set. "For the most part, it was the people who killed themselves to keep coming up with great new material who were able to keep rising through the many levels," he recounts of his initiation into the New York stand-up scene. Not all his early material played well. The first piece in this collection, laid out sentence by sentence as if for a teleprompter, is a bit about being left-handed, which comes with negative baggage: "Two left feet. / Left-handed compliment. / Bad ideas are always 'out of left field.' / What are we having for dinner? / Leftovers." He gets better, and quickly, as when he muses on the tininess of airplane bathrooms: "And a little slot for used razor blades. Who is shaving on the plane? And shaving so much, they're using up razor blades. Is the Wolfman flying in there?" For the most part, the author's style is built on absurdities: "Why does water ruin leather? / Aren't cows outside a lot of the time?" It's also affable, with rare exceptions, as when, taking on a mob boss persona, he threatens a child with breaking the youngster's Play-Doh creations: "Nothing wrong with sending your child a little Sicilian message once in a while." One wishes there were more craft notes among the gags, but the ones that are there are both inspiring and gnomic: "Stand-up is about a brief, fleeting moment of human connection." Fans of Seinfeld will eat this up, and aspiring comics will want to study how he shapes his seemingly effortless humor.

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from August 24, 2020
    Comedian Seinfeld (Seinlanguage) reflects on the absurdities of life in a laugh-out-loud volume that gathers jokes he’s written over the course of his 45-year career along with reminiscences on the lifestyle and craft of stand-up. “I was able to spend endless amounts of time on some of the silliest ideas you can imagine,” he writes. “And they’re all here.” Highlights include takes on such topics as air travel (“The closest thing we have to royalty in America are the people that ride in those little carts through the airport.”) and growing up (“How many times did your parents have to say to you, ‘Would you get up off the floor?’ Adulthood is the ability to be totally bored and remain standing.”). Throughout the sections of monologue-style jokes, which appear almost like a script on the page in stacked lines, Seinfeld inserts anecdotes from his career, such as remembering venturing to an N.Y.C. comedy club for the first time at age 20 (“every neuron in my little brain just lit up”); working on Seinfeld with producer Larry David and feeling like an “over-drained marathoner”; and doing “nothing” for two years after the series wrapped in 1998, before seeing Chris Rock perform and getting inspired to return to the stage. This sharply observed, life-in-gags treasure trove offers essential reading for comedy fans, from a master of the form. Agent: Christian Carino, Creative Arts Agency.

  • Booklist

    September 1, 2020
    Seinfeld's last collection of humorous musings, Seinlanguage, was published nearly three decades ago, and now he makes up for the gap by collecting five decades of anecdotes in this volume, from his early days in the 1970s all the way up to the present, during which the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented stand-up comics from taking the stage. Admirers of Seinfeld's stream-of-consciousness observations about the minutiae of daily life will find much to enjoy here, and readers will also appreciate the window onto his evolution as a comic as he changes from a single guy in a messy apartment to the cocreator and star of a hit sitcom to a husband and father who watches (and critiques) Star Wars with his kids. Along the way, he shares his thoughts on airplane travel, golf, and security guards at art museums. "The place I like to work is in my head. To try to reach someone else's," Seinfeld writes in the final section, and for his legion of fans, this collection will be a welcome treasure trove of laughs.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Seinfeld remains immensely popular and fans seeking fresh entertainment will be thrilled to see him in book form.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

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