The Schmear Chronicles


Jerry Seinfeld: The Jew Crush

What’s the deal with gefilte fish?

Born in Brooklyn, Jerome Allen Seinfeld, Jerry Seinfeld has lived out the American dream: if you replace overcoming the odds and descending from immigrants to become a successful doctor with becoming a famous comedian. His father, Kalmen Seinfeld, was born to Jewish immigrants from Kherson Oblast in southern Ukraine and his mother, Betty née Hosni, of Syrian-Jewish descent, was born to parents from Aleppo. From oppressed immigrant roots to one of the most successful faces in show business, Seinfeld proves that talent and determination can be a game changer.

1. Stand up guy. After graduating from Queens College in 1976, Seinfeld auditioned at an open mic night at Catch a Rising Star in New York City, which led to an appearance in a Rodney Dangerfield HBO special. In 1981, he made a successful appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” leading to frequent appearances on late night shows including “Late Night with David Letterman.” Seinfeld attributes much of his style to former greats citing influences like Jean Shepherd, but his cerebral, observational humor has become its own, identifiable brand for which we will be forever thankful. In 2005, Comedy Central named him the 12th greatest stand-up comedian of all time.

2. “Seinfeld.” Close talker. Double-dip. Yada yada yada. Serenity now. Shrinkage … how can we ever repay Seinfeld and co-creator Larry David for providing the world with this invaluable lexicon that so aptly and hilariously captures the mystical idiosyncracies of every day life? For “a show about nothing,”, this 90’s hit sitcom that ran for nine seasons has gifted (and “re-gifted”) fans with unforgettable jokes and insights on the absurdity of merely being alive.

3. Wrote the book. Well, he wrote a book: in 1993, Seinfeld released his book “Seinlanguage,” which was primarily an adaptation of his stand-up material and based off an article paying tribute to the show’s innumerable catch phrases. He also wrote the children’s book “Halloween” and forewords to Ted L. Nancy’s “Letters from a Nut” series of books, Ed Broth’s “Stories from a Moron,” and to the “Peanut Butter & Co. Cookbook.

4. Broadway bit. The New York comedian directed Colin Quinn in the Broadway show “Long Story Short” at the Helen Hayes Theater, showing his talents extend beyond the camera.

5. “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” If an aspiring comedian’s ultimate fantasy is meeting his or her favorite stand-up, imagine meeting tons of them, from the inside of some of the most rare and valuable cars on the planet — throw in a cup of joe and you’ve got Seinfeld’s comedy web series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” At host, creator and executive producer of the hit show now in its eight season, Seinfeld gives viewers a taste of what two unbelievably famous and high profile comedians, some stand up, some actors, as well as some other special appearances (Barack Obama anyone?) chat about over a car ride, coffee and sometimes a tuna-fish sandwich. From Chris Rock to Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks to Louis C.K. to Tina Fey to Lorne Michaels to Jim Carrey to Steve Martin, Seinfeld has barely left anyone off the list.

6. Kibitzer and kibbutzer. Seinfeld isn’t just a great kibitzer, he is also versed in kibbutz life. At age 16, he spent time volunteering in Kibbutz Sa’ar in Israel.

7. Gives back. In 2008, during his spring 2008 tour, Seinfeld performed in New York City at the Hammerstein Ballroom to benefit “Stand Up for a Cure,” a charity that aids lung cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. 

Jerry Seinfeld


Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

Larry David

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