The 'Comedian' Is Back

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld gestures during his show, "I'm Telling You For The Last Time," at the Broadhurst Theatre in New York, Thursday, Aug. 6, 1998. Seinfeld, who sold out ten performances on Broadway, will donate the proceeds from the show to New York City schools. His performance on Aug. 9, will be broadcast live on HBO. (AP Photo/HBO, Albert Ferreira, HO) AP/HBO

Jerry Seinfeld is once again working as a standup comic, and his new film "Comedian" offers a unique and engaging look at what it took for him, to get there.

Christian Charles, director of the new Jerry Seinfeld documentary titled "Comedian," and Gary Streiner, the film's producer, told The Early Show that the film is neither a concert film, nor a biographical documentary.

"Comedian" examines the creation of a comedy act and the backstage life of a comedian who faces the challenge of making people laugh.

"It was really just a conversation we were having when we were finishing one of the commercials. And he just started working at his new act. And it just struck us that it would be just a fascinating process," said Charles.

Previously, they worked with Seinfeld on other projects, including his popular American Express advertising spots.

Charles and Streiner followed Seinfeld from club-to-club with two, hand-held digital video cameras every night he performed, for more than a year.

"You couldn't turn the camera off, because every time you did, something good would happen. So you just had to keep it running. And that was all part of why we chose to shoot it the way we wanted to shoot it," explained Streiner. "And the fact that he (Charles) and I could have the cameras, we didn't have to have a crew involved, didn't break that intimacy. There's no way we could have been in the middle of this and someone said cut, reload, relight, whatever. It would have just completely shot it."

Seinfeld had not been on stage in 10 years and the process, he told Streiner, was painful. So why do it? "It's an addiction," Streiner said. "Once you have that, I think, feeling of making a crowd laugh, and knowing that you can do it."

"Comedian" opened in limited release in New York City and Los Angeles. It opens nationwide in November.
  • Rome Neal

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