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.
Jerome Allen "Jerry" Seinfeld (born April 29, 1954) is an American comedian, actor and writer, whose style is often described as observational comedy. He is best known for playing a semi-fictional version of himself in the situation comedy, Seinfeld, (1989-1998), which he co-created, helped write and, in the show's final two seasons, executive produced. In his first major foray back into the media since the finale of Seinfeld, he co-wrote and co-produced the film Bee Movie, also dubbing the title role of Barry B. Benson. In February 2009, it was announced that Jerry Seinfeld will be participating in a reality TV series tentatively called Marriage Ref on NBC. Jerry is rumored to work behind the scenes, mainly operating as creator and executive producer, but may also make cameo appearances. Jerry is also going to be on an episode of the Starz Original series, Head Case. In March 2009, it was announced that Jerry and the entire cast of Seinfeld will be appearing on Larry David's HBO original series Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Seinfeld is known for his incredibly dedicated and devoted work ethic. He was ranked #12 in Comedy Central's list of the 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time.
Seinfeld is also a bestselling author, most notably for his book Seinlanguage. Released in 1993, the book went on to become a number one New York Times bestseller. The book, written as his television show was first rising in popularity, is primarily an adaptation of the comedian's standup material. The title comes from an article in Entertainment Weekly listing the numerous catch-phrases the show was responsible for.
In 2003, he wrote a children's book titled Halloween. The book was illustrated by James Bennett. There are also several books about both the sitcom and Seinfeld himself, though many of them are not written by Seinfeld.
Seinfeld wrote the forewords to Ted L. Nancy's Letters from a Nut series of books and Ed Broth's Stories from a Moron. Both authors were rumored to be pseudonyms for Seinfeld or a friend of his. Neither Nancy nor Broth have been seen publicly, although Seinfeld is heavily involved in pitching their books for television.
In promoting Broth's book, Seinfeld hosted a toast in the author's honor. Broth did not attend.
Seinfeld also wrote the foreword to the Peanut Butter & Co. Cookbook, from his favorite sandwich shop in New York City.
Well the answer to the question in the title “Is This Anything” is YES, this is much more than anything!
The introduction by Seinfeld is a glimpse into how it all started. Jerry first watched comedy on The Ed Sullivan show and wondered, “How are they able to talk like that? I was so mystified and fascinated by them. But I never, ever imagined I could be one of them. They were like astronauts or Olympic athletes to me.”
Later in 1974 he saw the movie “Lenny” with Dustin Hoffman about the life of Lenny Bruce. “ What a completely offbeat, nonsensical existence.” “I thought . . . .I want to do that” THE REST, AS THEY SAY, IS HISTORY!!!!!!!!!!
Well actually the rest of the book is a compilation of many of Jerry’s favorite pages of material. They are in chronological order starting with his career in stand up in the 1970’s, as a 20 year old college student and extending into the 2010's. He has always written his material on yellow legal pads and states that he has kept them all, which why he has all of these amazing "jokes" to share with us.
I realized quickly that I was watching the growth of a genius in the stand up comedy world. I also realized that this book would be much, much funnier and enjoyable to listen to. I have promptly ordered the audiobook.
Even with me reading the monologues to myself I was laughing, able to sort of hear them in Jerry’s voice. I’ve listened to a lot of his stand up.
Leave it to Jerry to even make me smile in the Acknowledgment. “I would like to thank George Shapiro, my personal manager . . . . in our mutual belief that comedy and eating are really all that matters”.
If you love Jerry Seinfeld and would like entrance into his world of comic genius, treat yourself to this book. It’s not a novel but a book you can pick up at any time looking for some hugely funny lines to read. The Index is even funny, you can look under anything from cows, Kleenex, Superman show, toothbrush of Neil Armstrong to zip lines. Well you get the idea, you’re a Seinfeld fan!!
As I’m writing this I am changing my rating to a 5* as this book delivered exactly what it promised and more! I can’t wait to listen to the audiobook!!
This was exactly the book that I needed to read right now! When I was growing up, there was a period of time when Seinfeld was ALWAYS on the tv at my house. I remember us setting the table for dinner and eating dinner to the sounds of Jerry’s jokes and my dad laughing. Is This Anything starts off with a few pages about how Jerry got into comedy and then is literally just 440+ pages of his notes of jokes and bits from the last few decades. One of the best parts about Jerry’s comedy is the timing - and surprisingly the way they spaced out the phrases on the page mimics the timing and totally works. I just needed some really good giggles and laughs and this book definitely provides that. Highly recommended for lovers of Seinfeld or people who could just use a good laugh!
When comedians write new bits, they ask each other, 'Is This Anything?' Jerry Seinfeld has a long career of writing 'anythings' and compiles some of his best humor in this book. The following are examples of his work.
My next door neighbor just got a pet monkey. Now there's a lot of different animals you can get if you want a pet. But I would say once you find yourself at the monkey level, just have a kid. You're so close. It's one more little step. When you need a pet that can roller skate and smoke cigars, it's time to think about a family.
It's not a good pet anyway. He's got a leash for it like he's gonna walk it. You can't walk a monkey. Any place a monkey has to be just yah he's there. So the guy tries to walk him and yah he's on the wall; yah he's on your head; yah he's on a pole.
There's so much tension in monkeys. That face skin is pulled so tight. When you come that close to being the dominant species on your planet and you don't make it, you feel pressure all the time after that. 'I can't believe how close we were. We got the thumbs and everything.'
Doctor's Waiting Room
There's that little bit of arrogance in the medical community that I think we could all live without. Like when you go to see the doctor, they don't just let you see the doctor. You must first wait in the waiting room. There's no chance of not waiting, that's the name of the room. Just the fact that doctors have waiting rooms is like saying all appointments are meaningless, my schedule is bogus.
You sit there pretending you're reading your little magazine.....you're actually looking at the other people. I wonder what he's got. That guy's a goner. Then they call you. You look around at the other people. 'Well, I guess I've been chosen.' And you get very excited because you think you're gonna see the doctor, but you're not. You're just going into the next smaller waiting room.
Now you don't even have your magazine. You got your pants around your ankles. You're sittin' on that butcher paper they pull out over the table. Sometimes I bring a pickle with me and put it next to me right on the table, in case the doctor wants to wrap the whole thing up for a to-go order. But medically speaking it's always good to be in the small room.
You don't want to be in a large room, like those operating theaters they have with the stadium seating. You don't want them doing anything to you that makes other doctors go, 'Well I have to see this. Are you kidding? Are they really gonna do that?'
You can't beat adult power. Unlimited television; cookies anytime you want. Plus you can go home tonight and screw around with that thermostat all you like. We're in charge of it now. My father got me so crazy with that thing, I didn't go near a thermostat until I was 28 years old. I was in a hotel room in Pittsburgh when I finally got up the guts to move it a little bit. The whole night I couldn't sleep; I was afraid my father was gonna burst in the door, 'Who touched the thermostat in here. You know I set it there for a reason'.
For years I waited for my father to take me aside and explain to me the secret of the thermostat. Then one day he did sit me down. Told me this whole story, the sperm the egg, intercourse. I said, 'Dad, who cares. Get to the part where the thermostat comes in. What does it really control?'
Of course Facebook, another great trash receptacle of human time which everyone loves, because not only does the name Facebook complete the final whoring out of the word book....I'm sure lookin at pictures of Timmy and Tammy drunk in Cabo is the same as reading Moby Dick.....but also because it expresses the outlook of young dumb people which is so beautiful that 'people are great, and it's great to connect with people.'
I'm hoping that I live long enough to see these young people in their fifties because when you blow out the candles on that fiftieth birthday cake, your first thought is going to be 'the fewer people I have anything to do with, the better off I'm going to be.' Connecting with people is why there's lawyers, mace, and cease and desist orders. Because of two people that connected with each other.
Orange juice is never like fresh-squeezed enough. I saw on the side of a carton of Tropicana 'now even more like fresh-squeezed.' Used to be 'like fresh-squeezed.' Then 'more like fresh squeezed.' Now 'even more.' Just squeeze it already. You want it, we want it. The oranges are helpless. Squeeze em up!
Almond milk....who got that assignment. Who got a can of almonds slammed on their desk and told find a way to get some milk out of these goddamn things. Nobody wants nuts. They want milk. How do they even find a stool small enough to slide under the almond to milk it. You know how hard it must be to manipulate the teats of an almond. And rice milk. Even harder, even less room under there.
Different foods affect you at different times of day. Cookies wait for night. I've never seen a cookie in the morning. I don't know where they are. Cookies know in the morning, you are strong, they are weak. At night, you are weak, they are strong. That's why most cookies are round. Because this is a face to face confrontation. You can almost feel their little chocolate chip eyes on you.
Cookie companies make cookies seem very innocent. It's just elves living in trees. They make 'em as a hobby. They always put happy clowns and balloons on the box. The truth is cookies should have names like chocolate sons of bitches. That's what our real relationship is. Those little vanilla bastards got me again last night. It's a war. That's why cookies live like military, inside boxes, in those preformed army barracks housing.
Supermarket Impulse Buy
When I was a kid I hated the supermarket. You're with your mom. Anything you want you have to beg for, like a trained poodle. Mom...please....these are different. They have the chocolate on the inside. So degrading. Now I get whatever I want in the supermarket. The whole cart is filled with things that I want.
And if I decide I don't want something I put it back wherever I am in the supermarket. There's no rules in the supermarket. It's us against them. They invented impulse buying and we invented impulse not buying. I don't care if the store manager is looking right at me. Yeah those are my peaches on top of the Pennzoil. What about it. I can't straighten out your whole inventory. I'm busy here reading magazines I'm not gonna buy either.
And what's with all the heated up, sexed out, super vixen weather girls wearing insane cocktail outfits on local TV at 9:30 in the morning. Everyone else on the news looks normal. They go to the weather, it's like a private Vegas sex club with masks and whips and thigh high boots. She's spanking the traffic guy with a riding crop.
The Dopplers brought to you by crotch-less underwear. Turn down the heat. Got a hundred million men in this country trying to be extremely respectful while adjusting to new guidelines just handed down in a very fluid situation. You can help out a little. Shoulder your weapons before noon. Is that fair?
I loved getting ice cream from the ice cream man. You'd stand in line behind the truck, they had a little menu of the different ice creams you could get. And it was placed right over the exhaust pipe of the truck. Our eyes were watering, coughing....you had a Dixie Cup it was the equivalent of smokin' a pack of Camels. Nobody cared. These were good times. And no matter what you asked the guy for, he'd reach in and pull it right out. He never had to look. I don't know how he did it. Was there a little Eskimo guy in there handing it to him?
The book is chock full of funny bits, and is just the thing for folks who need a laugh. I listened to the audiobook, narrated by the author, and highly recommend it.
Is this anything? Well no, it's a book about nothing.
But as Seinfeld has demonstrated for years, nothing can be pretty darn funny. And, ultimately, this collection of his favorite jokes gave me more than a few chuckles. The material is not new, so the older bits feel pretty stale. Getting weapons past lazy TSA agents? Some things that landed in the '80s just don't resonate anymore. As he moves along to newer material though... now we're talking... and laughing.
I listened to this on audio, which is a solid choice since he performs it himself. The audiobook would make a great road trip companion. The print version would be a welcome find on a guest bedroom nightstand. It would also make a nice bathroom reader. If you're looking for a gift for someone who has everything, why not get them nothing in the form of "Anything" to flip through while doing something.
3.5 stars rounded up (because I'll take laughs wherever I can get them in 2020).
With 2020 coming to a close, we all need some laughs. This one delivers. This is a collection of some of Jerry's bits spanning several decades in chronological order starting with the 70s. Honestly, those early pieces are VERY short in length and aren't that great, so the book starts off a bit slow. But as his jokes move forward in time they do get better, even though some of them didn't age well. A joke written in the 80s about the TSA not screening well isn't quite as funny to listen to now, in a post 9/11 world for example. For me, the true laugh out loud stuff didn't happen until we got to his more recent stuff. His joke about dying doing what you love - I laughed SO HARD. So if you want something to cheer you up as you enter into the new year, I recommend this. Especially as an audiobook because his voice/intonation is part of what makes his jokes land so well. However there is a woman who reads out the 'titles' of each section (and there are MANY) and her voice was so robotic-like that I was 100% convinced this was actually a computer generated voice, but the very end of the audiobook actually lists her name so she is in fact a real person. I wonder if she is the voice of British Siri or something as her other job in life?
Oh and I can't say how much of Seinfeld's stuff is considered 'new' to people or not, because I don't think I have ever seen a set of his beyond the occasional snippet included in a Seinfeld episode that I rarely watched (sorry!), so I am not the best person to judge that.
Well this one was a bit disappointing.....yeah it was okay and very funny. Very, very funny, in fact in places.
I even watched Jerry Seinfeld LIVE in Adelaide with my eldest daughter (Becky) and we both howled with laughter a few years ago. So am a bit of a fan.
But maybe my expectations were way different to what this audiobook offered. I must admit I didn't read the blurb as I blindly accepted the offer of a free book on Audible. I thought it was going to be a little more autobiographical. It's really a series of gags. Interspersed by a finely clipped BBC accented voice announcing the next joke, by saying something like "THE FRIDGE".
A bit too staged, a bit too stiff - but yes, funny. You know, if I can share this with you - I've always found Seinfeld a bit stiff, a bit unnatural anyway. Having said that, this was certainly chuckle worthy - but a little bit routine.
Loved every monologue: the sets from the 1980s and 1990s, many of which would appear in the TV series, were like Proustian madeleines. Also, reading 20 or 25 pages of this after reading a chapter or two in a tense novel was the perfect way to settle in before sleep. This is a great holiday book.
We had some good laughs on this comedic journey...
(My hubs rated it 4 stars and I rated it a bit higher.)
From THE EIGHTIES
Stand by Me
I saw that movie Stand by Me. Good movie. But I don't remember having friends like that when I was 12 years old. Where they put their hand on your shoulder, "You know god has given you a special talent." I remember a kid would put his hand on my shoulder so he could push me off the sidewalk into the bushes. "You know, god has given you a face for the bushes."
To me, there is no better gift than a paperweight to express to someone, "I refuse to put any thought into this at all." And where are these people working that the papers are just blowing right off of their desks? Is their office screwed to the back of a flatbed truck going down the highway? Are they typing in the crow's nest of a clipper ship? What do you need a paperweight for? Where's the wind coming from?
From The Double O's
A lot of people ask me, "Hey, Jerry, what do you do now? You don't have a show anymore. What do you do?" I'll tell you what I do. ...Nothing. And I know you're thinking, "Hey, that sounds pretty good. I might like to do nothing myself." But doing nothing is not as easy as it looks. You can get pretty busy doing nothing. Because when you're doing nothing, you're actually free to do anything. Which can easily lead to doing something. Which cuts into my nothing, and forces me to have to drop everything.
Excerpt from Weddings
The best part of the wedding, from the male perspective, is it's the only possible situation where you're essentially gathering this woman's entire family together and announcing to them, "I am now going to have sex with your daughter. We're going to go to a hotel somewhere right after this and I'm going to do everything I can think of." And everyone applauds. Her father's vigorously shaking your hand. "Well done, young man."
This was a fun audiobook, although I had to take breaks from listening to it because it's a lot of the same thing. It's basically Jerry the writer reading all of the bits that Jerry the comedian has performed over the years. So it feels like a 6-hour comedy special, but without an audience, without any laughs, and without the hyper energy of a live performance. But it's still Jerry's material, and it's still funny.
My favorite parts of the book were the short essays that Jerry wrote about his life in comedy, and also the career & life changes that inspired some of the bits. Having seen a number of Jerry's comedy specials, most of the performed material was familiar to me, but the personal essays were new, and I really enjoyed those.
It probably goes without saying that I was a big fan of the Seinfeld sitcom, and I have also seen every episode of "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee." So if you are also a fan of Jerry's work, and if you want some chuckles, this is a pleasant audiobook.
This book is not what I was expecting. It is not written in normal prose. Rather, it is a verbatim compilation of selected monologues from Jerry Seinfeld's standup routines over the decades, spanning his full career.
The writing is a bit jarring at first, since this material is not meant to be read from a page: it is meant to be heard from the stage. For this reason, I think the audiobook version would be superior to the paper copy.
That being said, once I got into the groove of the writing, it was hard to put this down. By getting into the groove, what I mean is that I was reading the monologues imagining Jerry Seinfeld's voice in my head, using his usual verbal cadences. That made the writing work quite effectively.
The monologues themselves are hilarious commentaries on the mundane and trivial aspects of life that we hardly pause to think about. His comedy is spot on, although many of the older monologues are a bit dated.
Taken all together, this is an entertaining read for Seinfeld fans wishing to relive some of the comedy great's best work.
I will confess I don’t always love Jerry Seinfeld’s stand-up. I love, love, love the TV show and have enjoyed Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. But when it comes to stand-up he’s not my favorite. I enjoyed this book but didn’t love it. And I think while I usually write long reviews, there’s not much point here. You know if Seinfeld’s stuff is for you or not.
It is worth saying, that while as many have already noted, this is collection of decades worth of bits and if you’re a fan you’ve likely heard many of these before. They’re laid out by decade but beyond that they’re kind of strung together by theme- so there’s a bunch of divorce related jokes together, several about socks, even a few coronavirus bits. Not unlike how one might do a show but there were a couple of points where I thought various bits may have hit better if this hadn’t been the third or fourth of its kind in a row. But a very minor caveat. It was notable, that I found some of his earliest work a bit more tedious and not as enjoyable but he seems to hit his stride quite quickly and in the decade related layout you can appreciate how he grew as a comic and also as a person- with jokes about being single to ones about marriage to having kids, to how he lives being in his 60s. It’s an interesting experience to have a retrospective like this.
Grab it if you’re fan. I listened to the audiobook which is pretty much like listening to a comedy album and read, performed really, by Jerry himself.
1-Star - DNF @34% - I thought I might like it, but I did not Audiobook - 06:20 Hours - Narrator: Jerry Seinfeld Listened to: 02:09 Hours - Balance: 04:11 Hours The title of the book is "Is This Anything?" After tolerating 34% of Seinfeld reading his jokes, the answer is no.
It is something, that's for sure. This new release is 480 pages packed full of classic Jerry Seinfeld, organized by decade. I find it amazing that his clean comedy bits still hit the mark -- even the stuff from the 70's. I was not a fan back then, but many of those bits were used in the series. My husband and I would record each show on our VCR back then. Now we can watch reruns on cable. I could watch the dance montage from the last show on repeat. Here's the link for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wCDx... Thank you, Jerry, for pointing out the absurdities around us that we have become blind to. The truths you turn over into the light never fail to make us laugh with each other at ourselves.
Thank you to Simon & Schuster and Edelweiss+ for providing a DRC in exchange for an honest review
If you need to escape, I recommend listening to Jerry Seinfeld read his latest book, Is this Anything, on audio. The book contains Seinfeld's stand-up bits from the 1970s to the present, interspersed with short humorous passages on his life as a stand-up comic. His routines range from hysterically funny to mildly amusing and focus on everyday life's absurdities in the US.
Six+ hours of jokes are a lot of jokes, and there is a reason that stand-up concerts, even by the top comics, rarely last more than two hours. However, if you listen for short intervals, the book grows on you. It is an entertaining anecdote to the news.
The answer to the question posed in the title of Jerry Seinfeld’s new book “Is This Anything?” is a resounding yes. They say laughter is the best medicine and with all the horrific things that have happened this year, we all need some of that medicine. Usually when I read a book that is advertised as comedy I experience some internal chuckles but “Is This Anything?” is one of those very rare books that made me lough out loud and call people to share some of my favorite monologue bits. While I found the book extremely funny I think it would be even better as an audio book so I'll be buying it this week. Listening to it will be much healthier and more entertaining than my current news obsession! Whether you read or listen to “Is This Anything?” I think this is some covid and political relief we all can use.
Thank you to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Seinfeld's best material from the past five decades copy and pasted into a book. If you've watched his TV show or his stand-up specials then you've heard a lot of this before. It's still entertaining, and there were some great bits that were new to me. The audiobook is great because Seinfeld narrates it himself, so you're hearing the material as it was meant to be delivered, as if he was on stage.
Is This Anything? is a collection of Jerry Seinfeld's jokes, from way back in the seventies through the post-apocalyptic train wreck that is 2020.
Seinfeld was my favorite TV show for years, from when it was originally on until my dad and I watched back to back episodes on TBS and quoted most of them to my mom's chagrin. I saw the Comedian documentary film in the theater and even drove to Nashville from St. Louis to see Seinfeld on tour in the early part of this century. My brother and I used to read Seinlanguage aloud to one another while we were sitting in a parking lot ditching church on Sundays. So, naturally, when I saw Seinfeld had another book out, I had to have it. Fortunately, the Christmas gods smiled upon me and here we are.
This book is surprisingly hefty at 480 pages but most of the length is due to the way the book is formatted. I think it would easily fit in 300. I guess we'll see how small they manage to make the paperback. It's divided by decade so it's easy to navigate, though I wolfed it down in three sittings.
If you like Seinfeld's standup act, you pretty much know what you're getting here. Lots of bits about cereal, the airport, the movie theater, going out to restaurants, and things of that nature. It's a fun book to read out loud to your wife, even if she's not a fan of the Seinfeld television show.
A lot of the jokes seemed familiar to me but that's only natural. This book contains all the bits that survived, road tested and tweaked through years of performing. I watched his Netflix special not too long ago and some of those jokes made it into the book.
I don't know what else to say about this. Your enjoyment level depends on how much you like Jerry Seinfeld as a comedian. Since he's shaped my sense of humor since I was a teenager, I'm giving it five stars.
I thought this book would be a funny memoir. It turned out to be "101 jokes for people in their 60s."
The reason Seinfeld's comedy works is because of how creative it is. It is not witty, as we already know, although, it is extraordinary. He compares two completely polarised ideas and then whisks them together until they are just the right consistency. And it seems to work!
After reading this book, I think that Jerry Seinfeld is slightly less funny than he was in my head.
Comical snippets in the book are from different eras. Therefore, readers of all age can find something or the other to relate. But what I've come to realise is that you don't have to relate to something to find it funny. I thought the first half of the book was significantly better. The jokes were about his childhood and early days as a comedian. Now, I'm not a comedian, I've never even lived in the 20th century (unless you count the month and a half from 99') and I thought his content was hilarious even though I couldn't relate to it.
It is not that I didn't like the book, it wasn't half bad. Some of the jokes were very good. And the fact that I was listening to it in Jerry Seinfeld's voice made the experience even better.
It is not okay to joke about people 'whispering' when they see a black person it affirms racial discrimination. The bit about 'The Gay French King' was distasteful.
The first book by a comedian I ever purchased as a kid was "Sein Language." I was obsessed with Jerry and his show and I wanted to be a comedian when I grew up. When I was dating my future wife, she surprised me with tickets to see Jerry perform when he was on tour back in the early 00's. (That's how I knew she was a keeper). Needless to say, I was very excited about this book. "Is This Anything?" is pretty straightforward: Jerry takes his favorite bits from the five decades he's done comedy (70's, 80's, 90's, 00's, 10's) and puts them together with a few paragraph's of explanation before each chapter.
Some of the jokes are definitely dated but that's kind of the point. Jerry wants the reader to see his evolution as a comedian using the culture of the moment to score laughs. I agree with another reviewer that says to take this in small doses. It's not meant to be read for huge swaths of time. Just dip in, get a few jokes, dip out. Even reading it in that fashion, the whole thing goes by much too quick.
I liked that he even through in some Covid jokes that he literally couldn't have performed for anyone before. Even after all theses years, and all the money, and all the laughs, it's wonderful to see Jerry still enjoying himself and working his craft. I believe him when he says he'd be doing this even without the money (but the money is...you know...nice.)
If there is one thing I love it is stand-up comedy, and ever since watching Seinfeld I have been a huge fan of Jerry's and I've been to a fair amount of his shows as well. So, when I saw he had a new book out with an audiobook that he narrates, I had to listen to it, and I was NOT disappointed. Is This Anything? is basically a compilation of his best bits across the decades and they are broken into sections accordingly. We go from the 70s through 'the teens' and while he does talk a bit about himself at the beginning of each part, he does not specifically tell you where the ideas for the bits came from. This is quite literally, just a book of bits for the most part so don't go into it expecting a biography or a ton of insight or you will be disappointed.
I really liked the way the audiobook was done, and Jerry reads all of the book minus the titles of his bits which are read by a female narrator. I thought this was such a great way to do it, and I would highly recommend listening to the audio if you want to get that stand-up feel. Nothing can beat a live show, but listening to this was a close second, and Jerry delivers his bits the way he would on a stage. I really appreciated this as opposed to if he would have just read the bits without any feeling, but of course, he wouldn't do that since he's JERRY! If you can't go to a live show and you love Jerry Seinfeld’s comedy, I highly recommend listening to Is This Anything?
I was an early fan of jerry seinfeld. I saw him perform at a chicago “funny bone” or “zanies” or some such in 1986. I’ve always appreciated his brand of humor. Even though much of what’s in this book was familiar to me, it still made me laugh. And i couldn’t put it down any more than i could walk out of his standup show. I was compelled to keep reading the bits. My electronic ARC didn’t contain many pictures, just one of jerry at the beginning of each decade (‘80s-‘10s), but i hope the finished print version has more. I think this will be a big xmas seller, as anyone who enjoys seinfeld’s show or humor will appreciate this book.
First and foremost just know that this book is a collection of Jerry's standups over his career. It's much better in audiobook format so that you can hear him telling the jokes instead of reading them in a book.
Even though the TV show Seinfeld is technically about nothing, it's still pretty funny! And so is Jerry's standups.
I feel like this book was like an express stand up show haha only the best parts one right after the other. And it's organized by subject which makes it easy to go into the next joke.
3.5 stars. Nice way to start the year with a few laughs. Jerry Seinfeld has kept scrap notes of his comic material for all of the 45 years of his career and the result is this book. It’s spilt into chapters of each decade - the Seventies, the Eighties, the Nineties, the Double 0’s, the Teens. I have to say I was a little surprised with the format of the book being basically his scrap notes reproduced, and they’re all double spaced, which sure pans or pads the book out to over 400 pages.
I suppose I was expecting there to be more autobiographical reflections and insights than there was. You could argue that his comic material has an autobiographical element to it and we see Jerry change over time through his humour. So for example, in the Double 0’s chapter there are lots of references and wise cracks about him now being married and having kids but I was still surprised at how little there was about Jerry and his life from the man himself. That would be my main warning to anyone thinking of reading this - just be aware that 95% of the content is Jerry’s notes. I have reproduced three of them below to give you an idea what it’s like. You probably also need to be a Seinfeld fan or someone who likes the ‘observational humour’ that he is so well known for.
I always get confused in any international, adventure, intrigue type movie.
I’m the guy you see after the movie, in the parking lot with his friends going,
“Oh, you mean that was the same guy from the beginning?
Oooohhh…. That’s why after they stole the money he had the fake nose and the beard and then he didn’t,
“Did you enjoy the movie?”
“Yes, I’m enjoying it here in the parking lot, but in there I had no idea what was going on.”
Nobody will explain anything to you in a movie theatre once you get confused.
“What is happening now?”
“Nothing? This is all Nothing? Then why did they film it?
I don’t understand why they killed that guy.
I thought he was with them.
Wasn’t he with them?
Why would they kill him if he was with them?”
“Oh, so he wasn’t really with them…..
I like that actor. He was the only guy I liked.”
“Would you just watch the movie?”
“I am watching. I don’t understand anything.”
Is this a space movie?
Is it a western?
I hate this movie.
…..I hate you too.”
Why can’t they have subtitles for the plot?
“Closed-captioned for the movie impaired.”
I would go to these movies.
Little lines pop up.
“Don’t worry about this guy. He’s only in this one scene.”
“Here’s the name of the other movie you can’t remember that you’ve seen this person in.”
“This is too hard to explain. They’ll tell you in the parking lot.”
The one movie ad I don’t get is,
“If you only see one movie this year….”
If you only see one movie this year, why go at all?
You obviously don’t like going to the movies.
And going once a year is ridiculous pressure to put on a movie.
You’re sitting there,
“All right, this is it for the next 51 weekends. Better be good.”
For whatever reason, I haven't picked up a book since October 2021. I'm pretty convinced that where I live, we had very strict pandemic rules and we were the last to loosen up. It's been rough. This audio was funny, sometimes laugh out loud funny...and that was exactly what I was looking for. Is there anything more to say?
Is This Anything? by Jerry Seinfeld is a collection of some of his best bits from over five decades working in comedy. It is his first book in twenty five years. Like many of his fellow comedians, Jerry saved everything from his first performance through his long career that he saved on a yellow legal pad that he kept in a series of accordion folders; it covers over forty-five years of work. It is organized by decades and draws from his stand up routines as well as some material from his television shows. He has his own recognizable style and delivery and if you have seen it performed and liked it, you will definitely like this book; it is a nice comic relief from my usual heavier topics. If you are not a fan of Jerry Seinfeld, you probably should just move along. If you are thinking "who is Jerry Seinfeld?" you should give it a try. I was an avid fan and watched most of the shows in his television series so I was pumped for this book.
„Privind în urmă, mă bucur că am avut succes. Că am făcut bani din asta. Dar pot să jur cu toată sinceritatea că am făcut-o doar pentru râsete încă din prima zi, în a doua zi și în fiecare zi de atunci încoace, inclusiv în ziua de azi. Și acum merg săptămânal în cluburi. Și acum îmi place să lucrez la numere noi. Și acum mă bucur de fiecare spectacol pe care-l șin. Și acum mă entuziasmează să mă întâlnesc și să stau de vorbă cu alți comedianți de stand-up care trăiesc pentru această experiență stranie și precară.„
I have always liked Seinfeld's stand-up. This book includes most, if not all, the material from his earlier book but also has plenty of new things (including coronavirus jokes which was a surprise). Everything here did not necessarily hit for me but there were enough good bits that had me laughing out loud to make the read worthwhile.