Cape Breton Home of our Hearts
SYDNEY — Without introduction or warning, award-winning comedian Jerry Seinfeld bolted across the stage of Centre 200, Friday night, to begin his first-ever Cape Breton performance.
On his second pass of the microphone at centre stage, the king of observational humour came to a stop and began sharing his latest analysis of the tiniest details of everyday life.
“How do you take living here all the time?” he began a series of playful jokes about the Sydney area to the estimated 3,000 on hand, who greeted him with a standing ovation. “I just got here and can hardly catch my breath.”
He then made fun of some latecomers to the show and even his own “hyped” act.
“We create bogus, hyped-up, meaningless events like this to convince people our lives don’t suck. Truth is, your lives sucks — everyone’s lives suck.”
“Suck” and “great” are pretty close, he explained in some detail.
The endless number of drinks and the idea of dehydration — something that has never happened to anyone because of “something called thirst” — also drew big laughs.
Although most of the his material differed from his famous 1990s television show, his act centred around the frustrations and odd details of everyday life — just like the TV show.
Coffee, for instance, was tied in with sleep aids during one segment.
“You don’t think there’s any connection to drinking giant cups of coffee all day and then needing a horse sedative to put you down at night?”
With flailing limbs and a tone of voice that drifted from mock annoyance to a loud squeaky rant, his act then worked its way from Pop Tarts to prescription drugs and people’s obsessions with the telephone.
“Why are people on phone machines telling you to wait for a beep? We are all up to speed.”
Of course, relationship humour made up a big part of the performance.
Being married is like a game show, he said, and you are always in the lightning round.
“I’ll take details of a 10-minute conversation we had years ago,” would be one category of his fictional show.
His first Sydney performance closed with a bathroom bit that touched on everything from doing the dance of seven veils to activate the sensors that flush the toilet and the gaps in stalls that make people feel like horses.
Why are public restrooms made up of the most sound-reflective material available, he mocked, so that every tiny noise is in Dolby surround sound.
And then, almost as quickly as he burst onto the stage, his 60-plus-minute performance ended with a bow and a standing ovation.
“When he was doing his bathroom routine when I thought I remembered George (Costanza) talking about that in an episode,” said Patrick MacNeil, who enjoyed the show.
“Some of it was familiar in that sense, but it was all new for the most part, which was great.”
It’s a good bet most of the audience was from the local area, but it wasn’t tough to find people who travelled long distances to see Seinfeld perform.
“They say the last impression leaves the best impression, so the bathroom bit was probably the best one,” said Moncton’s David McKnight, who was in town for the show and tonight’s Cape Breton Screaming Eagles hockey game.
“It was a very good show, very fun and everything I hoped it would be.”
Lorne MacLellan of Halifax also thought the show was worth the drive.
“It was hilarious,” MacLellan said. “I kept wanting to yell different things from the show like ‘you are a very bad man Jerry.’ I kind of reined it in, though.”
Montreal’s Robbie Kavanaugh, who now lives in Halifax, saw Seinfeld before, but didn’t want to miss the chance to see him again.
“I saw him in Las Vegas last time. There’s not a favourite part. The whole thing is just terrific.”
Seinfeld’s tour will take him to Summerside, P.E.I. tonight.
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