Notes from Comedian

This movie is about Jerry Seinfeld starting over. He threw away all his bits and went back to begging clubs for a short set, floundering on stage, trying to figure out how it all works.

This is how comedians develop material. And as you can see it’s quite painful. – 6:00

That’s painful, watching yourself on tape. Even if you’re doing well, you’re like, ‘Damn, look at the way my hand moved.’ – Orny Adams, 9:30

When you’re growing up, everybody is funny. And then at some point, everybody went off and got jobs. – 14:30

It does not matter what the audience is…get up every night, anywhere you can…when you’re crafting an act, you need to see how that material works in front of each type of situation. – quoting Colin Quinn, 17:00

20 minutes in 3 months is a TON…[but] 20 minutes is not comedy. An hour, an hour-fifteen minutes is comedy. You learn how to open, how to sustain, to pace. – 19:00

That’s why I’m doing this, I’m scared that I’m not going to be able to do it anymore if I don’t keep doing it, and it might leave me. – 19:45

If [construction workers] can exhibit that level of dedication for that job, I should be able to do the same. – 48:30

This is the greatest comedy show in the last 10 years…you know, since that Sinbad show in the Caribbean. – 59:00

I guess it’s just my nature, it’s just never good enough. – 1:12:00

Get into something dumb–deep into it–you’ll find the greatest wisdom. – 0:30 of Porsche clip

I find nothing more arrogant than people talking about where ideas come from, as if they know, and as if they had something to do with it. I was absolutely nothing but a conduit for that line. I don’t know where it came from; I just wrote it down. And I never liked it. Never supported it, never believed in it. And it has shown itself to me to be worthy, and I have begrudgingly had to admit it. And there it is, it’s in my act. And there are other things, like DNA, which I’ve loved, and nurtured, and fed with an eyedropper, and massaged its little wings, and every time I push it out of the nest it falls right on its head. – 1:15 of DNA clip