It’s been 14 years since we said farewell to Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer. But if you’re craving a Seinfeld fix nowadays, you don’t need to look far. The groundbreaking ’90s sitcom is perhaps one of the most successful syndication stories of our time, a fact reinforced by Jerry Seinfeld’s current spot on the Forbes Celebrity 100 List. (The comedian’s estimated worth clocked in at somewhere around $800 million, last we checked.)
Despite all this, Seinfeld refuses to rest on his residuals. According to a recent New York Times interview, the comedian is still doing roughly two stand-up gigs a week at theaters and private parties across the States. “If I don’t do a set in two weeks, I feel it,” he told the paper in December. This Friday, Seinfeld returns to Santa Barbara for a set at the historic Arlington Theatre.
Last year, the 58-year-old Seinfeld also unveiled Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, a 10-episode web series in which he and a fellow comedian troll around in luxury automobiles and — you guessed it — get coffee. In January, Sony Pictures Television announced it’d be producing a second season.
According to Seinfeld, his touring habits and his Internet show are less about the money, more about the need to keep sharp, active, and on top of his game. A master of observational humor, Seinfeld admits to obsessively reworking jokes, sometimes tinkering for years to achieve the desired effect. The only way to work them out, he says, is in front of a live audience. Late last year, that mentality found him onstage at a number of tiny clubs in New York, where he’d show up unannounced to test out material in a relatively low-stakes environment. On preserving the art of stand-up, Seinfeld’s modern mindset is simple: “We’re craving the non-digital even more these days, the authentically human interaction,” he told the Times. “We need to see some schmuck sweat.”
Jerry Seinfeld brings his stand-up act to the Arlington Theatre (1317 State St.) on Friday, March 15, at 8 p.m. Call (805) 963-4408 or visit thearlingtontheatre.com.