Thursday, December 20, 2012

Jerry Seinfeld believes funniness is genetic

Jonah Weiner interviews Jerry Seinfeld for The New York Times, Jerry Seinfeld Intends to Die Standing Up. Here, Jerry talks about his dad:
Seinfeld believes funniness is genetic. When his father, Kalman, was stationed in the Pacific during World War II, he’d transcribe jokes he heard and store them in a box for safekeeping. “In the army, that’s kind of how you got through it,” Seinfeld says. “People would tell jokes by the score, because what else are you going to do to maintain sanity? The recognizing of jokes as precious material: that’s where it starts. If you’ve got the gene, a joke is an amazing thing. It’s something you save in a box in a war.”
That's the same thing my dad did.

I've got the box.

My dad's box of jokes on index cards
Image: My dad's box of jokes on index cards

Jokes on index cards
Image: Jokes on index cards

My wife likes to buy anything marked down. Today she came home from the store with two dresses and an escalator.
Image: My wife likes to buy anything marked "down."
"My wife likes to buy anything marked down. Today she came home from the store with two dresses and an escalator."
That's a Henny Youngman joke.

My father also had this routine he'd always perform. Over and over and over again.

Image: Routine

My mom and I heard his routine hundreds of times, but we'd always laugh.

I guess that's were I get my love of comedy.

Thinking back, I used to love to listen to my dad's comedy records, and then my own Steve Martin album.

I took a Stand Up Comedy Workshop at the Boston Center for Adult Education and went on stage a few times. It was fun.

When I was producing the Karlson and McKenzie radio show in Boston, I'd write jokes for them, and that led me to becoming a Fax joke writer for Jay Leno. I'd fax in 10 jokes a day, and if any got used, I'd get paid.

These days my comedy comes out when I do presentations, comment during Boston Media Makers Meetings, or post to twitter.

If you see a tweet that you like, let me know. ;-)

Here are two tweets from today.

I'm always trying.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    I had to comment on this one! I'm Steve's mom and what he said about hearing his dad tell the same joke over and over again was so true.

    Every time he told that same old joke, we laughed!

    He was a serious guy, and when he told jokes he was a difference person. ;-)