Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Seinfeld: Who's on First?

Comedian Jerry Seinfield has a half-hour program devoted to Abbot and Costello's famous "Who's on First" routine. Richard Sandomir interviews him in the NYTimes:
They performed the routine hundreds, maybe thousand of times in vaudeville theaters and on the set of the 1945 film “The Naughty Nineties.” 
Seinfeld said by telephone Monday: “You think about how they worked. They did eight shows a day in vaudeville, five, six days a week.” 
As a stand-up comic, he said that he could not fathom being part of a two-man team, let alone one that worked together for decades. “I think it’s pretty well acknowledged that it’s way tougher than marriage,” he said. From the 1930s on, they honed “Who’s on First?” so deftly and so often, Seinfeld said, that all the air was sucked out of it, leaving a sketch with near-perfect timing. The less air, the funnier it gets, he said. 
“When the laugh happens,” he said, “you want that next line right up against it, and again, right up against it. It creates a compression that makes your mind work faster, which makes you laugh.”
Yes. They're coupled, two minds as one. Two BRAINS as one. Here's the routine:

No comments:

Post a Comment