World-renowned comedian Jerry Seinfeld brought laughs to the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center this past Thursday night.
Jefferson P. Nolan
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It seemed that just as soon as he had arrived, he was gone.
Jerry Seinfeld ran to center stage in the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center (PAC) this past Thursday night in front of a full house.
“What a beautiful experience this is for you,” Seinfeld said in his opening monologue. “Look at the accomplishment you have made for yourselves. That you have gotten out for the evening. That was effort. That was work. That was planning.”
According to Forbes magazine, the master of observational comedy is marked as the top-grossing comedian in the world. He’s earned $3 billion in syndication royalties for the sitcom “Seinfeld” and approximately $27 million doing stand-up, just in the past 12 months.
Ron Regier, managing director of the PAC, hailed the arrival of the old-school comedian to San Luis Obispo.
“This is probably one of the biggest names in entertainment to come to the Performing Arts Center,” Regier said. “And I’ve been here since it opened in 1996. It’s not just exciting for us. It’s also exciting for the campus and community to have artists like this come to town.”
And Thursday night, the crowd was reminded of what they had been missing since the last episode of “Seinfeld” aired on May 14, 1998.
Though the renowned comedian took stage on a college campus, his humor catered to his older audience. Amidst a world of blue-humor, the 59-year-old remained true to his clean-cut joke-telling. Brandishing his arms with his classic gesticulations, he regaled tales of marriage, his plan to open a coffee establishment entitled “Beat It,” and the constant concern of becoming “dehydrated.”
“Wouldn’t I get thirsty first? No!” Seinfeld exclaimed. “According to the fitness people, if you’re thirsty, you’re too late!”
The PAC has played host to a prestigious list of comedians in recent years, including Craig Ferguson, Jay Leno, Bill Cosby and now, Jerry Seinfeld.
However, Seinfeld’s appearance on the Central Coast came and went as a mystery.
“It’s intriguing because they called us,” Regier said. “Some artists seek us out because of the acoustics, the look of the hall or because it’s on their route and they have another gig in the area. But in this instance, I don’t think that’s the case.”
The San Luis Obispo show was Seinfeld’s lone California stop. The day after his performance, Seinfeld scheduled a gig in Portland, Ore. before his next stop in Hollywood, Fla. on Jan. 31.
For journalism sophomore Annabel Snow and liberal studies sophomore Erin Springer, who attended the show together, a glimpse of Seinfeld was worth the entry cost on Thursday night.
“We grew up watching ‘Seinfeld’ with our families, and we just got so excited when we heard he was going to perform here,” Snow said.
Snow and Springer admitted the jokes were directed at an older audience despite the show’s location on a college campus. Nevertheless, they found Seinfeld’s humor as relatable as ever.
“It’s smart humor,” Snow said. “Not everyone likes that kind of humor, but some of the jokes, we were both crying, we were laughing so hard. Some of them we just kind of looked at each other like, ‘I don’t really know.’”
“It’s still funny, though,” Springer said. “Either way, you can definitely see the humor in it.”
Like most performers, Seinfeld was off the stage and in his chauffeured SUV before the final applause had subsided.
The world’s wealthiest comedian had places to go and jokes to tell, but his appearance in San Luis Obispo marked the best belated Festivus gift the Central Coast could have asked for.
Stephan Teodosescu contributed to this article.