Jerry Seinfeld is one of the comedy greats, a sitcom legend and one of the most successful stand-up comedians of all time. But once upon a time, he was a struggling nobody hitting the open mic nights just like everybody else.
And he's about to give all of his fans a look at that young, green comic he once was in his new stand-up special, the first of two he agreed to film for Netflix as a part of the major deal he signed with streaming giant earlier this year, appropriately entitled Jerry Before Seinfeld.
"I only had one joke that worked, which I'm going to do for you right now," he tells the audience at The Comic Strip, the club that helped launch his career, setting the stage for an intimate set that streaming services assures will be full of the jokes that helped put him on the map.
The hour-long special will see Seinfeld's set interspersed with never-before-seen footage of the comedian's early years, including the library of legal pads he's kept with every single joke he's written since 1975, childhood videos and photos, and more. "Would I have been funnier if I grew up in Peoria in a whorehouse raised by prostitutes? Absolutely," he jokes, standing in front of what must be his childhood home out on Long Island. "But this is what I had to work with."
Of course, the special will also be rife with the observational humor that has become Seinfeld's trademark. "Cookie Crisp. It's not like cookies. It is cookies," he jokes. "I was either eating 100 percent sugar or Airborne."
Jerry Before Seinfeld is the first of two stand-up specials the comedian will film for Netflix. Additionally, his Emmy-nominated interview comedy show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee will make the jump to the streaming service from its former home, Crackle, for 24 new episodes, set to debut, in part, later this year. Additionally, all 59 of the previously produced episodes will move exclusively to Netflix. As if that wasn't enough, Seinfeld will also help develop scripted and unscripted programming for the streamer as part of his deal.
Jerry Before Seinfeld premieres Tuesday, Sept. 19 on Netflix.