Supporters say he has it all: wit, freshness, unpredictability and timing, an Everyman comic for everybody. Detractors answer that he's facile but unprovocative, amusing but hardly influential, just more white bread in the land of generic comedy.
One thing's for sure: Jerry Seinfeld is on his way up, albeit less rapidly than some overly enthusiastic college-venue publicists have proclaimed in the past.
The comic, who will take time out from taping 13 new episodes of his critically acclaimed "Seinfeld" TV series to perform at UC Irvine's Bren Events Center on Friday, admits to being embarrassed by the bell-clanging hyperbole that surrounded his last appearance on that campus nearly a year ago. The university had immodestly billed him then as "America's most imitated comedian" and "the king of observational comedy."
In a telephone interview from the set of "Seinfeld," the 36-year-old entertainer laughed when reminded of the incident, saying "it was like a circus billing, like 'The World's Tallest Man' or something."