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New Author Seinfeld Values Laughter

September 03, 1993|PAUL D. COLFORD | NEWSDAY

NEW YORK — After Bantam Books advertised a giveaway recently of Jerry Seinfeld's new book to be held at the Village Voice, people started lining up outside the newspaper at 7 a.m. After the handout began two and a half hours later, the 200 copies were gone in about seven minutes.

But there are 450,000 more where those came from. "SeinLanguage," a $19.95 hardcover that went on sale a few weels ago, arrives with the kind of print run that reflects Bantam's confidence that the book has mega-selling potential--maybe like the Bill Cosby titles of recent years.

Why the optimism? Why not? The NBC show "Seinfeld" is a hit, and the book reads like his popcorn breaks of stand-up material that punctuate each episode.

Such as: "I have no plants in my house. They won't live for me. Some of them don't even wait to die, they commit suicide. I once came home and found one hanging from a macrame noose, the pot kicked out from underneath. The note said, 'I hate you and your albums.' "

And: "The proof that we don't understand death is we give dead people a pillow. I mean if you can't stretch out and get some solid rest at that point, I don't think there are any bedding accessories that can make the difference."

Seinfeld prefaces his book of bits with a brief recollection of growing up on Long Island and a fond tribute to his late father, Kal, the proprietor of the Kal Signfeld Sign Co. "There has never been a professional comedian with a better stage presence, attitude, timing or delivery," he writes, and goes on to recall how his father hated "those serious businessman faces" that he encountered on sign-making rounds.

"To break that face" with a laugh "was a valued thing in my house."

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