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Movie Review

A Pro Is Anxious for Laughs, a Newcomer Expects Them

October 11, 2002|JAN STUART | NEWSDAY

If you could convert neuroses and insecurity into gasoline, then Jerry Seinfeld could provide us with an alternate national fuel reserve. What makes "Comedian" more than just another documentary about the comedy club comeback of a sitcom prince is that it contrasts his struggle with that of just another stand-up climber, Orny Adams. Where Seinfeld is high-test, Adams is no-lead and no-clue: arrogant, image-conscious and bereft of humility.

The differences in the two comics' priorities could fill volumes. While Seinfeld (who is also producer) could be short-shrifting Adams' performance moments, one doubts it. One need only compare the young pup's wired bravado with the relaxed sheen of Bill Cosby, Garry Shandling, Jay Leno and Robert Klein, among the many veterans who blow in and out here.

Granted, success can be confidence-building. The film's most revealing moments, however, show superstar Seinfeld in full flub mode and high pre-show anxiety. Hopefully, Adams is taking notes, or he'll need to be content with these 15 minutes of piggyback fame.

MPAA rating: R, for language.

'Comedian'

Jerry Seinfeld...Himself

Orny Adams...Himself

New Material presents a Bridgnorth Films production, released by Miramax. Director Christian Charles. Producers Gary Streiner, Jerry Seinfeld. Cinematographers Christian Charles and Gary Streiner. Cinematographer, Oakland Paramount segment Mark Plumber. Editor/Music supervisor Chris Franklin. Running time: 1 hour, 21 minutes.

Exclusively at AMC's Century 14, Century City, (310) 289-4AMC; and Laemmle's Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 848-3500.

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