Is This Anything? (Paperback)
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The first book in twenty-five years from “one of our great comic minds” (The Washington Post) features Seinfeld’s best work across five decades in comedy.
Since his first performance at the legendary New York nightclub “Catch a Rising Star” as a twenty-one-year-old college student in fall of 1975, Jerry Seinfeld has written his own material and saved everything. “Whenever I came up with a funny bit, whether it happened on a stage, in a conversation, or working it out on my preferred canvas, the big yellow legal pad, I kept it in one of those old school accordion folders,” Seinfeld writes. “So I have everything I thought was worth saving from forty-five years of hacking away at this for all I was worth.”
For this book, Jerry Seinfeld has selected his favorite material, organized decade by decade. In this “trove of laugh-out-loud one-liners” (Associated Press), you will witness the evolution of one of the great comedians of our time and gain new insights into the thrilling but unforgiving art of writing stand-up comedy.
About the Author
Jerry Seinfeld is the author of Seinlanguage, a #1 New York Times bestseller and one of the bestselling books of the 1990s.
“Jerry Seinfeld’s new book, Is This Anything?… I enjoy opening it, pretending I’m Jerry and making my wife laugh with Jerry’s material. It’s like an artist being a copyist at a museum; you learn by emulating the strokes of others.”—Steve Martin in the New York Times Book Review
“It almost looks like a book of poetry…It made me realize a joke is a precision instrument, every word is a beat.”—Susan Morrison, The New Yorker
“This book is incredible…It’s like the best joke book you can buy.”—Jimmy Fallon
"[A] trove of laugh-out-loud one-liners but also a timeline, beginning with a kid commuting from his parents' home on Long Island to New York City to try to make strangers laugh. It continues through a career during which Seinfeld became arguably the greatest stand-up comic of his era and the pivotal figure of the funniest TV sitcom of its time.”—Associated Press
“Seinfeld proudly proclaimed to be a show about nothing. Is This Anything?, Jerry Seinfeld’s first book in almost three decades, is about everything....Bit by bit, we chart his growth as a master joke craftsman. Decade by decade, we follow his life journey, viewing the world through his perspective of what he found to be funny.... Is It Anything? captures the output of one of our great comic minds.”—Washington Post
“Fans of Seinfeld will eat this up, and aspiring comics will want to study how he shapes his seemingly effortless humor.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Comedian Seinfeld reflects on the absurdities of life in a laugh-out-loud volume that gathers jokes he’s written over the course of his 45-year career along with reminiscences on the lifestyle and craft of stand-up…This sharply observed, life-in-gags treasure trove offers essential reading for comedy fans, from a master of the form.”—Publishers Weekly,
“Admirers of Seinfeld's stream-of-consciousness observations about the minutiae of daily life will find much to enjoy here, and readers will also appreciate the window onto his evolution as a comic as he changes from a single guy in a messy apartment to the cocreator and star of a hit sitcom to a husband and father who watches (and critiques) Star Wars with his kids...a welcome treasure trove of laughs.”—Booklist
"Seinfeld’s jokes on the page makes his comedy come to life with new meaning. As you consider Seinfeld’s career, which has spanned nearly five decades, you realize that even though he claims his comedy is about nothing, you could just as easily say it’s about everything."—BookPage
"The book is consistently funny and it’s impressive that someone could have had a lifetime of so many insightful observations about seemingly mundane things... It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen..."—Paul Leslie Hour
"[H]is autobiographical intro to Is This Anything? is so perceptive and engaging, as are subsequent interstitial glimpses of his offstage life..."—Air Mail
"Jerry Seinfeld's new book, Is This Anything? proves that passion leads to career success."—Inc. Magazine